Nowadays, it is really challenging for companies to find the right candidate, either due to a deficit of technical skills or soft skills on the candidate’s side or because companies don’t want to match candidates’ expectations, which are now more demanding in terms of flexibility and work-life balance.
We have gone through a few decades of great change, especially with the boom of new technologies. This digitalization has had an impact on the employee profile companies are looking for, which are now searching for professionals specialized in technologies such as Big Data, automation and blockchain, and in the employee expectations, which are now represented by a “ work to live” and not “live to work” philosophy.
Let’s look at each of the factors separately:
- Due to the high speed at which technologies change many candidates lack knowledge and experience about new tools: some of the most prominent areas are Big Data, AI or Blockchain.
- A new problem that emerges is not so much the technical skills but the soft ones: teamwork, communication skills, leadership skills, etc. Today, companies are more aware that not only knowledge, but social-emotional skills are what can determine the success of the team. What are the reasons? Firstly, the fact that many tasks are being replaced by robots, so that those professional skills that cannot be developed by them (the human ones) stand out. Secondly, the change in businesses organization, now with a more flat and flexible structure, demands also a more adaptable, versatile and creative type of profile.
- Anyway, not every change must occur in the employees, also the companies must adapt to the new employee demands. Although salary has always been the main motivator when choosing one company instead of another, now being part of a company with a good work environment, which offers flexibility or allows employees to work remotely gain ground as determining factors.
What are the main solutions?
- A closer collaboration between companies and schools/universities is key when it comes to aligning education with market needs, since, as we have mentioned, the education received by the employee often does not match new jobs requirements. In the same way, educational institutions should focus more on provide students with internships and practical classes rather than only focus on the theorical side of it, so that students insertion in the labor market is faster, more natural and they are productive from day one. Many of the companies are facing the problem of interviewing candidates that have a strong knowledge, but that don’t really know how to work due to a lack of experience.
- In the same way, training is not exclusive to university or FP students. This learning should be given constantly, and the company should support it: Training courses related to employee discipline should be accessible so that they develop new skills. In this fast-changing environment in which we live, today more than ever employees must be up to date if companies want their team to remain competitive in the market.
The core of any company is people. If this piece fails, the company results will fall too. Obviously, the talent search challenge we are talking about is something that worries many executives, who see how their company performance drops and how they are less competitive in the market due to a lack of qualified employees.