The Myth of the “Skills Gap” and How Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) Can Help

Earlier this month the U.S. Labor Department reported that the unemployment rate crept back up to 8.2 percent, which means that some three years after the recession officially ended, millions of people are still without work.

On the other side of the issue, employers are clamoring for qualified talent, citing a “skills gap” as one of the primary reasons they can’t fill open positions. But according to Peter Cappelli, a professor of management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and director of its Center for Human Resources, these complaints are largely without merit.

In his new book Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs: The Skills Gap and What Companies Can Do About It, Cappelli suggests that business owners are to blame for the recent uptick in unemployment. By setting unrealistic demands and using computer technology that actually screens out qualified applicants, positions remain vacant while hiring managers hold out for the “perfect candidate”.

Yet to be fair, it cannot be ignored that many companies have embraced computerized screening processes out of necessity; both because they have been inundated with applications in light of the recession, and their human resources (HR) departments have been depleted. Cappelli argues that employers ought to lower their standards and be willing to train new hires to fill open positions, but other options exist that do not require these potentially costly compromises.

The Power of Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO)

If your company is overwhelmed by recruiting and hiring tasks, RPO might be the perfect solution. RPO firms essentially serve as an extension of your HR department, managing all or specific parts of the recruiting process.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of working with an RPO is the fact that their solutions are customizable depending on your specific need and available resources. They typically offer services ranging from job profiling to the on-boarding of new hires, and assume ownership of the design and management of recruiting processes and responsibility for the results.

Rather than turn to technology to help you find quality candidates, consider partnering with professionals who are experienced in every aspect of the recruitment process. Growing your business should be done with a focus on quality to ensure that each new addition offers a long-term boost to your bottom line.


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