The Big Gap

As shifts in the labor market and speculation around future trends in the economy continue, many employers spend as much time lamenting about the shortage of talent in the market today as they do actually acquiring it. By most accounts, the rebound of the US labor market has been slow at best. There are, of course, no shortage of theories on why, yet none resolve the ongoing issue. One consistent question that plagues the masses (at least those who care), is how can we continue to have a steady increase in job openings, yet still be hiring fewer people. Since the end of the recession in 2009, only 48% of new openings are filled. This is a drop of more than 6% since before the recession began. The Beveridge Curve represents the shift in the relationship between job vacancies and unemployment.


While even a well-functioning labor market won’t be without a gap, recent trends suggest more factors are contributing to the shift than in past recoveries. Candidates can’t seem to find the right jobs and employers can’t seem to identify and attract the right employees to fill their vacancies. From the candidates’ perspective, technology is getting in the way. Automated tools and advanced Applicant Tracking Systems leave no room for the almost qualified candidate who is an otherwise ideal fit for the organization. It can be hard to convince employers in this market that they shouldn’t wait for the perfect fit (realistic or not). And as these expanding technologies continue to narrow the funnel of potential candidates and seemingly improve efficiencies, they may be leaving the most viable candidate out of the picture.

In addition to having to pass the ultra-selective technology built to narrow the funnel, candidates suggest that the criteria for open positions is simply too strict. Many, who proclaim themselves highly regarded professionals in their perspective industries, suggest there simply aren’t candidates in the marketplace that could match the requirements on most job descriptions today, much less for the advertised compensation.

Economists suggest a combination of factors are responsible for the shift. One common theory among them relates to unrealistic expectations from the unemployed. Another common theory proposes that companies are inflating their demand to gather and warehouse potential candidates for a more secure time in the market.

A common theme among the masses is that the efficiency of this labor market must improve. Whether it be from re-training potential employees to fill the skills gap, realigning expectations to fill the compensation gap or reworking talent demand to fill the perception gap, we need to make the market more viable to align the right talent to open positions.

Until the macro issues resolve, many employers are left to fill the gap in their talent acquisition pipeline with tools and training designed for a different market. The current market defies logic and traditional strategies for attracting, screening and hiring candidates. And as any solution goes, there is no one size fits all answer. Solutions designed to your specific demand, culture and process will benefit now and in an ever-changing talent market. By creating synergies to align the people, processes and tools within our clients, Avancos’ Advisory Services have helped our clients to make better decisions by:

  • Being more agile and decisive – in a competitive marketplace, there’s very little time for indecisiveness
  • Arming them with an interview process to measure core competencies as well as critical skills
  • Going to market faster with opportunities…the most competitive markets will require faster access to talent
  • Identifying a more comprehensive talent pool
  • Aligning technology to improve efficiencies…a great tool is only great if it’s adopted by the actual user

Comments are closed.