Developing skills needed to do the job

When assessing an employee’s fit for a specific position, your first step should be to define exactly what skills are needed.

  • What is the list of duties or work to be performed?
  • What skills, knowledge and abilities are required to perform each duty or task?
  • What cost is associated with training an individual to perform these tasks?
  • How long will it take for an individual to learn to perform these tasks?

These are questions that must be answered in performing a simple job analysis, a tool that is required to set the minimum requirements for training and education needed to perform the work.

Other considerations would include areas of responsibility and authority, types of decisions to be made, amount of supervision required, the diversity of functions, physical requirements, special skills needed, amount of team interaction, stress levels and other activities specific to the job. Job specifications are derived from the job analysis. The job description follows, which forms the basis for recruitment, selection, promotion, training and planned career paths.

The next decision you’ll need to make is whether to train internally or to hire the necessary skills needed from the labor market. Companies are finding that it is not only a social responsibility but also an economic necessity to provide training to their employees. It is estimated that one in five American businesses is unable to expand because their employees lack the basic workforce skills necessary to do so. As we begin the next century, basic workforce literacy is still an issue.

In Missouri, many state resources are available to assist companies with training programs. One of the most successful is the Missouri Customized Training Program, which assists employers with funding and training for both new and existing employees. Training for almost any aspect of a job can be created or “customized” to a specific company or technology. It can be on-the-job or classroom training, and reimbursement can be provided for instruction, facilities, supplies, equipment and even 50 percent of eligible wages while training. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Division of Vocational and Adult Education and the Missouri Department of Economic Development Division of Workforce Development administer this program jointly.

Many Missouri companies are familiar with the Customized Training program and are effectively utilizing this valuable resource. However, many are not. Any business requiring training for its employees or potential employees can set up programs for training workers in areas where the necessary job skills may not be readily available. For more information on this program, contact Missouri Works  at 800-877-8698 or visit the website of the Missouri Division of Elementary and Secondary Education.

For personalized help exploring business ideas, marketing, finance, management, technology, international trade, growth or other business issues, contact a business specialist at a center near you. Or visit the full list of training courses to find an upcoming training seminar.