The future looks bright for job seekers in 2020. The national unemployment rate remains low at 3.5%, and there are millions of open positions that employers are anxious to fill.

Why then is it still such a challenge for organizations to find qualified candidates for these in-demand jobs? Why do applicants’ skills not seem to align with the market’s most pressing needs?

A major reason for this disconnect is that job seekers aren’t developing the skillsets that employers need most. They may be earning degrees and gaining knowledge in a certain field, but they aren’t learning how to solve problems that companies face today – let alone in the future.

“Some jobs require a different skillset than what job seekers offer, which is why 60% of organizations can’t find qualified cybersecurity analysts, for example,” wrote Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Becky Frankiewicz of ManpowerGroup in a recent Harvard Business Review article.

This skills gap is persistent, growing by 12% from 2018 to 2019, according to one study of human resource leaders. The leaders named these top three barriers to filling open roles: the pace of change in technology (37%), not enough skilled talent capable of moving into positions of greater responsibility (31%), and the lack of qualified candidates in the workforce (30%).

It’s also clear that companies need to adapt the way they hire in order to close the skills gap and find the right people for critical positions. For IT and technology roles, it doesn’t make sense to require specific qualifications and technical skills from candidates because they are guaranteed to change in the coming months and years.

Employers would do better to consider the broader capabilities of applicants – such as mindset, aptitudes, flexibility, and willingness to learn – when making hiring decisions. A tech-savvy, curious, and adaptable candidate will be able to develop new skills and pivot to meet the changing needs of an organization.

“Boards and C-suite executives should prioritize mindset over technical skills when they’re considering and evaluating cyber leaders,” wrote Matthew Doan, cyber and digital strategist at BCG Platinion, in a Harvard Business Review article. “Looking at what successful cyber leaders do, mindset characteristics jump out, such as having an expansive worldview, understanding how neuroscience can improve leadership, being eager to grow others, and having a voracious hunger for learning.”

York Solutions’ Managed Service Solution (MS3) helps organizations fill in-demand IT and tech roles by getting the right people in the right seats. We work closely with our partners to understand the needs of each project, then we screen, select, onboard, and support qualified candidates to build the ideal team.

Learn more about York Solutions’ Managed Service Solution (MS3).