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How Recruiters are Tackling the Skill Gap

The battle for talent is increasing with a competitive job market and an employee skill gap that has been lingering for years. According to Monster, 55% of recruiters say it’s challenging to find candidates with the required skills. 

A skill gap is when the skills candidates possess don’t match the ones that are necessary for the job. On the scale of a whole industry, a skill gap means there are not enough skilled workers to meet the number of jobs demanding that expertise, and can be the result of lack of upward mobility and education within a field. 

If you’re struggling to fill certain positions, you’re not alone. With the right adjustments to your recruitment strategy you can address the skill gaps in your workplace.

Conduct a Skills Audit

When was the last time your company introduced a new job position or changed existing positions? If it’s been a while, the assumptions you have about your workplace’s capabilities could be out of date. Employees may have skills that you didn’t know about, or there might be gaps in the team’s knowledge. Especially if you’re having trouble finding a candidate with a particular skill set, it might be time for a skills audit.

A skills audit takes a look at every employee and evaluates all of their skills, potential knowledge gaps, and areas for growth. From that data, you create a map of the whole organization’s skills, identifying the strongest and weakest areas of knowledge. Usually, HR will use a survey or interviews to collect this information. 

The answer to your skill gap could lie in restructuring some positions, as well as bringing in new talent. Often, employees have skills that their bosses aren’t even aware of because they aren’t in the purview of the job. They could also have the potential to become the highly skilled talent your company needs, if you invest in their education and development. Upskilling employees often saves time and money spent on bringing in someone new, and helps you retain workers.

Another thing to consider is whether the skills your company has reflect your current business strategies and objectives. For example, if the brand is trying to strengthen its social media presence, social media marketing and management need to be one of the skills that is evaluated. 

The skills audit should show you what skills your team really needs, and what is already covered by current employees. If you are replacing someone in an established position, you need to understand what the previous employee was providing, beyond what was listed in the job description.

Reach New Sources of Talent 

If you can’t land talent with certain skills, it may be time to broaden your search. Surprisingly, only 58% of recruiters use online recruiting sites to source their applicants. To get an edge over your competitors, consider sponsored job ads, or pay-for-performance job ads.

Whether you’re fishing in a massive online job board like Monster or a niche job board, your listing needs to be accurate and succinct. Most applicants will only look at a listing for less than a minute before deciding if they want to apply, and will be turned off by a massive list of requirements or unreasonable expectations for pay. 

Ironically, you might be missing out on the skill that you need by insisting on high levels of experience. Instead, consider investing in an applicant who has basic comprehension and potential by upskilling them on the job.


If you’re having trouble recruiting candidates with competitive skills, it’s time to reevaluate your recruitment strategy. A skills audit will help you better understand your team’s collective knowledge, and areas where you need to bring in more expertise or upskill current employees. Make sure you’re advertising on the right job boards, including niche job boards. With the right adjustments, you can increase your chance of finding the missing piece to your team.

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