Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /customers/1/d/3/techregister.co.uk/httpd.www/wp-content/plugins/newsmax-core/includes/actions.php on line 143

Can’t hire? Can’t get hired? How to avoid the “Great Mismatch” trap!

The job market is weird.

I’m hearing from employers that they’re struggling to hire. Job ads bring in a fraction of the number of candidates they used to, and the candidates who do apply tend to be unqualified, at least more so than in the past.

Meanwhile, prospective employees say it’s hard to find work and struggle to get hired.

There are lots of job openings and plenty of people looking for work. But companies just can’t seem to find the right people, and applicants apply but get ghosted by the companies they apply to. Tim Brackney, president and COO of the management consulting firm RGP, calls it the “Great Mismatch.”

The problem is especially acute in IT and in IT specialties like cybersecurity.

Even before the pandemic, IT has suffered from a chronic skills shortage. Now, post-covid, the problem is getting critical for many organizations.

How is this possible? What’s going on?

Why is it hard to hire?

There are over 11 million job openings in the United States right now. So why can’t companies fill them?


One reason there are so many openings in the first place is that companies are struggling with employee retention. As a result, everyone is short-staffed — including hiring managers, who are often too busy to spend the right amount of time hiring the best people.

People have dropped out of the workforce in some sectors — quit their jobs without the intention of getting new ones.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the labor force participation rate at a 1.0 percentage point below its February 2020 level.


Also: US unemployment is currently at a 53-year low. That means fewer people are looking for jobs.


During the pandemic, many employees concluded that they wanted better work-life balance, jobs, pay, and benefits.

That could lead many to apply for jobs they’re not qualified for, which can partly explain the difficulty in finding qualified candidates and the difficulty of overreaching applicants to get hired.

Why is it hard to get hired?

Job seekers report that they’re struggling not only to get hired but also that employers don’t even respond to their job applications, cover letters, or resumes. 

There are two main reasons why applicants struggle to get hired. One is that employees are picky. They want a new job to represent advancement, not a lateral move. They want flex time, remote work, and higher salaries to keep up with inflation.

According to Spiceworks Ziff-Davis, over one-third of IT workers globally will look for a new job this year. However, nearly a quarter won’t even apply if the job isn’t remote.


That means non-remote jobs aren’t getting many applicants, and remote jobs that pay well are getting far too many.

The second reason is: Many companies are relying too heavily on automated hiring solutions.

These tools are great, but no substitute for taking the time to really think through each prospective candidate. Unfortunately, due to this over-reliance, many qualified candidates are being overlooked because AI is weeding them out for bogus criteria.

I think the “Great Mismatch” results from too much change in the workplace too soon. And it will go away as everybody adjusts to the new normal.

You can start adjusting now.

What employers should do

Spend much more time on hiring, cast a much wider net, and consider candidates whose job experience may not match exactly.

Go ahead and use automated tools, but don’t lean too heavily on them. Instead, take the time to really consider a wide range of applicants and think through whether they might actually be a good fit.

Focus on hiring better candidates and then focus on employee retention.

Make them an offer they can’t refuse. Offer competitive salaries, flex hours, and remote work, and make yours a great company to work for to the greatest extent possible.

What employees should do

Take a long-term view of your career. Then, don’t wait until you’re unemployed to start looking for your next gig.

Finding the perfect position might take you six months to a year, so it’s best to start looking now.

Make sure your skills are up-to-date and transferrable. And if they’re not, get the training and certifications needed to find the job you want.

Consider the hot jobs where there are skill shortages and identify which you would be interested in, and start training for those jobs.

Always be “networking” with colleagues in your field at trade events and other professional settings while you’re still employed, so you may be considered when a job opens up.

Embrace “career cushioning,” which means developing at least one side hustle and building your income outside your primary job.

The “Great Mismatch” can be overcome.

But only with long-term thinking and spending way more time on the hiring or job-hunting process.

Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.