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Skill Gaps and Exaggeration Make Positions Hard to Fill

October 27, 2019

By Heather Nezich, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

Recruiters are confident, and candidates are high quality. And, yet, around the world, recruiters are struggling to fill positions, according to Monster’s 2019 State of the Recruiter survey.

95% percent of recruiters surveyed say they are confident they can find the right candidate for open positions and three-fourths (77 percent) consider active candidates to be high quality. However, despite their confidence and deep talent pool, 71% of recruiters say they struggle to fill a position because of candidate skills gaps. In fact, 85% agree that candidates exaggerate skills and competencies on their resume.

While recruiting techniques haven’t changed dramatically since last year’s State of the Recruiter survey, a shift is coming. As Gen Z enters the workforce, recruiters will need to continue adapting their recruitment strategies.

According to Monster’s 2019 State of the Candidate survey, 94% of 18 – 24 year old candidates—or Gen Z—agree that a video would help them better understand a job opportunity. The survey also found that 18 – 24 year old’s believe that video will play a role in the job search process in the future through video calls with recruiters/potential employers during the interview process (43%), job descriptions (32%), and application submissions (31%).

Millennial recruiters, compared to their Gen X peers, are more likely to say social media advertising is an effective tool for recruitment (79% vs 66%) and more likely to always use social media advertising to find candidates (41% vs 34%). Although 46% of recruiters continue to rely on the in-person interview to determine if a candidate is the right fit, there appears to be a generational shift away from the in-person interview with millennials placing the least amount of emphasis on it (38% compared to 52% for Gen X and 68% for baby boomers).

“Today’s tight labor market is making it increasingly challenging for organizations to find and hire outside talent that has all of the necessary skills and is the right fit,” said Scott Gutz, Chief Executive Officer, Monster. “Upskilling is critical to not only retain top talent, but also to attract qualified candidates from competitors. Companies need to evolve how they view the role upskilling plays within their own organization. Further, it’s crucial that recruiters think about the impact the skills gap has across generations.”

Additional findings from the 2019 State of the Recruiter survey include:

  • Honesty and transparency is lacking on both sides. Only one-third of recruiters think candidates are very honest about their skills throughout the job hiring process, with 85% agreeing global candidates exaggerate skills competencies on their resume.

  • Candidates want follow up. More than a third of recruiters (35%) acknowledge that candidates are not happy during the job process when they aren’t told why they didn’t move on to the next stage.

  • Flexibility is key. Nearly half of recruiters say candidates are looking for a flexible schedule. While this is a global priority for candidates, recruiters say they are most challenged to answer candidate follow-up questions about work/life balance (38%) and work schedule (28%), with only salary-related questions being almost as challenging (37%). Recruiters also rank paid time off (35%) and telecommuting options (32%) high on the list of benefits candidates look for most often.

  • Recruiters should utilize technology. As Gen Z enters the global workforce, recruiters will need to continue adapting their recruitment strategies and embrace Gen Z-friendly approaches, like texting and social media. Recruiters say email and social media have been the most effective channels for communicating with Gen Z. But, in North America, recruiters are more likely to say text messaging is effective for communicating – compared to recruiters in Europe who say social media is more effective.  

“For recruiters to be effective, the industry must continue to adapt to the needs of both candidates and employers. The reality is that the skills and generational gaps will continue to widen in the years to come. But by focusing on addressing those challenges today, companies will be able to not only identify top talent, but also retain and grow their existing employee base,” added Gutz.

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