Entry level job requires experience.. what?

You’re on a public job board or searching the internet for an entry level job. Maybe you’re fresh out of school or you’re trying to switch careers. You see a job post that seems absolutely perfect, and when you look over the candidate requirements, you see:

-2-5 years experience

-Degree in such and such field

-Master’s degree preferred

-Must have experience with some particular database

What is up with that? You may not have all of the hard skills that directly relate to this job, but you have plenty of soft skills that line up with their requirements. However, because you don’t have the immediate skill set, it seems pointless to apply for the job knowing that you’ll be overlooked anyways, and transitioning out of the field you’re already in seems more and more hopeless.

The reality is that the current systems companies use to hire people has shown to be more and more flawed as technology has rapidly advanced.

Companies still ask for your resume, three references, and a cover letter, but it’s not yielding results for the average young adult either just coming into the workforce or switching careers after college, which is actually statistically most likely to happen. According to edX, only 21% use most or all of their college degrees for their post-college work.

So if most people aren’t going to use their degrees for their work, then why is the current job hiring market still like that? Why are we still basing our hiring methods on hard skills and experience when it doesn’t benefit the average worker from gaining experience nor the company from investing in quality workers who they can train and mold into what they want? What benefits both a company and a potential employee would be a change in the method of screening potential employees. That can be done by using technology to enable companies to hire potential candidates based more on soft skill than hard skill requirements.

What benefits both a company and a potential employee would be a change in the method of screening potential employees.

What exactly are soft and hard skills? Hard skills are direct skills that relate to a job such as accounting, systems analysis, or data programming. Soft skills are interpersonal skills that help build you at your workplace such as communication, teamwork, and dependability. Some hard skills are a necessity for the field you are going into. While someone can pick up the basics of bookkeeping through an online class, they can’t turn around and know how to audit a SEC client from taking a day class. However, many hard skills can be taught on the job and will come as a person gains experience. Plus, for those applying for entry-level work to gain experience, their soft skills should set them apart as a candidate rather than purely their technical knowledge.

As long as someone has a basic knowledge of the job, a candidate’s willingness and ability to learn should be placed higher than their immediate knowledge upon hiring for those entry-level positions

Companies need to be more realistic with their entry-level work. They need to tailor their expectations and provide the opportunities for people to grow. As we see more and more, a college degree isn’t everything. As long as someone has a basic knowledge of the job, a candidate’s willingness and ability to learn should be placed higher than their immediate knowledge upon hiring for those entry-level positions. By growing and shaping the next generation of workers, we push to a better future. And as the hiring process is now, we are limiting the growth of young adults and pushing them into low paying, no growth jobs if we don’t learn how to use technology to see the potential in people and see the value that soft skills bring to the workplace for those looking to gain experience.

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