By 2030, there will be more than 85 million high-skill jobs to fill. But don’t break into a sweat just yet — when it comes to skill-based hiring and job-hunting, this change is a good thing, for everyone.
Rachel Ayotte — September 27, 2023
By 2030, there will be more than 85 million high-skill jobs to fill. So how can the workforce, used to using GPAs and impressive degrees as markers of success, find its footing in this huge shift?
Don’t break into a sweat just yet — when it comes to skill-based hiring and job-hunting, this change is a good thing, for everyone.
Skill-based work is — you guessed it — all about bringing specific mastery, or skills into the workplace.
With the rise of rapid technological advancements, rising inflation, a demand for remote work, and an ever-looming recession, job specialization has become more necessary than ever before. The workforce must adopt this new kind of hiring and retention.
Skill-based work is beneficial for the health and longevity of many organizations, and for long-term employability— here’s why:
Hiring candidates based on their skills, rather than their accolades, is five times more predictive of job performance than hiring for education.
For candidates, this is great news, too: Employees can use concrete achievements (think measurable KPIs) at work to advocate for a higher salary, a promotion, or even bonuses (if applicable).
By ditching the Ivy League school accolades and GPAs as part of the employee screening process, employers have a wider selection of applicants to choose from.
Plus, skill-based hiring is an efficient tool for bringing more diversity into the workforce — a benefit for everyone. Those who identify as BIPOC, disabled, neurodivergent, and candidates from varied socio-economic backgrounds, for example, have a better chance of getting hired.
When advertising for skill-based positions, employers are more likely to fill position vacancies faster. This means employers can spend less money on finding the right talent and onboarding. For employees, this means employers have more room in their budget for salaries, bonuses, and other perks.
More than 80% of workers’ decisions to quit involved their desire to learn more and climb the ranks, but an employer’s inability to provide opportunities to do so internally.
Skill-based work can provide a clear career trajectory, which is beneficial for both employees looking to grow, and employers looking to hold onto their talent.
Integrating skill-based workforce practices into the workplace happens at three different levels: developing and advertising the job, hiring applicants, and retaining them.
Skill-based work all starts well before hiring, during the development and advertisement of the job itself. To nail it, be sure to:
When sorting through applications, and identifying top candidates, ask interviewers to participate in objective methods of screening:
For more subjective skills like “cultural fit” or interest in the organization, develop an objective set of standards or rubric for hiring managers to fill out, which serve to score and quantify the information.
To become invaluable to employers, expand their job pool, create a more sustainable career path for themselves, and develop a competitive advantage when it comes to hiring, it’s essential to develop skills that you can leverage in your role (no surprise here).
When deciding which skills to learn and hone, reflect on past job experiences and ask yourself a few key questions as outlined in the blink Own It. Love It. Make It Work.:
In addition, regardless of your past roles, try and identify skills that might remain economically viable for years to come. These are skills, according to Humans are Underrated, that always come in handy and you can fall back on regardless of your role, industry, or focus.
For most of us, this is a tricky one.
If you need help identifying what skills you’ve learned from past experiences, try experimenting with new technology. In Long Life Learning, Michelle R. Weise recommends taking advantage of AI-powered guidance systems, which can help pinpoint potential skills you may have learned on the job, but didn’t realize.
Once you’ve identified what skills you have and can build on, along with what skills you need to learn and develop, it’s time to get to work.
In order to upskill, follow these best practices:
Skill-based work will require a bit of an adjustment — especially for employers used to hiring based on GPA, and candidates that have invested in creating spotless resumes. But, the move to a skill-based workforce, in the long run, will keep both employers and employees thriving and evolving.
Rachel Ayotte, the author of this article, is a creative and savvy Boston-based freelance writer with a background in traditional journalism, book publishing, SEO marketing, copywriting, and UX writing. When she’s not writing or editing (or reading!), you can find her baking chocolate chip cookies, running, or needle-felting.
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