Andrew Sharp's  2016 article advising job seeking graduates on applying for roles got me thinking... 

What skills do employers most want from graduates today? 

Are employers satisfied that their graduate hires are skilled enough in these areas? 

Reading and researching broadly lead me to, in my opinion, the most powerful, informative, and easy to digest report available: "The Global Skills Gap in the 21st Century", from the ISE collaboration with QS Intelligence Unit. Link below for you. 

I recommend taking the time to read it however for speed and immediacy, here are the most relevant points.

1) The graduate skills gap is a global and widespread issue. 13 of the 15 key employability skills were rated to be more important than the level of satisfaction of that same graduate skill, which represents a distinct dissatisfaction from employers.

2) Top 5 most important skills for employers globally are

More detailed investigation revealed the least important to be commercial awareness, negotiation, and language skills. The one with the biggest shortfall between employer needs/expectations is on resilience and the best alignment is for teamwork.


3) There are mismatched expectation between students and employers: Students do not fully understand which skills employers value today. For example, they appear to over-value creativity and leadership skills, and undervalue the importance of flexibility/adaptability and teamwork. 


What can you do about this? 

The two most commonly used appraoches in response to this gap are:

1) changing selection processes to find candidates with more advanced skills 

2) and improving on-the-job training

Another tactic that commonly appeared was to communicate the required skills clearly to students. 30% of organisations who did this directly or by helping students to better articulate the skills that they already possess found a positive impact on their recruitment. 

Want some help with this?

> our candidate management teams support students throughout the hiring process - school leavers, apprentices, interns and graduates.

> find out about how to have high impact campus recruitment events in my webinar on July 4th. Register here

> our occupational psychologists can advise on your recruitment processes to unlock what you need from your candidates.

> our creative and comms teams can help you produce marketing that communicates clearly and directly with your target audience

Bridging these gaps is a key step towards a more productive workforce and to you making the most of today’s talented young people. Do give me a shout if you'd like to chat about any of these.