Technical Skills Gap: A Forced Belief or an Actual Shortcoming?
When it comes to technical recruitment, there are numerous ways to distinguish between a right and wrong candidate, just like there are ways for a candidate to scan the right job for themselves. As much as it seems theoretically simple, it really isn’t when one practically starts looking for a job or potential candidates, especially in the IT field.
One can truly understand this dilemma through the example of the U.S. (2014): 4.7 million jobs advertised while 9.7 million candidates were looking for jobs, which made more than 2 for every job advertised, YET employers complained about failing to fill the vacancies.
This helps us to wade deeper into the cause of the problem.
Companies that couldn’t find the “right fit” were the ones to use the “skills gap” as the cause of this dilemma – especially those concerned with IT recruitment. What’s even more interesting is the fact that none of these companies provided a real agreement about what skills were unavailable.
Now we can further identify the real culprits behind the massacre of the “right candidates” per se:
- Gap existing in competitive incentives
If you are not willing to pay for the skills you require from a resource, there is a very slim possibility of finding the “right candidate” who could ‘hit the ground running’. Knowing competitive salaries for specific technical skillsets i.e. dev ops engineers, Angular – frontend engineers etc, and making offers at those numbers or at least near those numbers is a great place to start.
- Gap existing in Job Description
If you are looking for a candidate with an Ivy league educational background, a certain number of years of experience, and most importantly expertise in multiple unrelated technologies, you are on your way to discouraging real candidates to apply for your job.
Moreover, this practice encourages keyword-stuffing, dishonest behavior, unrealistic expectations, and a sense of irresponsibility on a recruitment agency’s part.
Look at it this way: If you hypothetically replace this potential candidate’s persona with your own employees, do you think they can qualify for the post? Consider these requirements as a lever. The more you add, the fewer job seekers will apply.
- Gap existing in employee training
If all you do is ‘ask’ from the potential candidate and not ‘give’ in the form of learning or training, there’s a lesser chance of having people apply to your job, much less sticking to them if/once hired.
If you cannot train your new hires and existing employees, people may not be interested in working for your company. As it turns out, other than a good paycheck, learning is the next priority for every serious candidate.
Another added benefit of training is that it immensely encourages employee retention (i.e. less turnover) as the employee gets to invest time and energy into becoming a useful resource for your company.
- Gap existing in supplier communication
Sometimes suppliers like staffing/recruitment agencies or internal recruiting teams require more direct communication in order to find the right candidates for the open roles. A mere CV and cover letter may not convey the entire package, thus rendering them insufficient to help a recruiter source the best-fit candidates; on top of that, the supplier may have to figure it out by the end i.e. through the process of elimination.
It is best to schedule some time for either a direct meeting or through an interview so that you answer all of their questions/concerns and, in the meanwhile, get to know them better.