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Advice for Employers and Recruiters

[white paper] Skills gap? A deeper look at your job ads can help identify more qualified candidates

Anna Peters AvatarAnna Peters
July 26, 2018


Our latest white paper is specifically for recruiting and talent acquisition leaders who are struggling to attract enough qualified candidates. We teamed up with LiveCareer and combed through their recent 2018 Skills Gap Report. Our hope is that the tips here help you revise your job ads with a fresh lens, and ultimately help you land more of the right candidates faster.

Read the white paper (no need to register)

While we often talk about a technical skills gap, recruiters across many industries are familiar with the frustration of weeding out candidates who simply do not have the skills they’re looking for. On the other side of the table we see job seekers who possess the qualifications for the job but who hear radio silence as they apply for job after job, pushing their resume into the land of applicant tracking systems.

LiveCareer analyzed thousands of resumes and job ads across twelve different occupations, which represent one-quarter of the U.S. workforce. They looked for areas where job ads diverge with resume and where they align. They used a natural language processing tool to aid their data analysis.

They uncovered interesting findings that should help employers optimize their job ads to find more—and the right—candidates.

The skills gap isn’t exactly as you thought

The data show that the skills gap stems not just from job market inputs and resources, but from a chasm in the language that job seekers and recruiters use. The real skills gap, according to LiveCareer, is a “void between the skills jobseekers say they are offering on their resumes and the skills employers say they want in their job advertisements. Friction gets created right where jobseekers and employers first engage each other in the job market. And they start off already talking past each other.”

The most obvious finding from the report is the significant gap between the number of skills listed on job ads and those mentioned in resumes. On average, a job ad lists 21.8 skills, but job seekers only list an average of only 13 skills.

If you don’t read any further, at least chew on that data point.

Revise your job ads to identify more talent

Read more findings and details in our white paper (no need to register)

Employers should pinpoint where they are misconnecting with good candidates. To do so, revise your job ads and take a hard look at how you screen resumes. When you do, we have six tips to follow.

1) Avoid rigid, rote-automated keyword analysis when screening resumes. You don’t want your tool to overlook qualified candidates simply because they’re using slightly different terminology than your ad. This is especially dangerous when it comes to soft skills, which are notoriously difficult to articulate, and yet highly valued by employers. This could be an opportunity to compare your ATS to other vendors.

2) Allow for greater nuance in keyword searches. For example, if a keyword is “analytical,” also search for “analysis” and “analyze.”


Read all six tips in our white paper (no need to register) 


Want more? Check out College Recruiter’s archived white papers, ranging in topic including recruiting Gen Z, designing an internship program, game changer candidates, and more.

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