What's the best way to shrink the skills gap of new hires?

The skills gap between what a new hire brings to the job and what each needs to become productive can be a chasm.  About 87% of employers are grappling with a skills gap, according to www.questionmark.com.  The desire is to get new hires up to speed as quickly as possible.  Possible solutions:
> Don’t hire new employees.  Instead, extend the work shift of existing employees to keep their skills in production. – On second thought, forget that.
> Hire only people with the advanced skills needed – This is probably a fantasy.
> Enroll new hires in group training programs. – This is expensive in both cost of training plus lost production time.
> Assign each new employee to an existing employee who can serve as a “magic apron,” i.e., a person who can serve as a mentor to a new protégée.
> Do strategic onboarding.  This is the best way.  Identify what specific skill or skills each new hire needs.  Arrange for individual training for each new hire.  Focus on what Soft Technical Skill(s) each new hire needs.  Now you’ve got it!  Learn more at www.lesson-up.net.