Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

How to Find Solutions to the Skills Gap Problem

How to Find Solutions to the Skills Gap ProblemEntry-level candidates are having a harder time than ever before finding jobs. The Economic Policy Institute found that 8.5% of recent college graduates are unemployed. Additionally, the underemployment rate for young college alumni is more than double that at 16.8%.

Many job seekers who are fresh out of college are denied work because they do not have sufficient experience for the position or are unable to present the necessary skills to get hired. A recent survey determined that 66% of hiring managers do not believe that new college graduates are prepared for the workforce. Furthermore, companies have no desire to spend time and money training entry-level workers.

Below are three strategies companies should consider so they can begin finding solutions to bridge the skills gap problem:

Connecting with entry-level talent sooner

Companies should reach out to and establish partnerships with colleges, universities, and trade schools that develop students for the industry they do business in. This opens up the opportunity for employers to connect with students early on so as to properly prepare them for potentially working in their field and company after they graduate.

If your company is an option where schools can place their students after they graduate, they are highly likely to work with you. A partnership with a school can provide you with a new pool of prospective hires and allow you to possibly improve their skills without having to spend a large amount of money.

Using social media to connect with graduates

More than 8 out 10 Millennials use at least one social network. Hopping onto social media is a great way to instantly connect with potentially great hires. Reviewing a candidate’s social media profile will also give you insight on their personality and interests. Spark Hire’s infographic, “How to Hire the Perfect Grad”, discusses other methods for ensuring a candidate will be a good fit for your company culture.

Establishing a better internship program

Most people have one or two horror stories about their experience as an intern at a company. More often than not, internships are disorganized and poorly managed, thus students and employers don’t benefit at all. It is important to create an internship that allows students to be exposed to as many aspects of a company’s operations as possible. Interns should be given opportunities to work on actual company projects and hear feedback about their performance.

The skills gap can seem like a pesky problem that’s impossible to solve. However, if you take the above strategies and work to implement them at your company, you just may find that having the amazing talent you want and need isn’t an unattainable dream.

What have been your experiences with the skills gap problem? We’d love to hear your stories! Share in the comments below!

Image: Santiago Cornejo/

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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.