Is it now high time to redefine tech job requirements for key positions in the tech sector?
Consider the case of Claire.
Claire never finished college. However, her creative streak and tech-savviness enabled her to work part-time as a graphic designer. Impressed with her work, companies started to take notice, and Claire eventually landed a job as a graphic designer in a startup tech firm.
Five years later and Claire finds herself at a crossroads. Still creative and highly skilled than ever, she decided to train and get certified in UI/UX design, which is one of the most in-demand tech skills to date. She wants to use this upskilling to apply to one of the big tech companies eventually.
Scanning various job ads, Claire ultimately finds herself feeling discouraged. This is because most of the job ads for a mid-level tech position require a college degree and 10 years of work experience–both of which Claire did not have. Despite being so good at what she does, the minimum tech job requirements do not seem to favor her.
Many other job seekers often find themselves in the same sad predicament as Claire. Most of the time, especially in the IT sector, they find themselves at a disadvantage for not possessing formal degrees or having many years of working experience under their belt.
Nevertheless, in this rapidly changing labor market and the growing disconnect between what tech skills are needed in the industry versus those being offered by the academe, one can’t help but ask if degrees really play a big part in IT staffing. How would a bootcamp candidate with relevant real-world experience stack up? More so, can someone with years of experience show a massive difference in performance over someone with potential?
Job Fit Matters in Hiring the Right Candidate
If 2021 and 2022 are years of the so-called “Great Resignation,” analysts predict that 2023 onwards will be the era of the “Great Rehire.”
The Great Rehire is predicted to be a period characterized by the mass hiring of talent, especially in the IT space. This is a time when the job market is expected to bounce back from the “Great Resignation” era. Companies are expected to hire more talent and reshuffle roles in the company.
During this period, job seekers will have a myriad of options as they choose their ideal company based on diversity, culture, flexibility, and salary, among other possibilities.
But what do we make of job seekers like Claire? Where do they position themselves in this great opportunity where their skills may be highly relevant?
Tech Job Requirements: Redefining the Ideal Candidate
The Great Rehire will ultimately require staffing firms to double their efforts. With job seekers holding the reins because of the many options in the labor market, recruitment firms need to hasten recruitment processes, bring remote recruiting into the mainstream, and let go of outmoded recruitment practices which could impede the hiring of top talent.
This includes redefining job requirements to be able to cater to the demands of today’s industry.
Education Requirements and Work Experience
Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Michael Dell, and David Geffen. None of these tech giants have college degrees.
The question is, why are staffing firms or companies insisting job candidates have one?
In the past, many hiring managers and staffing firms use university degrees as shortcuts in assessing if job seekers possess specific skills such as aptitude, good communication skills, and other soft skills such as being a leader and a good team player, ability to focus, and other related skills. Because of this bias, job seekers who do not have a degree are often overlooked, even if they are equally able to focus, lead, communicate, and work seamlessly with others.
An interesting study from the University of New Hampshire revealed that CEOs with college degrees from prestigious universities were no better at their job when compared to C-suite leaders with no college degrees.
Read more: 6 Reasons You Might Lose a Job Offer Due to a Background Screening, 10 Common Misconceptions About Employee Background Checks
Are Universities Giving Tech the Talent It Needs?
A 2018 analysis from the World Economic Forum (WEF) gave a significant foreboding of the nuances of today’s labor market and the need for hiring managers and staffing agencies to redefine job requirements, especially in tech.
According to the WEF in its 2018 report on the future of jobs, 2022 will see at least 54 percent of workers needing a significant amount of additional training to confront workforce demands. Meanwhile, the European Commission in 2020 foretold the shortage of at least 750,000 employees in the tech industry despite yearly graduates being churned by European universities.
The truth of the matter is the education system may not have yet fully adjusted itself to the demands of the tech labor market and the relevant skills needed for individuals to succeed in the IT field.
That said, hiring managers and staffing firms must proactively redefine tech job requirements by assessing applicants based on factors aside from having a university degree or logging in at least a decade of work experience.
Focusing on a Candidate’s Potential
Staffing firms must understand that in today’s labor market, not everything is in black and white.
You must now learn to gravitate toward evaluating a job seeker’s aptitude to learn instead of just considering where they got previous experience from and for how long they have been doing what you expect them to do for a new role.
Instead of focusing on a degree or years of experience, it would be best to invest in recruitment tools that assess if the job candidate has the specific skills to master the highly specialized nature of the work they will perform.
Human resources teams should also find it worthwhile to invest in upskilling their employees. This initiative would be very beneficial for your business because it future-proofs your organization and assures you that the skills of your tech people are constantly updated and relevant.
More importantly, upskilling your employees also bridges the skills gap between the tech sector and the academe, which often finds its skills obsolete in the face of rapidly expanding technological breakthroughs.
Upskilling also builds a sense of trust between employer and employee. Employees feel more valued and are therefore more engaged at work.
By focusing on a candidate’s potential instead of just looking at their credentials upfront, you also create a labor market that is more inclusive, diverse, and meritocratic. Be open to removing non-critical job requirements as long as it does not compromise the quality of your new hires.
Look at your company’s current needs and redefine your tech job requirements accordingly. You hire people for what they can do and not for what they have already done.
ACQUIRE TOP TECH TALENT IN HALF THE TIME, THE DAVIS WAY.
Consider collaborating with Davis Companies to find the right IT professional for your company. Specializing in talent placement in manufacturing, engineering, technology, accounting, and finance, Davis Companies aims to build genuine relationships with employer partners to solve their staffing needs by offering value-added services and making the hiring process shorter and more efficient.
Reach out to us today for your tech job requirements, and we will take care of them the Davis way.