The 2014 Job Preparedness Indicator study conducted by the Career Advisory Board confirmed previous reports that a skills gap exists at all levels of U.S. employment. Only 7 percent of hiring managers said that “nearly all” or “most” job seekers have the right combination of skills and traits that their companies need to fill open positions. This belief causes them to spend months interviewing candidates, often walking away without having hired anyone at all.
What’s interesting, though, is that the hiring managers in the study also said that they commonly see essential, individual skills – such as accountability, problem-solving, and time management – among candidates.
What does this mean? I’d speculate that although hiring managers recognize stellar traits when they see them, they won’t settle for anyone who isn’t the perfect package.
I think that sometimes, hiring managers forget that they are dealing with human beings. And human beings simply aren’t equipped to be all things to all people all the time. For example, you could bring in a candidate who has the exact experience you’re looking for and appears to have a strong work ethic, but her verbal communication isn’t top-notch because she’s not a native English speaker. Or maybe you get that native English-speaker who uses correct grammar in everyday conversation and has the best employment track record you’ve ever seen, but her experience isn’t in your industry.
I’d argue that given the skills gap, you ought to seriously consider both of these individuals. And yet more often than not, hiring managers don’t. They remove them from consideration because in an endless series of qualification boxes, one isn’t checked. They don’t hire anyone because candidates for which every single box is checked don’t exist. The expectation that they do is unreasonable.
For advice on how to appropriately manage expectations, check out my advice on Intuit's Fast Track blog.