For the first time since CBS measured the job market (2003), there are more jobs than there are unemployed people in The Netherlands. The talent shortage is making it tough to find skilled workers in the financial sector—and it’s expected to drive hiring costs through the roof.
There are multiple ways how companies react to the talent shortage. Some companies have increased their salaries or started offering additional perks (mostly corporates). Others are taking a different approach to remove hiring barriers: Accepting candidates with various backgrounds and significantly relaxing their job requirements.
… And some companies are just hoping the right candidate will eventually come their way (still too many, unfortunately).
Significantly relaxing job requirements is for companies part of a wider creative effort: finding great candidates in unexpected places—without lowering standards. While we do see these efforts in many sectors, many companies we talk to (in the financial sector) still come with a long list of requirements. Where we ask the question: What is a “must” for the job and what is a “Nice to have”?
So, here’s why you should rethink your job requirements to widen your talent pool, and how you can successfully adopt this approach.
With fewer active candidates, tight job requirements make it harder to hire
With fewer candidates actively looking for work, a demanding list of requirements on your job posts puts you at a serious competitive disadvantage—shutting out skilled applicants who lack formal experience and/or high grades. As more and more companies adjust their requirements, those who don’t may be missing out big time.
Required vs. preferred
Within the financial sector a lot of companies tend to have a long list of requirements, asking for “Above average grades”, “Relevant work experience” and “Extracurricular activities”. Of course, we all want the best candidates. We all want candidates who don’t need too much guidance. But, in practice it shows that previous work experience and high grades isn’t the recipe for success. The fit with the team, the willingness to learn, the ability to adapt and how quick someone learns, is what often makes a candidate a successful hire.
Relaxing job requirements doesn’t mean lowering your standards, it means rethinking what is actually a requirement, and what’s just an added bonus.