Skills Gap: The Global Secret That No One Talks About
You are young. Check. You are skilled. Check. You are talented. Check. You have experience. Check.
But you are living paycheck to paycheck.This is the best-case scenario. Because something is telling us that you may not even have a job. And while you are struggling to find a job or change to a new one that is a better fit to your skills and dreams, someone, somewhere is struggling to find an employee just like you, or even you.
Yet, that someone cannot find you. And the position is left open. And you are left without a job. A little bit ironic, don’t you think? No matter what you think about this, it holds true that this recent phenomenon termed as “the skills gap” is here. Alive and kicking.
Skills Gap Definition and Statistics
The skills gap, in a nutshell, is a shortage of right employees with the right skills. That’s what many employers claim, and that is what statistics vividly confirm. And while European youth unemployment rate is rising rapidly, reaching 5,6 million, about 27% of employees reported having left a vacancy open during 2014 because they could not find the right fit. Shockingly true.
Clearly this does not equally apply to all countries and for all jobs across Europe. Some countries experience more difficulty filling jobs, like Germany, Denmark and Finland compared to Belgium, Greece and Iceland.
This can be party explained by the fact that in some countries the number of skilled workers exceeds the quantity of jobs available, whereas in others it is the other way around.
Bridging and Closing the Skills Gap in the Hospitality Industry
Although the job market needs may vary among countries, there is a considerable skills gap in certain sectors and industries throughout Europe. So, if you are chasing a career in the hospitality industry (whether you are a chef, a hotel receptionist or a bartender) or in the skilled trade sector (a baker, a butcher or electrician) you are wanted. Alive and working.
No matter where you are located, since more and more employers are broadening their search for skilled employees outside of their local region. Ok, perhaps things are not all that simple. There is no such thing as unconditional love, let alone unconditional employment. But before digging deeper in what your prospective employer may want from you, you should ask yourself two basic questions.
First of all, would you be willing to leave your country, family and friends for 6 months, at least? If yes, please do not proceed to the second question. Because if you have managed to read this far, this means that you are fluent in English. And this is basically the second question.
We can now clearly listen to your inner voices, to all those “why’s”.
Why should you leave from the comfort of your home and life? If you don’t have a job right now, it should go without saying. No matter how cliché it is: “you are not going to succeed while sitting on your couch” – to put it politely. Besides, you have nothing to lose, but everything to gain. Yes, another cliché, but gladly very true.
Especially, if your applying for a temporary or seasonal job. Just think of the professional and personal skills you will gain from working abroad, all the new insights and different perspectives. New culture, new people, new habits and customs. It is an adventure after all. A paid adventure. Which is better than no salary. And no adventure at all.
However, the hardest (and softest part) starts now. You have decided that you are willing to find a job outside your country, which is a big step. But what exactly is it that will bring your employer one step closer to you? Because one thing is having a lack of available candidates, and a completely other not finding employees with the necessary skills. And this is also a big part of the skills gap.
And it happens a lot. Like 34% a lot.
So, let’s try to figure out whether you have the skills. But bear in mind that even if you don’t, you can always learn, cultivate and develop them.
So, no need to take a big breath before continue reading.
What are the key skills that employers want to see?
Employers and HR managers mostly like to divide your employable skills into two categories, the so-called hard skills and soft skills.
Hard skills are the necessary skills required to perform a job, which are developed through studies, training or prior work experience.
On the other hand, soft skills are interpersonal skills that have to do with the way you interact with other people, which is why they are often called: “people skill”.
For the sake of better understanding the soft and hard segregation, let’s take a hypothetical scenario.
Let’s say you were a chef, then hard skills would be things like hand and knife skills, baking and sauce-making techniques. While soft skills are things like time and stress management, problem-solving and ability to work in a team.
What are the most important soft skills?
Although hard skills obviously vary across job sectors, there is a set of soft skills that almost all employers are universally seeking. Maybe not in the same order but more or less the same ones. So, now it is time to look inward and evaluate your soft skills by asking yourself the following questions:
- How good am I at listening, writing and speaking effectively? (a.k.a communications skills)
- Am I working confidently within a group, and do I like to relate to my co-workers? (teamwork ability)
- How sharpened is my ability to identify key issues and address them? (analytical / research skills)
- Do I have some basic computer skills like word-processing and using the Internet? (computer / technical literacy)
- How proactive am I putting forward ideas and solutions? (self-motivation).
- If you don’t have all of the above-mentioned skills or at least not to the desired extent, then all is not lost.
There is nothing you cannot learn. That is what courses (both online and offline), training and self-practice are for.
In case, you have ticked all basic soft skills, first of all, congratulations. But what happens if you still lack the hard skills that would make you most employable? Well, what works for those missing soft skills also works for you. Training is an option, and so are internships. But, the good news is that lack of hard skills is not really considered a barrier.
Most HR managers agree that the candidates with the soft skills have a very good chance of acquiring any missing hard skills.
How MovinHand can help?
Now that you have a lot of things figured out, after all, those why’s and what’s, which have been largely answered a big and loud HOW gets stuck in your mind.
HOW will I identify jobs available?
HOW will I know if the company I am applying for is ‘serious’?
HOW will I move to a foreign country?
Just to let you know we have all the answers. MovinHand is a web-based platform that focuses on connecting high-skilled candidates (firstly, at hospitality industry) with luxury hotels around the world. But our responsibility doesn’t end when you will find the job. We will actively help you with the relocation process through practical advice and action steps.
So, if you ever need a helping hand, it’s at the end of your fingers, just let us know.