September 26, 2023


education gives you strength

Few new hires have the skills needed for the job, survey shows

Dive Brief:

  • Only 16% of new hires possess the skills needed for their current jobs and the jobs of the future, according to Gartner analysis released September 10. “Existing roles may require up to 10 new skills by 2021,” the organization noted.
  • Traditional talent acquisition sources may not enable employers to find these new skills in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gartner said, potentially leading employers to prioritize skills over “candidate profiles” that may miss out on workers that are largely self-taught. “Traditional recruiting methods are unable to compete with the large-scale shifts to the workplace and the labor market,” Lauren Smith, vice president in the Gartner HR practice, said a press release.
  • To find the right skills in the market, companies may need to consider how to broaden their candidate search criteria and also focus on internal development of employees, potentially through “accelerated training programs.”

Dive Insight:

The Gartner report touches on a number of high-profile shifts in the talent space brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the focus on skills over “traditional” hiring priorities, such as education. But these points of view are not new to the pandemic; hiring managers suggested in February that skills are more important than degrees or credentials and that job requirements needed to be re-evaluated. 

Large multinational companies like Infosys, for example, have recently pushed to hire workers without traditional degrees. The company announced in early September that it would hire 25,000 more workers over the next five years, including those without degrees, partly enabled by its Reskill and Restart initiative. Others, such as Microsoft, have invested millions in global upskilling programs to help create a talent pool for jobs of the future.

Skill gaps pose a broad threat to employers in all industries, a report from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) noted; skill mismatches between what employers need and workers have are “imposing a 6% annual tax on the global economy in the form of lost labor productivity,” according to the Jan. 15 report. Skills are becoming obsolete at a fast rate, BCG said — something the pandemic has only intensified, according to Gartner’s report. On top of all this, those newly unemployed due to the pandemic are already unsure which of their skills may help them get new jobs. According to a May survey by LiveCareer, 57% of those recently unemployed are unable to identify their transferable skills and 58% are unsure how to communicate transferable skills on their resume.

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