Learning & Development, Recruiting

Training New Hires Becoming More Popular as 42% of Applicants Lack Key Skills

As more Gen Z workers start entering the workforce, and more Millennials start taking on leadership roles, employers are beginning to understand the importance of upskilling workers. Not only do these generations seek out employers who offer meaningful training, but it’s also something that might become necessary in order to overcome the growing skills gap.


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In new research, from global staffing firm Robert Half, HR managers said 42% of résumés they receive, on average, are from candidates who don’t meet the job requirements. In a separate survey of workers, 78% admitted they would submit for a role when they don’t match all the qualifications.
“When it’s challenging to find candidates who check off all the boxes, companies may need to re-evaluate their job requirements to hire the right talent,” says Paul McDonald, Senior Executive Director for Robert Half—in a press release. “Workers can be trained on duties for a role, but individuals with the right soft skills and fit with the corporate culture are often harder to come by.”
Luckily for applicants, 84% of companies are open to hiring and training someone who lacks the required skills. HR managers were asked, “How open is your company to hiring and training an employee who doesn’t meet the skills requirements for a position?” Their responses:

  • Very open (14%)
  • Somewhat open (70%)
  • Not open at all (17%)*

*Responses do not total 100 percent due to rounding.
McDonald adds, “Professionals shouldn’t rule themselves out for a position if they don’t fulfill all the criteria. However, applicants need to make a strong case by highlighting past results, transferable skills and a willingness to learn.”

Additional Findings

The research also found that 62% of employees have been offered a job when they didn’t match the exact qualifications.
Among the 28 U.S. cities in the survey, Charlotte (74%), San Diego (72$), Austin, and Washington, D.C. (71% each) have the most professionals who have landed a position without meeting the requirements. Workers in Salt Lake City (89%), Atlanta (83%), Austin, and Charlotte (82% each) are most likely to apply for a role if underqualified.

About the Research

The online surveys were developed by Robert Half and conducted by independent research firms. They include responses from more than 300 HR managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees and more than 2,800 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments in 28 major U.S. cities.