Lack of competence is not the entire truth

Employers does not think rationally when they recruit

Business are crying out for competence, while unemployment in society is at a record high. Why is that? If you ask the companies, they answer that the skills gap is due to a lack of both education and labor market policy reforms. But what can the companies themselves do to better take advantage of the potential that exists in the job seekers here and now? An important first step is to get rid of outdated recruitment processes.

Almost 8 out of 10 employers find it difficult to recruit according to a survey by Svenskt näringsliv, which points out the lack of skills as the single biggest obstacle to the growth of Swedish companies. More availible spots on high school vocational programs and better conditions for labor immigration are two of the solutions requested by the organization. But how willing are the companies themselves to adapt when times change?

Long-term unemployment and skills gaps: employers must contribute to solutions

Unemployment reached new highs during the corona pandemic, but is now decreasing as the economy recovers. Even before the pandemic, however, there was a large number of people who, for various reasons, were far away from the labor market. This group runs the risk of not keeping up with the upswing, but of being left out, according to the Statistics of the Employment Service.

Skills shortages, long-term unemployment and exclusion are major political issues that affect the whole of society. Of course, an open discussion is needed about which efforts and costs should fall on business, the public sector and the individual. But there are also changes that employers can make here and now. Updated recruitment methods would be an excellent start.

It’s too time consuming to apply for jobs

The lack of competence is only one part of the truth. In order to fill their vacancies, employers need to realize that they are using recruitment methods that are not adapted to the candidates they are looking for.

Let’s start with the amount of time it takes to apply for a job. In Academic Works survey among young graduates at the beginning of their careers, a majority stated that they spend up to two and a half hours writing and submitting a job application, which they felt was far too much. Almost one in three instead considered that one to ten minutes per application would be reasonable.

Dare to refuse CVs and cover letters

Not enough that it takes too long for the candidate to apply (and for the employers to go through the applications). In addition, the selection methods are in most cases adapted for white-collar professions with high demands on writing skills – even for roles where this knowledge is not needed.

Take store personnel as an example. Is it really reasonable that a CV and cover letter are required to even get past the first step in the recruitment process? How many qualified candidates are sifted out – or refrain from applying altogether – because they are asked for outdated documents that say very little about how they would succeed in the role if given the chance? The employer who dares to go ahead and implement a document-free recruitment process can both widen their selection of possible candidates and shorten their time to hire. Of course, this gives a real head start in the competition for competence.

CV-free recruitment also reduces the risk of people being selected due to prejudice or other irrelevant factors (such as gaps in the CV, to link back to the problem of long-term unemployment). And what employer does not want to implement an equal and open-minded recruitment?


Find the best recruitment process for your company with out tips and tricks. Read more here.

What will recruitment look like going forward? What can we expect to see more of in the future? Read more about this topic here Rekryteringsguide: Framtidens rekrytering

Ease on the experience requirements – educate on site

Many of those who lost their jobs during the pandemic have either gone on to studying or changed industries. The hotel and restaurant sector is probably the most obvious example. For employers in the industry, this has meant that they can no longer demand several years of experience and exactly the right educational background, but must accept a longer introduction where new employees learn the job on the job.

This challenge also requires more accurate recruitment methods than the traditional ones with CVs and personal letters. Instead of staring blindly at what the candidate has done in the past, employers need to value qualities such as learning ability, motivation and interest in the profession. Why not have the candidates undergo short (evidence-based) personality tests and answer a tailor-made questions to screen out the best suited?


Curious about more current trends in recruitment?

Trendreport: how to recruit for the future here you will find tips and inspiration about tests, videos, open-minded recruitment and other highly current topics in recruitment. Read it today!

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