We often talk about the skills gap in America. The idea that the qualified talent ‘supply’ of the US population does not meet the qualified talent ‘demanded’ by U.S. companies. There are plenty of recent, interesting and complicated articles that debate this claim.
However, I’d argue the increasingly murky definition of ‘qualifications’ for many jobs in the US, makes this an impossible debate. My experience with the hiring process is that many hiring teams have an idea of the qualifications they’re looking for in a candidate, but they only know talent when they hear it. Throughout the process, Hiring Managers can change their ‘needs versus wants’ (required skills versus preferred skills), based on the applicant pipeline and the candidates that managers speak with. Each conversation helps a manager hone their search, by gathering realistic expectations for candidates and also by learning which competencies or skills are critical for success. It’s rarely the case that you can identify a perfect fit from a resume or cover letter.
As we accelerate through the information age, our day to day jobs are less about repeating the same task, and more about adapting, evolving and solving problems. The skills required to do many roles in corporate america are changing. Degrees, certifications and even previous roles, no longer correlate to ‘quality hires’. When you add weight to competencies that include motivation, personality, mission-alignment, and soft-skills (a few elements that make up the phenomenon of culture-fit) for a collaborative workforce, the emphasis of hard or technical skills become less critical, which makes it harder to quantify the qualified candidate.
So how do we define a qualified talent supply in 2016?
Is there a skills gap, or is there a disconnect between the hiring and interview process of yesterday and that of modern business demands? For companies looking for soft-skills and personalities that “further your company culture”, in addition to hybrid and increasingly specialized technical skill-sets, we must evolve and create a better interview experience for everyone involved with the hiring process.
The Honeit.com team is tackling this big problem head-on, with a better way to screen and qualify top of the funnel job applicants, to find the diamonds in the rough, and to easily articulate a candidate’s strengths without the misinterpretation and bias through scribbled interview notes.