Recruitment Tips, Employer Trends, and Hiring Insights from CareerBuilder

Leadership Development

How to Fix a Skill Mismatch

Article contributed by Robert Half International

confusion at workAlthough your staff work hard, do they seem to be playing catch-up, working overtime and missing deadlines? Are you spending an unusual amount of time talking with your team about what went wrong on the last project and how to improve processes moving forward?

Such scenarios are more common than you may think. They’re often due to under-staffing, but they also can be caused by a skills mismatch. Here are some examples of skills mismatches and what you can do about them if they are plaguing your organization:

Mismatch #1: Skills Skew
If your firm laid off staff and reallocated job responsibilities among remaining employees during the downturn, your workers may have had to take on some duties that neither align well with their skills nor take advantage of their greatest strengths. They may be spending valuable time struggling through unfamiliar territory, making mistakes and having to redo work.

Hot to Fix It: The first step is to identify positions with responsibilities that have changed since the last time they were filled. No doubt you hired for particular experience and attributes at the time.

Contrast those original job descriptions with what your employees are actually doing now on a daily basis. Re-evaluate not just the skills of the employees who may be struggling in those roles but also the spectrum of talent available within the entire organization. Could responsibilities be switched to make better skills matches with positions that have evolved over time?

If it is not feasible to switch responsibilities around, could you bring in temporary professionals with the required expertise? Hiring temp workers could stabilize the situation and buy you time to determine if you need to make another full-time hire.

Mismatch #2: Misunderstood Roles
Your firm has won a major project for a key client, and you’ve hired new employees to handle the workflow. A month later, however, they still seem a little lost.

There are two potential reasons for this confusion: Either the new employees were not given an adequate orientation regarding others’ roles in the department, or current workers do not understand how the newcomers are expected to augment the rest of the team’s work.

How to Fix It: Gather the group together to give everyone a chance to learn about each member’s role and how the team should ideally work together. Both new and current employees will also be able to ask questions and get to know one another better.

Mismatch #3: New Rules, New Methods
Your staff may be experienced and capable, but changes in the industry — such as new regulations — are creating the need for new knowledge and skills.

How to Fix It: To help your employees keep up with changes in the profession, support their professional development efforts. Consider offering reimbursement for continuing education or giving employees time off to attend seminars and workshops.

Another good option is to cross-train employees in complementary areas of expertise. Such rotational programs can be extremely effective in enabling employees to expand their skills and act as backups when key personnel are out of the office.

Fixing a Skills Mismatch: A Skill in Itself
Overcoming skill mismatches will take time and careful attention, and it may involve some trial and error. Revisit any changes and realignments with the affected employees after a few weeks and be willing to fine-tune if necessary.

Recognize too that this is an ongoing process. As workflows ebb and flow, and as the collective skill set of your staff evolves, you’ll likely encounter skills mismatches in the future. But by being aware of where mismatches most commonly occur and having a plan for dealing with them, you’ll be able to efficiently and effectively correct them.

ABOUT: Robert Half International is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm with a global network of more than 350 offices worldwide. For more information about our professional services, visit For additional career advice, view their career bloopers video series at or follow them on Twitter at



  1. [...] How Millennial Employees are Reshaping the Business World [...]

  2. Trackback says:


    Would becoming a paid blogger be a good idea to get money?

  3. Trackback says:


    Can connecting another computer to my network influence the connections of the other computers?

  4. Trackback says:

    Good info

    I’m wanting to download some videos from various different sites like youtube, Google videos, and a few other sites for my entertainment at home. I’ve downloaded an extension from Media Converter for Firefox, but I don’t see it anywhere. Can someone…

  5. Trackback says:

    I like your blog

    How to make my second blog my default one on Tumblr?

  6. Trackback says:

    Like it

    Do you blog? Do you blog to advertise items you are selling? I am rather new to the blogging world. I mainly blog to advertise products that I am selling and websites that I am selling on. How do I get traffic to my blog? Do I basically just need to ad…

  7. Trackback says:

    Thank you

    What computer software were computers using before Microsoft was invented? I googled it and couldn’t find any info on it. Thanks and no jokes or dissing please..

  8. … [Trackback]

    [...] Find More Informations here: [...]

  9. … [Trackback]

    [...] There you will find 32057 more Infos: [...]

  10. … [Trackback]

    [...] Read More Infos here: [...]

  11. … [Trackback]

    [...] Find More Informations here: [...]

  12. … [Trackback]

    [...] Informations on that Topic: [...]

  13. Trackback says:

    Like it

    I’ve downloaded a few wordpress blog themes from other websites. They are in the zip file format. How do I apply them? Can I get a step by step guide?.

  14. … [Trackback]

    [...] Read More here: [...]

Stay Connected