With evidence growing of a mismatch between job openings and candidates, there needs to be a renewed focus on modern skills
September 28, 2021 — The hiring system appears to be broken, with record job openings failing to trigger a “great rehire” because of an outdated focus on the wrong skills, says online assessment provider Questionmark.1
A recent survey of unemployed workers found over two thirds (70 percent) of job seekers were frustrated they could not find the right job to apply for. The majority (59 percent) also claimed there aren’t enough openings in their preferred profession.2
Hiring for modern skills like critical thinking, problem-solving and digital literacy could be the answer, according to Questionmark. It appeals both to what employers increasingly need and what employees are looking for to advance their careers.
Neil McGough, General Manager of Questionmark, said: “After the ‘great resignation’ everyone has been waiting for the ’great rehire‘ but what has emerged is a serious mismatch between employer requirements and employee expectations. This problem could be mitigated by a renewed focus on modern skills. Employers need to assess the skills of their current workforce and review how required skills are presented in job specs and recruitment ads.”
Questionmark’s report “Modern Skills for a Post-Pandemic World” sets out the skills that would not traditionally be included in a generic job specification, but which employers now need and employees may find more attractive. These include:
- Technology skills such as digital collaboration, digital communication, cybersecurity awareness and understanding artificial intelligence (AI)
- Cognitive skills such as critical thinking and problem solving, data literacy, communication and creativity
- Cultural skills such as accountability, collaboration and teamwork, and compliance
Questionmark urges employers to use assessments to gather real information about the modern skills that their current workforce has, and those offered by candidates through the recruitment process. A clear grasp of these alongside the technical skills associated with a role could provide a more appealing way to frame a job opening, helping to close the skills gap that is threatening to slow economic growth.3
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