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Exaggeration and skills gaps plague hiring process

October 22, 2019
By Monster

Recruiters are confident. Candidates are high quality. And, yet, around the world, recruiters are struggling to fill positions, according to Monster’s 2019 State of the Recruiter survey.

Ninety-five per cent of recruiters surveyed say they are confident they can find the right candidate for open positions and three-fourths (77 per cent) consider active candidates to be high quality. Despite their confidence and a deep talent pool, 71 per cent of recruiters say they struggle to fill a position because of candidate skills gaps. In fact, many recruiters (85 per cent) agree that candidates exaggerate skills and competencies on their resume. While these candidates look good on paper, recruiters need to adjust expectations to consider candidates with most or some (70 per cent) of the necessary skills to find the right fit. These were among the insights gleaned from the recent online global survey of more than 1,700 recruiters conducted by Monster, a leader in connecting the right people to the right jobs.

While recruiting techniques haven’t changed dramatically since last year’s State of the Recruiter survey, a shift is coming. As Gen Z enters the workforce, recruiters will need to continue adapting their recruitment strategies. To better understand how to be successful in engaging this generation, recruiters need look no further than their millennial peers, who are more poised to handle recruiting the next generation of candidates.

According to Monster’s 2019 State of the Candidate survey, 94 per cent of 18 – 24 year old candidates—or Gen Z—agree that a video of a recruiter would help them better understand a job opportunity. The survey also found that 18 – 24 year old’s believe that video will play a role in the job search process in the future through video calls with recruiters/potential employers during the interview process (43 percent), job descriptions (32 percent), and application submissions (31 percent). Interestingly, the State of the Recruiter survey found that millennial recruiters are ahead of the curve and more interested in using video in the job search process as compared to their Gen X and baby boomer peers—including interviewing candidates live via video (92 percent for millennials vs 88 percent for Gen X vs 78 percent for baby boomers), video job descriptions (90 percent vs 85 percent vs 70 percent) and receiving video applications from candidates (91 percent vs 84 percent vs 73 percent).

Additionally, millennial recruiters, compared to their Gen X peers, are more likely to say social media advertising is an effective tool for recruitment (79 percent vs 66 percent) and more likely to always use social media advertising to find candidates (41 percent vs 34 percent). Although recruiters continue to rely on the in-person interview (46 percent) to determine if a candidate is the right fit, there appears to be a generational shift away from the in-person interview with millennials placing the least amount of emphasis on it (38 percent compared to 52 percent for Gen X and 68 percent for baby boomers).

“Today’s tight labor market is making it increasingly challenging for organizations to find and hire outside talent that has all of the necessary skills and is the right fit,” said Scott Gutz, Chief Executive Officer, Monster. “Upskilling is critical to not only retain top talent, but also to attract qualified candidates from competitors. Companies need to evolve how they view the role upskilling plays within their own organization. Further, it’s crucial that recruiters think about the impact the skills gap has across generations. Millennials in particular have been most affected by job and workforce evolution over the last decade, to the point that they can no longer rely on their previous education to prepare themselves for future success. We understand how important it is that companies like Monster understand both sides of the employment market to better help both sides find the right fit.”

Additional findings from the 2019 State of the Recruiter survey include:

  • Honesty and transparency is lacking on both sides. Only one-third of recruiters think candidates are very honest about their skills throughout the job hiring process, with 85 percent agreeing global candidates exaggerate skills competencies on their resume. Millennial recruiters are more trusting of candidates, with 41 percent saying they think candidates are very honest. However, despite being more trusting, millennial recruiters are more likely than Gen X recruiters to agree that candidates exaggerate skill competencies on their resume (88 percent vs 83 percent).

    Meanwhile, more than a third of recruiters (35 percent) acknowledge that candidates are not happy during the job process when they aren’t told why they didn’t move on to the next stage. Interestingly, North American recruiters are more likely to think not following up in a timely fashion after an interview is a big contributor to candidate happiness compared to European recruiters (37 percent vs 31 percent).

  • Flexibility is key. According to recruiters, nearly half of recruiters say candidates (45 percent) are looking for a flexible schedule. While this is a global priority for candidates, recruiters say they are most challenged to answer candidate follow-up questions about work/life balance (38 percent) and work schedule (28 percent), with only salary-related questions being almost as challenging (37 percent). Recruiters also rank paid time off (35 percent) and work from home options (32 percent) high on the list of benefits candidates look for most often. Interestingly, Gen X recruiters are more likely to say they feel challenged meeting Gen Z work/life balance expectations compared to millennial recruiters (30 percent vs 25 percent). Meanwhile, according to North American recruiters, candidates are more likely to look for healthcare benefits (50 percent vs 22 percent) while European recruiters said candidates are more likely to look for career development opportunities (43 percent vs 37 percent) and work from home options (36 percent vs 24 percent).

  • Adapting to the next gen workforce. As Gen Z enters the global workforce, recruiters will need to continue adapting their recruitment strategies and embrace Gen Z-friendly approaches, like texting and social media. Recruiters say email (40 percent) and social media (33 percent) have been the most effective channels for communicating with Gen Z. But, in North America, recruiters are more likely to say text messaging (38 percent vs 23 percent) is effective for communicating as compared to recruiters in Europe who say social media is more effective (37 percent vs 26 percent). And, compared to Gen X and baby boomers, millennial recruiters (36 percent for millennials vs 32 percent for Gen X vs 20 percent for baby boomers) agree that social media is the most effective channel for communicating with Gen Z candidates.

“For recruiters to be effective, the industry must continue to adapt to the needs of both candidates and employers. The reality is that the skills and generational gaps will continue to widen in the years to come. But by focusing on addressing those challenges today, companies will be able to not only identify top talent, but also retain and grow their existing employee base,” added Gutz.

Reach out to a solutions consultant by calling 1-800-MONSTER to learn more about how Monster can help you and your business adapt to the new world of recruiting.

About this survey: To measure opinion on recruitment and the ever-changing role that recruiters play in finding quality candidates, Monster commissioned a 15-minute survey among 1,700 current, full-time recruiters globally (U.S., Canada, UK, France, Germany, and the Netherlands) ages 22-76 with an independent research firm. A sample of n=300 was taken for each country, with the exception of the Netherlands n=200. This survey was conducted between August 6, 2019 and September 17, 2019 and has a margin of error of +/- 5% at a 95% confidence level.

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