There is something horribly wrong with the entire job search process these days, but what is it? Answers vary depending upon who you ask but if you ask me, it’s not just one thing, there several things afoot and it’s not the job seekers fault.
Okay, I know you have heard of the Skill Gap or Talent Gap by now, I have written about it here and other places countless times. The Skill/Talent Gap is a phrase created by companies to describe the deficiencies or lacking skills in the available labor force (that’s you, the worker) and what is needed to succeed.
With such a vague and subjective definition, anyone can be placed in the Skill/Talent Gap these days. For a while, if you didn’t have a 4-year degree you were considered to be a risky candidate, so recruiters were instructed to move on and try to find someone with a degree. Then it was determined that most of the labor force does not have a four-year degree and MORE importantly, there was absolutely no correlation between having a degree and being a successful employee.
In fact to prove my point that four-degrees aren’t as important, here is a list of top companies who hire high level position with no degree requirement. And to further belabor the point, Google released an internal employee survey which also stated that they found no relationship between having a degree and being a successful employee. (source, click here)
The number one skill that most employers look for, including the likes of Google, are soft skills!
As a resume writer, I work with a lot of multi-skilled people, people who can do a variety of things – these people have degrees (even though they aren’t necessary in most jobs), they have experience, the have communication skills, they know how to write, they are think outside the box, and they are professional. So, what’s the problem?
The problem is with the recruiters and hiring managers, they are evaluating people the wrong way. They have position requirements that are not based on anything substantial (no job analysis data, employee feedback, etc.). I have seen people write job descriptions and they simply write the same old traditional requirements that most recruiters and hiring authorities use – overblown and unrealistic experience expectations, degrees for jobs that don’t require them, certifications and other things that in most cases don’t matter.
In summation, there a skills gap? Yes, unfortunately there is, however of the 6 million available people looking for work, I will venture to say that half of them are skilled – it’s just that they are overlooked for frivolous reasons.