Recruiters are confident, but candidate exaggeration and skills gaps are hindering the talent hunt.

Monster’s 2019 State of the Recruiter poll found that 95% of recruiters surveyed say they are confident they can find the right candidate for open positions and 77% consider active candidates to be high-quality. That’s the good news.

But, despite their confidence and a deep talent pool, 71% of recruiters report struggling to fill a position because of candidates’ skills gaps. As an added setback, 85% agree that candidates exaggerate skills and competencies on their resumes.

As a result, though these candidates look good on paper, recruiters need to adjust expectations to consider candidates with most or some of the necessary skills to find the right fit.

Monster, which connects people to jobs, used an online survey model to tap into the minds of 1,700 recruiters worldwide.

The survey also found that, as Gen Z enters the workforce, recruiters are seeking to better understand how to successfully engage this younger generation. For instance, although recruiters continue to rely on in-person interviews (46%) to determine if a candidate is the right fit, millennials placing the least amount of emphasis on that format (38% for these younger workers, compared to 52% for Gen X and 68% for baby boomers).

“Today’s tight labor market is making it increasingly challenging for organizations to find and hire outside talent that has all of the necessary skills and is the right fit,” said Monster CEO Scott Gutz in a company statement. “Upskilling is critical to not only retain top talent, but also to attract qualified candidates from competitors.”

Gutz adds that employers need to evolve how they view the role upskilling plays within their own organization. Further, he said, it’s crucial that recruiters think about the impact of the skills gap across generations, noting that millennials, in particular, have been most affected by job and workforce evolutions over the last decade—to the point that they can no longer rely on their previous education to prepare themselves for future success.

“We understand how important it is that companies like Monster understand both sides of the employment market to better help both sides find the right fit,” Gutz says.

Gutz explained that, for recruiters to be effective, the industry must continue to adapt to the needs of both candidates and employers, adding that the reality is that the skills and generational gaps will continue to widen in the years to come.

“But, by focusing on addressing those challenges today, companies will be able to not only identify top talent, but also retain and grow their existing employee base,” he said.

Tom Starner is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia who has been covering the human resource space and all of its component processes for over two decades. He can be reached at [email protected]

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