Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

4 Strategies to Help You Successfully Jump the Skills Gap

4 Strategies to Help You Successfully Jump the Skills GapStatistics related to the skills gap may cause employers to feel that the issue is impossible to overcome. Nearly forty percent of companies have open positions they are unable to find anyone to fill. Additionally, 61% of companies have settled for hiring people for positions who do not fully meet their skill requirements.

The skills gap has been a constant problem for companies, but there are ways employers can come out on top:

Build connections with colleges/universities

In the past decade, the number of people people earning four-year degrees increased by 44 percent. However, employers are turning away from hiring young men and women who are fresh out of college because they don’t believe they have the practical experience needed. This is a mistake.

CareerBuilder advises companies to create lines of communication and form partnerships with universities and colleges that are within driving distance of their office. Nearly 100% of educational institutions believe that their academic programs should be in connection with companies so as to effectively assess the skills needed in potential employees. Unfortunately, only 45 percent are actively doing this.

By establishing relationships with schools, companies can let academic programs know exactly what soft and hard skills they are looking for. Moreover, creating internships that are specifically for students, will give companies the opportunity to provide feedback to schools and train students who may choose to return to them after they have graduated.

Provide training

Did you know that 60% of job seekers expect to obtain job specific skills on the job? Are you one of many employers who are not offering training? Companies can jump the skills gap by approaching employee training as a type of investment in their future success. Employers may want to consider enrolling their employees in online classes or partnering them with a senior employee with more experience to they can obtain and develop the skills they lacked when hired.

Provide a competitive wage

According to CareerBuilder, 37% of employers cite that the skills gap is a result of differing wage expectations. It would be beneficial for companies to look into the industry standard wages for specific jobs. Thirty percent of job seekers pursue other jobs because they are unhappy with their current wage. It would be unwise to dismiss this opportunity to connect with a large group of skilled professionals by offering them better wages and benefits.

Avoid unrealistic requirements

As stated earlier, 61% of employers admit to having hired a person who did not completely meet the requirements they set for a position. It is important for employers to consider revamping their requirements so as to avoid the skills gap problem. CareerBuilder encourages employers and hiring managers to honestly assess their requirements and determine if they may be unknowingly narrowing their pool of candidates.

Employers may want to require a two-year degree and 10 years of experience as opposed to a four-year degree and less experience. This will allow companies more room for flexibility as they search for potential hires.

If your company has been trying to fight the skills gap for quite some time, now is the time to begin implementing new strategies. Making changes in how your company connects with and appeals to talent will help to ensure you bring on great people who will contribute to your organization’s success for the long run.

Have you implemented these strategies or any others into your hiring process to overcome the skills gap? Share your experience with us in the comments below!

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Camelia Rodriguez

Camelia Rodriguez is the Digital Community Specialist for Spark Hire. She enjoys writing and editing, binge-watching TV shows on Hulu and Netflix, and eating foods she isn't allergic to. Born and raised in Chicago, she loves to cheer for the Bulls, Bears, Blackhawks, and Cubbies.