Closing the Skills Gap for Recent College Grads

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As the employment market continues to favor job seekers, there will be far fewer unemployed skilled workers. For recruiters, that means more positions will have to be filled by recent grads, or risk sitting empty for a prolonged period. Recent college grads may not have the skills and experience your organization needs, however. To overcome this skills gap, consider the following advice:

Commit to providing on-the-job training

Recently graduated students likely haven’t had much of a chance to gain experience outside of an academic setting. So-called entry level positions that require more than one year of experience exclude this group of job seekers – and that could be a major mistake. College graduates have learned important skills and are ready to put that knowledge to use.

On-the-job training can not only mold new job seekers into experienced professionals, but can also generate loyalty. Individual workers become more engaged when their employer makes an investment in them.

Encourage job seekers to gain additional certifications

If college grads didn’t get the skills and experience they need to land a job while at college, recruiters can encourage them to seek additional certifications online. There are many reputable organizations such as edX or General Assembly that allow learners to earn certifications at their own pace. This gives job seekers the opportunity to keep their search active as they continue to gain new knowledge.

Focus on career growth

To attract candidates with a potential to learn and grow in their positions, HR must make it clear that the company is willing to help employees grow as professionals. While today’s workers don’t stay at one company for as long as previous generations, employees still want to progress their skill set.

Consider writing job descriptions that show readers how the position will aid their overall career goals. In fact, if your job descriptions only talk about what the company needs, it’s a sign they need to be rewritten. Remember, job seekers have a decision to make, too. If they perceive that they are being valued, they’re likely to move on to another opportunity.


To sum up, recruiters can help college grads by:

  • Developing in-house training resources.
  • Encouraging job seekers to obtain additional certifications.
  • Writing job descriptions that focus on career growth.


This article originally appeared on the JazzHR blog.