What's Keeping You From Getting Hired?

"There's a disconnect between what employers think attracts employees to their company and what actually attracts employees. Go figure." So wrote my colleague Phil Stott on this blog earlier this week, in reference to a recent study that found companies are experiencing significant problems attracting and retaining top talent.

Keith Brofsky | Getty Images

Now, a new survey by TalentDrive—the team behind online resume aggregation search engine TalentFilter—adds another layer to the troubling scenario.

The report suggests a widening gap between current employers' expectations and jobseekers' actual skill sets.

In a month-long survey, 79,000 jobseekers (86 percent of whom were actively seeking employment) were asked to assess their personal skill set and attitude toward the current job market. Additionally, 20,000 hiring managers from Fortune 1000 companies were asked if they had noticed a change in the quality of candidates since the recession’s start.

Some numbers:

  • 72 percent of the job seekers surveyed were pessimistic about their career search (that's the number of respondents who indicated that they possessed the required skill set for positions, but were not getting hired.)
  • 37 percent of respondents expressed no hope that things would improve.
  • 42 percent of the HR population indicated that the recession had not only increased the quantity of candidates, but that they were finding more qualified candidates than in years past.
  • Even more aggravating, 67 percent of the jobseekers reported having between one and five interviews per month since the beginning of their job search with 75 percent of them not receiving a single job offer.

So where is this disconnect?

The answer, it appears, is in the specialization debate, a subject that is often up for discussion on Vault's Education Blog: Admit One. Should MBA students specialize or use their business school experience to build up on general management skills? Further, are employers looking for specialists or well-rounded, experienced candidates? And here's where the disconnect gets wider.

According to the report, 71 percent of HR representatives reported that more than half of their open positions were specialized. Comparatively, 61 percent of the jobseekers' group considered themselves to be "professionals with broad skill sets."

Yet, no jobs.

Why this gap?

When there are open jobs, and candidates believe they possess the required skill sets to do those jobs, why are they not getting hired? Are companies being too picky or are jobseekers experiencing a misplaced assessment of their own skills?

For specific results from the survey, visit Vault.

Aman Singh is the Corporate Responsibility Editor at Vault.com and the author of Vault's CSR blog: In Good Company. She is a New York University alum and previously wrote for The Wall Street Journal. Her area of work includes corporate diversity practices and sustainability, and how they translate into recruitment and strategic development at companies. Connect with her on Twitter @VaultCSR.

Comments? Send them to executivecareers@cnbc.com