Which requirements are less critical in today's jobs market?

Employers lower standards to source much-needed talent

Which requirements are less critical in today's jobs market?

Organizations are increasingly loosening hiring criteria during the ongoing labour shortage in order to fill critical needs but skills training is key to this.

50% of employers have ignored a candidate’s lack of soft skills while 45 per cent have overlooked years of experience, according to a new survey by Express Employment Professionals.

Almost two in five (37 per cent) hired workers who lack the required hard skills, while 26 per cent have disregarded a candidate’s ability to pass a background check and 20 per cent have overlooked the absence of educational degrees.

“We are seeing companies in a broad range of industry segments — including administrative, accounting, financial and even skilled trades — making adjustments to their requirements,” says Shane DeCoste, Express franchise owner in Halifax, Canada. “The focus is shifting to candidates who have an aptitude to learn skills.”

There should be a boost in hiring for the second quarter, according to a ManpowerGroup survey.

Companies who have more than 100 employees (41%) are far more likely to have scrapped hiring requirements compared with those who have between 10 and 99 workers (26%) and those that have fewer than 10 workers (12%).

Use training liberally

“Whenever possible, hire for attitude and train for skill,” says Hanif Hemani, an Express franchise owner in Saskatoon, especially if employers are going to overlook a candidate’s years of experience.

But employers also need to do more. “Yes, we are seeing more businesses offer training to get either current employees or new employees the skills required for open positions. But it’s not just training – companies are looking at every possible area to identify competitive advantages and ways to attract and retain talent,” says Hemani.

Despite this trend, over half (51%) of employers believe the tight labour market will end before next year, found Express’s survey of 510 hiring decision-makers conducted between Nov. 10 and Dec. 2.

Beware of pitfalls

Lowering standards just to be able to hire people is not a good idea, says Omer Molad, cofounder and CEO at Vervoe, an AI-powered skill-testing platform.

“Desperate for staff, some employers are softening their hiring criteria to make up the numbers they need to continue operating their businesses. But I don’t believe there are any market conditions under which employers should compromise their talent standards,” he says.

“You may think I’m naïve or out of touch. I get it. You need staff right now. But the decision to lower your standards will come back to bite you.”