The so called skills gap has been a constant source of discontent amongst recruiters around the world, but as we are coming out of the recession, the source of that grumble is changing. Whereas previously the charge would be that universities aren’t producing graduates with the right skills for the workplace, now, it is much more of a seller’s market, and talented individuals are able to leverage their skills for the best offers.
A recent survey by recruitment website Glassdoor found that the battle for talent was undoubtedly the number one issue facing recruiters today. Their survey of over 500 HR and recruitment professionals in the US looked at both their current hiring strategies and concerns they have for the future.
A Sellers Market
Nearly half of all respondents revealed that they were having distinct difficulties finding suitably qualified people for positions currently open in their organisations. What’s more, around 25 percent also said that they could only see that situation getting worse over the coming year as the economy continues to bounce back.
The results suggest that employees are increasingly getting confidence back in their career and are happy to shop around for the very best deal. Nearly half of job seekers in a previous Glassdoor survey, for instance, said that they were confident in their ability to find a new role in the next six months that ticked all of their boxes in terms of salary and position.
Recruiters Need to up their Game
All of this makes the competition for talent incredibly stiff. Over half of recruiters revealed that passive recruiting, whereby they reached out to potential candidates that had not applied for the post directly, was increasingly ineffective as a strategy. The recruiters revealed that candidates were increasingly zoning out the plethora of emails they receive from recruiters, with response rates dropping considerably.
What’s more, this malaise was not limited just to email, with phone calls also increasingly being ignored. It’s a situation that demands that recruiters up their game. Glassdoor themselves recommend that recruiters put more effort into their outreach efforts.
"Don’t send a generic email to a person you’re interested in reaching for a particular job," they say. "Be genuine and direct in giving insights on why you think that person would be good for the role and include highlights about the role and company."
An alternative approach could be to revisit candidates that you have previously turned down and see if their skills are a more suitable match now.
"Real people come with way more ingenuity and pluck than the dreamed-up people we invent in our heads to fill our job openings," they say.
Of course, an alternative is that organisations take training and development more seriously and start to offer employees opportunities to improve their skills while on the job. This would not only improve employee engagement but ensure that they have the right talent available when they need it.
I’d love to hear your experiences from the job market though. Are you finding it easier to find the kind of role you want?