How to identify skills gaps in your marketing agency

  • December 10, 2018
two female work colleagues chatting

How to identify skills gaps in your marketing agency

Want to make sure that your workforce remains competitive? One of the first steps to ensuring your marketing agency stays ahead of the competition is to identify any skills gaps and address them as quickly as you can. A skills gap, as the name suggests, is when there’s a significant gap between the skills an organisation needs and the current capabilities of its workforce. Basically, it’s the moment when you realise that you don’t have the skills you need to achieve your goals or keep up with the competition.

For example, it might be that your design team are incredibly creative, but lack the video skills needed to grab the attention of younger buyers, or maybe your marketing team are amazing analysts but don’t have the greatest digital marketing skills. These are all considered skills gaps, and are something you need to address as quickly as possible. Don’t worry, though - whatever the skills gap, there’s always a solution. Read on to find out how to identify any gaps in your agency and what you can do to close them…

marketing agency1. Identify your agency’s goals

First things first, you need to identify what your company goals are. Do you want to make the move into digital marketing methods such as inbound marketing in the future, for example? Are you keen to explore augmented reality in your creative campaigns? Or perhaps you have a specific sector you would like to specialise in? By identifying your future goals, you then begin to assess whether or not your employees have the skills you need to realise these goals. This first step is an important one, so make sure you take the time to clearly define your objectives so you can start to put a plan in place.

2. Determine what you need to do to reach them

Now that you have a good idea of your goals and aspirations, it’s time to begin making those dreams a reality and start reaching those goals. What skills will your workforce need to have to achieve these aims? Do they need any additional training to improve their existing skill set? Or will you need to hire new employees as well to help strengthen your creative team? These are all crucial questions that will need answering in your skills gap analysis. A good place to start is by identifying the skills needed for each job type within your agency so you have a clear list to start working from.

3. Rate the importance of each skill

Once you’ve decided on the skills your team ideally needs to have, you’ll need to prioritise each of your identified skills by using a simple rating system, for example, 1 = low priority and 5 = high priority. For example, if great digital marketing skills are of utmost importance for your marketing agency to grow, you should give digital marketing skills a score of 5, whereas if knowledge of AR in design is a nice-to-have rather than a must-have, you could assign it a score of 2 or 3. What you should start to see is a range of different skills needed for various positions so you can begin to get a clear idea of what skills are most important.

4. Measure your current employees’ skills

So, you have a list of the desired skills your employees need to have in order to reach your marketing agency’s goals - next up, it’s time to compare these with the actual skills your current employees have. This will enable you to see whether or not your workforce can adapt their roles as your agency grows, and if they’ll need additional training in order to do so. A good way to identify their current skills is by having one-to-ones, group discussions or simply observing how your employees work so you can see first-hand what they do. You’ll now have two separate results: desired skills and actual skills - and you might already be able to see some gaps are occurring…

marketing job interview

5. Compare your results

The final step is to gather your results together so you can compare the two different sets of information. If you do identify some skills gaps, you’ll need to decide upon a plan of action to close them, where it training your current employees, hiring new ones, or shifting the structure of your agency around and allocating positions to people with more suitable skill sets. It can feel overwhelming, so it’s best to start with your list of critical gaps and must-have skills before moving onto the nice-to-haves. You should also be careful to set yourself realistic deadlines. After all, it can take quite a lot of time to train up existing or new employees, so by organising a schedule and making sure your staff complete any training by a specific date, you can make sure you close up those gaps as quickly as possible.

Identifying skills gaps in your marketing agency is one of the most important ways you can ensure your business remains competitive and that you continue to deliver the results your clients need. If you ultimately decide that the best way to close the skills gaps in your agency is by hiring new staff, you might want to consider outsourcing your recruitment to save time and make sure you find the right candidates.

If you’re ready to start reaching your business goals, contact us today to brief your vacancy and let our expert team find the perfect candidates with the right digital marketing skills to help you close those gaps and start reaching your business objectives.