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Are Your Required Job Skills Repelling Top Talent?

outdated job skills

Your job listings just aren’t attracting the talent you’d like. Could it be the job skills that you’re including? Our recruiters point out two main reasons required job skills can make or break a job listing: they’re either outdated or not curated well enough.

The Job Skills Are Becoming Obsolete

It’s a crushing statistic: Most executives in a recent study believe nearly half of the job skills in today’s workforce won’t be relevant by 2025. Are they exaggerating? Here’s what the recent past has revealed: One in three skills in an average 2017 job posting in IT, finance or sales were considered obsolete by 2021.

Obvious job skills have gone out of vogue: typewriter skills, paper filing, and switchboard are some. And then there are tech and coding skills, including certain programming languages, manual testing, data center, and physical machine management skills that have lost steam.

Particularly when it comes to tech skills, you need who you need. So why is it a problem to seek out these harder-and-harder-to-come-by job skills, especially if you’re willing to pay a premium? There are two potential reasons:

  1. It can be a dead-end for recruiting and retention. It’s hard to find emerging talent with outdated job skills. But holding on to obsolete job skills sends a message about your culture that turns off good candidates. “The top reason engaged employees opt to seek out a new job is due to a lack of learning and growth opportunities,” Deloitte researchers found
  2. It could indicate that your organization needs to consider a digital transformation. Holding on to legacy or overly proprietary applications and platforms can lead to risks beyond recruiting and retention. It can increase complexity and fragmentation, financial losses, customer turnover and UX issues, stagnation, and cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

You’re Allowing Qualifications to Snowball

The number of job skills required for a single job is increasing by 10% yearly. But what would be the harm in listing every skill you WISH candidates would have? Why not shoot for the stars? There are two primary reasons this can be harmful:

  1. Historically, there has been a measurable discrepancy between the type of people who apply for a job even when they only match some of the qualifications and those who self-eliminate and don’t apply because they feel that only meeting some of the qualifications isn’t enough to be a match. Women tend to apply to fewer jobs than average in these instances. It may also be a deterrent for other minorities and might even discourage passive candidates. Indeed reports that those currently employed think they must meet 72% of qualifications to be considered for a role, while unemployed job seekers say 64% will suffice.
  2. “Scope creep” regarding qualifications in a job listing can clearly indicate that the job is doing too much. Many employers right now are accused of stuffing job duties into other roles to reduce needed headcount. Texas is an at-will work state, so there’s no legal reason you can’t do this, but there’s also no reason current employees have to stick around and bear it, or job seekers will overlook it. It’s better to do your housekeeping and stop the creep, whether deliberate or not.

Thanks mainly to the rapid digital transformation of the business world, it is imperative for organizations to reassess their approach to job skills proactively. If the skills you require are increasingly outdated or you are listing a snowballing amount of job skills, it could indicate more significant issues within your organization. Our recruiters and advisors can help you identify and remedy those issues.

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