The staffing and recruiting industry is dealing with an increasing gap between the skills that clients want to see their candidates possess and the skills that candidates already have in their toolbox. Balancing your client’s expectations against the reality of what’s available and reasonable to expect from the talent pool is an uphill battle which most staffing and recruiting agencies face daily.
Recent research conducted by the American Staffing Association (ASA) reveals that 60% of job seekers believe necessary skills will be learned on the job. Meanwhile 52% of employers say job candidates lack the necessary skills. Furthermore, 92% of workers say employers should do more to train workers while 92% of employers believe that employees should continually update their skills1. This gap in expectations means that it takes longer to place the right candidate in the right job and to make sure that both client and candidate are happy, a delay that is sure to be costing your business valuable time and resources.
FIVE WAYS TO OVERCOME THE SKILLS GAP
- Look for potential rather than specific training/experience. Make sure that you’re looking for transferrable skills rather than focusing on specific training or previous work experience. Candidates with a history of great organizational skills may not have specific experience with project management, but those skills will easily transfer over to many different types of positions.
- Don’t underestimate the appeal of candidates with excellent soft skills (e.g. reliable, positive attitude, good team player). Specific trainings and certifications are not the only ways in which candidates can shine during the hiring process. Don’t let candidates with great client service skills or a good attitude be forgotten.
- Evaluate where you’re finding your talent. Are you using all the tools at your disposal to target potential candidates with the qualifications you’re looking for? Make sure you’re making the most out of mobile optimized software platforms, targeted email campaigns, social media platforms, text messaging, and software integration services to help you find qualified candidates and keep them engaged throughout the hiring process.
- Become a valued resource for your candidates. As an expert in the industry, assess what tools and information you have at your fingertips to provide candidates. Can your agency get a free or reduced rate on a training class for candidates? Or do you have a page on your website devoted to information on training and class information so candidates view you as a resource for their careers? Do a quick assessment of how you can harness your industry knowledge and make it available to candidates.
- Make sure your hiring and onboarding process delivers a positive candidate experience. Nothing is more disappointing than when you lose the engagement of a promising candidate because the process is just too burdensome. Make sure to invest in the right front and back office software to streamline the process and ensure a positive candidate experience throughout the entire candidate life cycle.
Attempting to please both your client and your candidate with two different sets of expectations is not an easy feat to accomplish. By researching and arming yourself with the right tools, tricks, and staffing software, you can start to bridge the staffing gap and save your business both time and resources.
1 American Staffing Association Workforce Monitor, 2017