Monday, June 16, 2008

The Skills Gap

Writen by John Mehrmann

The Computer Technology Industry Association ("CompTIA") recently conducted a survey of 273 CompTIA members to determine the biggest challenges for the next 12 months. Filling vitally important functional positions in sales and technical customer service ranked as the most critical obstacles in the coming year.

53% of respondents expect it to be extremely difficult to adequately fill sales positions in the next 12 months

41% of respondents expect it to be difficult to fill technical support and customer service positions in the next 12 months

What are the Sales Skills Gaps?

55% need to improve the ability to spot new business opportunities

43% need to improve the ability to generate incremental revenue from existing clients

42% need to better understand new technologies and products

41% need help to better anticipate customer's future needs

37% need to build better relationships with existing customers

34% need to be able to close new business

Closing the Gap

There are two approaches to closing the skills gap.

One approach is to look for talent to fill the gaps. This approach has a constant risk of betting on the hiring process, bidding for new talent, and the risk of losing quality candidates to a higher bidder.

Another approach is to develop talent with training. The hidden benefit of training talent is employee loyalty. Creating an environment that offers self-improvement and a career path can promote satisfaction and incentive.

According to Leigh Branham, "The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave", three of the top reasons are related to personal development. Common reasons for leaving are "No feedback or coaching", "No career growth", and "Devalued or unrecognized". You can promote a positive environment to retain valuable employees while simultaneously improving personal abilities that close the skills gap.

For more information about training and education from the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), please visit

For more information about self-paced training programs and workshop materials, please visit the Institute for Advanced Leadership at


Words of Wisdom

"Success in business requires training and discipline and hard work. But if you're not frightened by these things, the opportunities are just as great today as they ever were." - David Rockefeller

"Greatness is more than potential. It is the execution of that potential. Beyond the raw talent. You need the appropriate training. You need the discipline. You need the inspiration. You need the drive." - Eric A Burns

"Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one." - Malcolm Forbes


About the Author:

John Mehrmann is President of Executive Blueprints Inc., an organization devoted to improving business practices and developing human capital. provides resource materials for trainers, sample Case Studies, educational articles and references to local affiliates for consulting and executive coaching.

No comments: