Employers rigid in hiring criteria despite skills gap
Over half of employers (60%) are receiving more applications from candidates who have come from different industries new research by Reed.co.uk has revealed.
The commissioned researched canvased over 250 hiring decision-makers across the UK and reflected an increasing awareness of transferable skills with an appetite for reskilling among jobseekers. The news comes after Reed.co.uk reported 140,000 courses were purchased in the first half of November – a 786% rise year-on-year – as workers reevaluate their skillset in light of the pandemic.
Some employers remain rigid in their requirements of applicants, despite this wider range of talent that has become available to businesses with over half (60%) of hiring decision-makers still feeling it is important for applicants to have a university education, which immediately limits the size of their candidate pool.
Hiring managers within the Construction and Technology sectors – who report more labour shortages than those from any other industries in the survey – are also the most likely to believe a university education is important for candidates. Whereas employers in ‘real estate’ (17%) and ‘creative industries’ (33%) placed the least importance on applicants having a university education.
Alongside a university education, the research showed that employers add much value to soft skills, such as teamwork and interpersonal skills, as a result of the shift to remote working with two-thirds (64%) of hiring decision-makers in agreement.
While a university education and soft skills are desirable for a candidate, some employers may need to become more flexible about their expectations, especially as over half (55%) of the businesses surveyed reporting labour shortages.
Simon Wingate, Managing Director of Reed.co.uk, commented on the findings: “It’s encouraging to see that many workers are already learning new skills to improve their career opportunities. However, employers should be more flexible when it comes to hiring, by looking at workers who haven’t got qualifications but who are willing to learn and have useful transferable skills for a modern working environment. By sticking to a rigid, old-fashioned approach to recruiting, you could be discarding talent that could help fuel your growth plans in 2022.”