For the longest time, companies have relied on traditional hiring—screening resumes, conducting interviews, and making hiring decisions based on subjective criteria—to determine candidates’ suitability for a job position. Not that these processes are bad in themselves, but they come with limitations including bias in hiring processes, inaccurate assessments, and a limited pool of candidates.
Post-COVID-19, the Great Resignation has proven that it takes more than just a look at job applications to get the best candidates in today’s competitive job market. The future of hiring is being shaped by new trends and technologies revolutionizing the way companies recruit and select candidates—there’s a need to rethink outdated assumptions about qualifications.
Skill-Based Hiring on the Rise—Traditional Credentialing Systems Not Enough Proof of Competency
In her argument for hiring talented individuals without perfect credentials, Trena Luong gave several reasons why experience is overrated. According to her, candidates with no direct qualifications can still succeed at different roles if given a chance to prove themselves.¹
In the actual sense of things, academic credentials are usually not sufficient to verify an individual’s ability to perform at their jobs. Schools today are designed to produce single correct answers rather than creative solutions, says Jeff Jarvis, a professor at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, in a report compiled by Pew Research Center on the future of jobs.²
Let’s face it, the “gigs” work system, especially across the IT industry, has given rise to alternative education and training programs. Many individuals in the job market today have been able to pick up skills that meet the needs of the modern business landscape—And have become masters at it.
Sadly, many HR departments still post job advertisements stating that degrees and certifications are required as a means of screening candidates. Both are expensive and have little bearing on a candidate’s competence—says a software engineering and system administration professional in the same Pew Research Center report.
Regardless, skill-based hiring continues to gain popularity up to the present. According to “The State of Skills-Based Hiring 2022” report from TestGorilla, 76 percent of employers use some skills-based hiring to find new candidates, with more than 55 percent using role-specific skills tests.³ In March 2022, Maryland also announced that college degrees will no longer be a requirement for thousands of state jobs.
Industry giants including Google, Microsoft, and IBM have all adopted the system by offering high-level positions to candidates without a college degree to attract new talent and broaden their talent pools.
The employability of verifiable skills is important because they provide concrete evidence of a candidate’s ability to perform a particular task. This evidence through portfolios or references from previous managers enables you to objectively assess a candidate’s ability to perform the job, rather than relying on subjective measures like educational background or work experience.
With diversity and inclusion being a longstanding issue in tech, the pursuit of traditional hiring practices can only heighten hiring bias because it tends to favor candidates with certain educational qualifications, backgrounds and surprisingly, names! In a field experiment on labor market discrimination conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research, NBER, White-sounding American names received 50 percent more interview calls than African-American names.⁴
On the other hand, skill-based hiring help solve this problem—judging the abilities of candidates by what they can bring to the table through their skills allows for a more diverse workforce.
Factors in Hiring That Are Equally Important As Credentials and Experience
Yes, experience and credentials shouldn’t be ruled out completely. They still matter in determining suitable fits for your job openings to a fair extent. However, to stay above in today’s competitive job market and expand your talent pipelines, here are other factors you need to start putting into consideration:
In today’s fast-paced work environment, adaptability is becoming increasingly important. It’s a no-brainer that you’ll need employees who can respond to changing demands, embrace new technologies, and thrive in dynamic work environments. Candidates who possess adaptability are valuable assets to any organization and should be given careful consideration because they can quickly learn new skills, embrace new technologies, and adjust their work processes to meet changing demands.
2. Culture Fit
In a climate when employees are increasingly looking to work in organizations where they can find a sense of purpose, there’s no better time than now to pay attention to culture fit as a hiring factor. Beyond recruiting and onboarding new employees, you’ll most likely expect to retain them for a while. Employees who fit well with an organization’s culture are more likely to stay with the company long-term. They feel a sense of belonging and connection to the organization, and this in turn leads to improved job satisfaction and lower turnover rates.
