Findings from a recent study by the Career Advisory Board, established by DeVry University, indicate a widening gap between America’s hiring managers and job seekers. The third-annual Job Preparedness Indicator spotlights differences in each group’s view of the skills employees need to thrive in the workforce, their outlook on the U.S. job market and the steps job seekers should take in order to gain employment.
Are overconfident job seekers missing the mark?
- Seventy-two percent of job seekers are confident they know how to present their skills and experience to an interviewer and more than half of job seekers (56 percent) are confident they know what employers are looking for in candidates today
- Yet, just 15 percent of hiring managers say nearly all or most job seekers have the skills and traits their companies are looking for in candidatesHiring managers are bullish…and picky
- Eighty-six percent of hiring managers are at least somewhat confident the job market will improve in 2014, up considerably from 67 percent of hiring managers with a similar level of confidence in last year’s poll
- The percentage of hiring managers who describe themselves as either “extremely confident” or “very confident” in an improving job market nearly doubled to 30 percent, up from 16 percent the year prior
- Sixty-seven percent of hiring managers don’t feel like they have to settle for a candidate without the perfect qualifications for the jobJob seekers are bearish…and growing more pessimistic
- Thirty-seven percent of job seekers are not at all confident that the job market will improve next year – a 7 percent increase over last year
- While overall employment is up for job seekers in 2013 over last year – 64 percent compared to 55 percent – the proportion of unemployed job seekers out of work for the past two or more years nearly tripled from 14 to 38 percent
- Seventy-two percent of job seekers agree companies often refuse to consider a candidate for a job if he or she is not currently employed
“We’re seeing an increasing number of job seekers who are losing hope, but the economy isn’t fully to blame,” said Alexandra Levit, business and workplace consultant and Career Advisory Board member. “Opportunities do exist for job seekers who are able to effectively demonstrate to hiring managers that they have specific in-demand skills.”
Managerial candidates have biggest disconnects
The survey presented respondents with a set of 15 skills or traits. Job seekers were asked to choose which skills best and least described them. Hiring managers were asked which skills were most and least important in someone seeking employment in entry-level, mid-level and managerial/executive positions.
- For the third year in a row, managerial-level candidates had the largest gaps between their rankings of priority skills compared to the skills demanded of them by hiring managers:
- “Global outlook” (36 point gap)
- “Strategic perspective” (28 point gap)
- “Business acumen” (26 point gap)
- “Ability to network effectively” (16 point gap)
- Managerial-level job seekers are short-changing themselves by touting skills that hiring managers consider to be baseline expectations for their senior level candidates:
- “Strong work ethic” (57 point gap)
- “Self-motivation” (31 point gap)
- “Ability to work well with others” (23 point gap)
“It is clear that senior-level job seekers need to focus less on the skills that enabled them to rise through the ranks and more on the high-level abilities they have developed over the years that can be used to lead organizations,” said Levit.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at