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More than 80% of companies willing to hire candidates without required skillsets, providing training to fill roles

March 19, 2019

Companies are willing to hire applicants who don’t meet skills requirements and then train them to fill the roles, according to research released today by Robert Half International Inc. (NYSE: RHI).

A survey of HR managers found 42% of résumés they receive, on average, are from candidates who don’t meet the job requirements. And 84% of HR managers reported their company is open to hiring an employee whose skills can be developed through training.

HR managers were asked, “How open is your company to hiring and training an employee who doesn’t meet the skills requirements for a position?” Fourteen percent said their company was “very open”; 70% said “somewhat open”; and 17% were not open at all.

“When it’s challenging to find candidates who check off all the boxes, companies may need to re-evaluate their job requirements to hire the right talent,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half. “Workers can be trained on duties for a role, but individuals with the right soft skills and fit with the corporate culture are often harder to come by.”

More than half of staffing firms offer training options to temporary workers, according to Staffing Industry Analysts’ report, “North America Staffing Company Survey 2018: Training options offered to temporary workers.” The most common type is free online training, offered by 40% of staffing firms. Active training is less common; 13% use paid vendors to actively train, test and/or certify workers, while 12% use on-staff trainers.

In a separate survey of workers, 78% admitted they would submit for a role when they don’t match all the qualifications, and 62% have been offered a job when they didn’t match the exact qualifications.

Among the 28 US cities in the survey, Charlotte, NC, had the most professionals who have landed a position without meeting the requirements at 74%, followed by San Diego at 72%; Washington and Austin, Texas, both came in at 71%.

Workers in Salt Lake City are most likely to apply for a role if underqualified at 89%, followed by Atlanta at 83%, and Austin and Charlotte at 82% each.

The online surveys were developed by Robert Half and conducted by independent research firms. They include responses from more than 300 HR managers at US companies with 20 or more employees and more than 2,800 workers employed in office environments in 28 major US cities.

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