Dealing with a Manufacturing Skills Gap?


Even the best of teams can suffer from a skills gap. Maybe one of your key employees recently accepted a new position or promotion or decided to retire. New equipment being brought in, or redesigned processes, can also leave workers without the skill level required to perform all of the duties associated with their job.

The question is, when you are faced with a skills gap, what is the best way to proceed? If you aren’t sure how to tackle the issue, here are some steps to get you on track to create your ideal team.

Identify the Source

You can’t remedy a situation until you clearly identify it. Work with your team to determine what knowledge areas are well covered and which appear to be lacking. Examine the workload assigned to the team, and learn about each individual’s skills and abilities. This will help you determine the ideal way to act to solve the core of the problem.

Keep Communication Open

As you examine key areas and begin making changes, keep the lines of communication open between yourself and your team. You want to be able to easily track their progress and have the opportunity to adjust course if current efforts aren’t producing results. It will also allow you to solicit feedback from the people doing to work. This can provide indications as to how they are adapting to the new challenge and if your current timetable is appropriate to find an end to the skills gap issue.

Add Training Opportunities

If employees are missing certain hard skills, give them an opportunity to gain them. Consider having other employees who are knowledgeable about the processes work with those who are less familiar. You may even want to look into more formal educational options that may be available. This can ensure that everyone receives an equal amount of training and that it will lead to a solution.

Hire to Fill the Gap

Sometimes, the easiest way to fill a skills gap is to higher with those specific skills in mind. This may be the ideal solution when the gap was created due to a previous employee vacating a position, as it does not have to negatively impact the remaining team members. If the budget doesn’t allow for a full-time hire, consider if a part-time employee with the proper skills is sufficient.

Releasing a current employee should only be considered a last resort, especially if they could be trained to fill the gap in a reasonable amount of time.

Avoid the Gap in the Future

The best way to handle a skills gap is to prevent one from occurring. Make sure that current employees are reasonably cross-trained, and educational opportunities are presented at the right time. For example, if you plan on adding a new piece of manufacturing equipment that will operate in an entirely different way from you current options, consider locating training opportunities before the equipment becomes part of the system. That way, you can have the skills you need before you officially need them.

Want Help Finding a New Employee to Fill the Gap?

If you want help locating the ideal employee to fill the skills gap, the professionals at CPS Recruitment® have the knowledge and expertise to work with your company on any recruitment need. Contact CPS Recruitment® today and watch your skills gap vanish before your eyes.




Scroll to Top