3. Positive Attitude
A positive attitude can go a long way in giving your organization the lift it needs. Sometimes, rather than a change in the tech stack and other work essentials, the organization might simply need candidates who are optimistic, have a can-do attitude, and focus on finding solutions rather than dwelling on problems. You can find gems if you focus on hiring candidates that are willing to learn, take on new challenges, and develop their skills.
4. Creative Potential
The tech industry relies heavily on innovations. You should be on the watch for candidates who show the ability to lead new ideas and solutions.
The Future of Hiring: Trends to Watch Out For
Work and hiring patterns keep changing and you shouldn’t be left out. Here are five key areas to watch out for:
- Hybrid work culture: The pandemic has accelerated the shift toward remote work, and many companies are now adopting a hybrid work culture that combines remote work and in-person work. Jobseekers are increasingly seeking and using work arrangements that allow them to work from home or from anywhere, as pivotal to settling for a job. If you must win the best hands, especially the tech-savvy generation, the hybrid work model should be at the first line of job advertisements.
- Emphasis on DEI: More than ever before, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are fast becoming top priorities for companies. There is a growing need from employees to feel that they’re accepted regardless of their race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Organizations are recognizing that having a diverse workforce not only promotes a more equitable and just society but also leads to better business—you’ll be able to attract and retain top candidates from all backgrounds and ensure you’re not missing out on valuable perspectives and insights.
- Generational differences: Today’s workforce consists of employees from various generations, each with their unique values, communication styles, and work preferences. For example, Baby Boomers are often described as loyal employees who value stability, while Generation X values a work-life balance and autonomy. Millennials and Generation Z value flexibility, technology, and opportunities for personal and professional growth. With these in mind, targeting your organization’s marketing efforts to suit the needs of each generation can expand your talent pipelines.
- Candidate experience: The candidate experience is the journey that a candidate goes through when applying for a job, from the initial job search to the onboarding process. In the social media age where information spreads fast, a positive candidate experience is crucial to reflect a good workplace brand and culture. Yes, there’s a high chance that the candidates you’re looking to work with will listen to the experience of others. So, keep your hiring procedures transparent, user-friendly, and personalized. This includes providing clear job descriptions, quick response times, and feedback throughout the hiring process.
- Modernized hiring processes: To streamline the recruitment process, reduce the time and costs associated with hiring, and ultimately, find the best candidates for the job. Companies are turning to the use of social media recruiting, video interviews, data-driven recruitment and the use of applicant tracking systems (ATS) to manage job postings and candidate communication.
EXPAND YOUR CANDIDATE POOL WITH DAVIS COMPANIES
It’s great knowing that you can expand your talent pipeline holistically by acting on the strategies you’ve read about. But let’s face it. Hiring could be a drag, taking away the time and effort you can invest in other business operations. What’s better than working with a staffing solution that can run with your goals, mission, and business needs?
With DAVIS Companies, you don’t need to worry about reflecting a positive work culture that embraces diversity and prioritizes candidate experience. We pride ourselves in transparency and responsive client interaction, offering value-add service, and streamlining the hiring process.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help!
- Trena Luong. “Experience Is Overrated — Arguments for Hiring Talented Individuals Without Perfect Credentials”. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20141006002627-272213646-experience-is-overrated-arguments-for-hiring-talented-individuals-without-perfect-credentials. Published October 6, 2014. Accessed March 20, 2023.
- Pew Research Center. “The Future of Jobs and Jobs Training”. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2017/05/03/the-future-of-jobs-and-jobs-training/. Published May 3, 2017. Accessed March 20, 2023.
- Testgorrilla. “The State of Skills-Based Hiring 2022 report”. https://www.testgorilla.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/The-State-of-Skills-Based-Hiring-2022.pdf. Accessed March 20, 2023.
- National Bureau of Economic Research. “Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination”. https://www.nber.org/papers/w9873. Accessed March 20, 2023.