Skill vs. Talent: Why You Should Change Your Focus of Recruitment

May 22, 20191:46 pm
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There are approximately 7 billion people living on earth – and yet, many organisation are still struggling to find the right candidates for positions available in their company. So, is it true that a talent shortage is real?

Let’s prove it with data.

A survey by Cornor Cawley revealed that talent shortage is happening, especially in tech industry. There are more than 1 million positions in computing and engineering needed to be filled by 2020. These positions are available but not many individuals have the skills and talents for the mass job openings. National Federation of Independent Business reported that 45 percent small business were unable to find qualified candidates to fill the job openings in the first quarter of 2017. Among job openings needed to be filled are cybersecurity, IT department, and sales.

See also: Using Company Culture to Attract & Retain More Talents

The latest survey by ManpowerGroup also cited that talent shortage has reached its highest levels since the last survey in 2016. There is a high demand for hiring and job openings are accessible, but employers still cannot find the candidates they want. As mentioned in the ManpowerGroup survey, talent shortage is growing with employers in Japan, Romania, and Taiwan reported to have difficulty in filling positions. While, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and China reported to have the least difficulty.

Accordingly, the data prove right that there is a talent shortage happening all over the globe.  

Now, let’s hear experts’ opinion

Many experts believe that data is a rigid source of a phenomenon. While these rigid sources are somehow reliable, there remains a possibility that some hidden facts might not be covered by data available. Talent shortage, in this regard, is real in the eyes of employers. However, talent shortage might be seen differently in the eyes of others.  

Experts believed that talent shortage never exists in the first place. It is just, the way how you see candidates.

Kevin Wheeler in his article cited that business and new business do not create talent shortage. He uttered that there is really no shortage of talent but rather a shortage of understanding and willingness to make a few changes and challenge our own thinking.

Another expert Liz Ryan, founder and CEO of Human Workplace, agreed that there is no shortage of talent. Talent shortage happens not because there is no potential candidate, but it happens because employers are “likely” failed to see potential in their candidates. But if an employer truly concerns about the way people graduate with full capabilities and are equipped with the right skill to work, it surely will be hard to find what they are looking for. And once again, Ryan said, employers are free to train people and some start-ups are doing just that.

Along with Ryan statements, Suzanne Lucas in her TEDxTalk emphasized that if only, HR changes their focus, they can find people with a track record for tackling and overcoming challenges. You need to shift how you evaluate applicants. Change your question perspective from “does this person already know how to do something?” to “can this person learn it?” Lucas explained.

Moreover, later on, Lucas suggested focussing more on skill rather than talent. It might take time as you need to closely look at a candidate’s resume and cover letter. You probably need to read between lines to see if it’s a match. Yet, the extra effort you put will surely bloom. Lastly, if only businesses are willing to invest in training and development, they will find that the talent shortage disappears because it never existed in the first place.

Read also: Entrepreneurial Talent and Global Competitiveness Report in 2019