Perhaps one way to explain why so many employers can’t find qualified talent is the fact that qualified means something different than it did five years ago.
According to new research from CareerBuilder, 18 percent of employers said they have increased their educational requirements for jobs over the last five years. Manufacturing and Information Technology firms were the most likely to report this, at 30 percent and 27 percent respectively. More than half of employers (54 percent) reported that they require an associate’s degree or higher for their positions; 44 percent require a four-year degree or higher.
The reasoning for the stricter requirements makes sense, given that employers who said they hire college-educated workers over workers with only a high school degree see improved productivity, higher revenues and increased customer loyalty.
Despite these findings, companies that are struggling to find workers who meet their qualifications may want to consider hiring for cultural fit or potential and training employees on the job. After all, the cost of leaving a position unfilled could very well overshadow the cost of investing in employee training and development, such as on-the-job training, tuition reimbursement or mentoring opportunities.