finding the perfect candidate with the right skills

Finding Talent in the Skills Gap

Sixty-eight percent of HR professionals have reported dealing with a talent shortage in the last 12 months, according to a recent SHRM survey. Most people would agree that’s a significant skills gap, but what does it actually mean for hiring? And what can we do about it?

Largest Needs

There are two major types of proficiency that seem most prominently underpopulated: applied skills and basic skills/knowledge. Here are the top five shortages for each category:

graph showing applied skills shortages among job applicants


graph showing basic skills and knowledge shortage among job applicants


In addition to these hard-to-find qualities, many others have become necessary for a range positions within the past year, several of which require new certifications or credentials. According to SHRM, changing technology, organizations’ growth, changing customer/client expectations, new product/service development, and business expansion into new markets are the strongest factors driving the need for these new competencies.

graph showing new skills required for full-time positions


What You Can Do

Clearly, there are some pretty big gaps to deal with. And while it might make you feel a little better to know you aren’t the only person struggling to fill open positions, what you need most are strategies to overcome these difficulties and find great candidates.

One way to do this is by targeting the right audience. Posting a graphic designer job ad where anyone from construction personnel to dental assistants will read it, for example, is likely to result in a lot of unqualified applications. Instead, focus your attention on aggressively pursuing only candidates in your target industry, especially if you are hiring for a hard-to-fill a position.

Narrowing your focus using a niche job board (like one of our 56 sites) is a great way to filter out unqualified applicants. To increase your pool of potential new hires, run a resume search to catch passive job seekers. With a select group of capable candidates at your fingertips, all that’s left is to pick the best fit for your company!


Have a question for our team or something you’d like to share? Are you an expert in your field and interested in contributing to our blog? Just send an email to

By Erin Coursey, iHire | August 17, 2016