Nearly 9 in 10 Hiring Decision-Makers Say Employees Need to Refresh Skills to Stay Competitive

Tamara E. Holmes
·3 min read
Nearly 9 in 10 Hiring Decision-Makers Say Employees Need to Refresh Skills to Stay Competitive
Nearly 9 in 10 Hiring Decision-Makers Say Employees Need to Refresh Skills to Stay Competitive

For workers thinking about changing jobs, the secret to success may lie not only in upgrading their skills, but also in communicating their skillset to prospective employers.

More than 8 in 10 hiring decision-makers — 86% — said employees must learn new skills or refresh their old ones in order to advance in their careers, according to newly-released research by staffing company Express Employment Professionals. On top of that, 88% said employees must refresh their hard skills just to stay competitive.

Finding a way to get those skills could be critical to a worker’s advancement.

Some employers willing to provide training

Companies are well aware of the importance of having a skilled workforce.

In fact, 86% of hiring decision-makers said it is critical for companies to reskill or train their current workforce. In addition, 83% believe their companies can save more money by reskilling current employees than recruiting new employees who have the skills they need.

Yet, not all companies have taken the necessary steps to make sure their workers get the training necessary for the company’s success. Though 80% of hiring decision-makers said their companies need employees with new skills, only 55% said their firms were currently offering courses or training programs to help employees obtain them.

Job seekers must communicate the right message

For those with skills that are in demand, this could be a good time to explore their job options. An October survey found that 62% of companies plan to refill vacancies caused by the pandemic in the next six months, and the employment outlook could rebound next year.

Workers may also have more job options than ever before in the wake of the pandemic, as an increase in the prevalence of remote working is allowing many employees to work for companies that are outside of their geographic area.

Standing out in the job market requires workers to express themselves effectively to potential employers, according to new research by career resource ResumeLab — one way to do that is to emphasize their skill set.

According to a ResumeLab survey, more than 9 in 10 résumé writers — 95% — said job seekers should create a separate key skills section on their résumés. However, a majority — 59% — said it’s a bad idea to grade your skills, such as saying you have “advanced technology skills.”

On the flip side, 90% said job seekers should avoid listing hobbies and interests, while 89% said they should skip including their college grade point average if they have more than five years of work experience.

Among the other suggestions résumé writers had for job seekers:

  • 95% said include a link to your LinkedIn profile

  • 89% said write a résumé objective or profile

Methodologies: Express Employment Professionals commissioned market research company The Harris Poll to survey 1,005 hiring decision-makers between April 21, 2020 and May 6, 2020. Hiring decision-makers were defined as U.S.-based adults who had significant involvement in the hiring process of a company that has more than one employee. All respondents were either employed full time, self-employed or furloughed, laid off or given zero hours in the previous 60 days (the latter of whom were employed full time or self-employed prior to that time).

ResumeLab surveyed 97 professional résumé writers who are certified by The Professional Association of Résumé Writers & Career Coaches.