The Talent Gap in Tech: Real or Imagined?


by Riia O’Donnell

In a recent article in the UK’s TechRepublic the question was raised: if there is a shortage of skilled tech workers, why are so many recent tech grads unemployed? The question has left analysts at a loss. How can nearly 12% of recent grads looking for work not have the skill set to fill open positions, when 78% of companies report lack of candidates with digital skills is holding their company back?

Unrealistic Expectations

The answer may be that recruiters are looking for employees who simply don’t exist. The possibility of finding a candidate who is an exact match for your opening and who will literally hit the ground running with zero training is virtually impossible. But for many recruiters, some of whom are not tech-savvy, accepting anything less is unthinkable. They believe computer language is similar to the spoken word: you either speak the language or you don’t. They don’t understand that an employee with decades of experience and a dozen languages in their repertoire can hit the ground walking really fast, then running in no time.

Advertisements for tech candidates can turn off applicants immediately. Laundry lists of skills required in order to be considered are counter-productive. The candidate may have 14 of your 17 requirements (if they’ve bothered to read that far down) but may move on to the next ad assuming those last 3 are deal-breakers. Recruiters believe those lists are helping them find the exact match, but more likely they’re excluding many candidates who could competently do the work, but won’t even apply because they feel they won’t be considered.

“Growth” Industry

While tech as an industry will continue to grow into the foreseeable future, tech workers are all about personal growth as well. The work itself demands continuous learning and tech workers are anxious to see what’s new, how they can learn it, how they can apply it to what they do, or how it can make their lives easier. With an applicant pool ripe for learning, most companies are missing out on talent if they stick with the “these are our requirements” mentality.

Often if a candidate sees an opening that is an exact fit for their skills, they’re won’t apply believing there’s no potential for development. If they’re currently employed, what would be the benefit of trading desks, particularly if they’re happy with their current employer? What tech applicants look for when making a change is the opportunity to grow their skill set while helping their company and its growth at the same time.

How to Lose the List

For recruiters the challenge is to list as few “requirements” as necessary, but still find skilled candidates. This is where Rankdone shines. Whether you’re looking for experience or potential, pre-screening for skill sets lets the candidate know you’re more interested in their talent than their resume. Rankdone testing lets you know the candidate has the skills you need before you schedule a single interview. For the applicant, they see that you’re looking for talented individuals, not checking off items from your list of requirements. To bridge the talent gap in tech, recruiters only need one tool: Rankdone skills testing. Contact us today.


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