Skills-Based Employment Can Help To Find “Invisible Workers”

According to research, a skills shortage of some kind is currently affecting almost 70% of firms. The issue has only gotten worse as a result of numerous people leaving the workforce due to the Covid epidemic.

According to our research, millions of workers are passed over for positions that they are qualified to fill for reasons that are mostly unrelated to their skill set. For instance, they can be handicapped, struggle with mental health issues, or have a criminal history. Evidence suggests that there are millions of “invisible” workers throughout the economy who are now underutilized by businesses.

A skills-based approach

A skills-based strategy, according to consulting firm Deloitte’s recent Human Capital Trends report, would aid in bridging that gap. Through the OneTen project, a collaboration established in 2020 by 37 founding corporations to support one million Black people advance despite not possessing a four-year degree, Deloitte has contributed to its dissemination.

This is a crucial objective, as evidenced by research from Berkeley, where it was found that Asian and white males consistently outperform Black men and women without a college degree. Indeed, the researchers discovered that the earnings of young Black men without a college degree are roughly half those of their Asian American and White contemporaries.

The researchers say that because earnings are linked to other outcomes like health, involvement with the criminal justice system, and family development, they should be studied. “As a result, we start early focusing on the non-college population. As a result of their extremely low salaries, they are already economically disadvantaged. There could be serious repercussions if there is a substantial racial or ethnic earnings gap in this population.
According to the experts, a million or so young people enter the workforce each year with only a high school diploma. This is a concern because the work market now demands more and more advanced talents just to make an ordinary wage. Black and LatinX people are disproportionately overrepresented in this category.

Systemic barriers

The team behind OneTen thinks a more skills-based approach would be more equitable and efficient for firms than the credentials that are so frequently used as the basis of recruiting today.

They emphasize how, much too frequently, we mistakenly believe that qualifications and skills are interchangeable. As a result, people without credentials are almost always chosen before those with credentials, even if the latter have more valuable talents to give. This has put those without credentials at a distinct disadvantage in the labor market.

With an estimated 70 million Americans “skilled through alternate ways,” there is a sizable untapped market. In addition, these individuals have far lower upward mobility than their degree-holding colleagues.

Mapping skills

The American Navy serves as an illustration of what is possible. Their MilGears platform enables service personnel and veterans to record any skills picked up through school, training, or on-the-job experience. The O*NET framework is then connected to these abilities, connecting them to jobs throughout the economy.

Using the website, service personnel may keep track of their qualifications, identify any skill gaps they may have, and use their profiles to successfully plan for their post-military employment.

Credentials, of course, give employers a quick way to assess a person’s skills, so it’s critical that new and easier methods are developed to glean information about the skills candidates possess and the learning we undertake regardless of where and how we do it. The MilGears platform serves as an illustration of how this could develop.

A smarter approach

Deloitte is unmistakably of the opinion that employers can also profit from a skills-based strategy. For instance, workers are increasingly performing work across boundaries and outside the strict parameters of their job descriptions.

Additionally, they think that a skills-based approach greatly increases the likelihood that talent will be placed efficiently, increasing the likelihood that talent will be maintained as their skills are more effectively used and developed.

Indeed, 75% of CEOs who participated in the skills-based organization poll stated that democratizing and enhancing access to chances may be achieved through hiring, promoting, and deploying personnel based on abilities.

Of course, using degrees and other credentials as a gauge of aptitude is a poor way to truly comprehend what people are capable of, therefore there are advantages for employers in emphasizing abilities over credentials. Since resumes no longer need to include names, years of experience, or other factors that could sway our judgment, a skills-based approach to hiring promises to be not just quicker and more efficient but also fairer.

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