Skills-based hiring is a buzzword. Have you tried it? 

Back in the early 2000s, employers started to add degree requirements to job descriptions, even to jobs that didn’t need them in the past. In turn, this created “degree inflation” where potentially solid applicants for jobs are screened out. From here, the opportunity gap grew and upward mobility became more difficult. 

After the Great Recession and, more recently, the pandemic, the pendulum has started to swing back. Employers need skilled talent to fill open positions, and many are willing to give skills-based hiring a try.

Here’s why:

  • Larger talent pool – When employers keep the degree requirement, they eliminate potentially qualified candidates. In Indiana for example, employers often exclude up to 95% of Hoosiers from hiring consideration by not implementing a skills-based approach.
  • Money saved – Having a degree does not guarantee candidates have the right technical skills to complete certain tasks. Employers can often save money on onboarding processes and training by hiring individuals with the right skills upfront.
  • Access to more diverse talent – Skills-based hiring supports businesses in building a more diverse, inclusive workforce. Degree requirements often disproportionately rule out minority candidates, individuals with disabilities, and more.

Here’s how:

  • Evaluate positions and job descriptions differently – Consider each position in your company for what is actually required to complete tasks well. Focus more on merits, competencies, and skills that will make a potential employee successful.
  • Find ways to identify skills – Leveraging different tools to assess practical and technical skills will help ensure that you are able to find the right people to fill positions if degree requirements are removed. For example, technical writing samples or coding tests might help determine if someone is a good fit.

Read more about how to access more talent to meet your business needs in this edition of The Mid-Point.

Inside this issue

  • Skill-Based Hiring is on the Rise
  • LinkedIn Commits To Skills-Based Hiring
  • Here’s How Much Pittsburgh’s Tech Workforce Increased
  • How Austin Lured the Most Workers Back to Offices
  • Do You Work Remotely? Take This Survey!

Two decades ago, companies began adding degree requirements to job descriptions, even though the jobs themselves hadn’t changed. After the Great Recession, many organizations began trying to back away from those requirements. To learn how the effort is going, the authors studied more than 50 million recent job announcements. The bottom line: Many companies are moving away from degree requirements and toward skills-based hiring, especially in middle-skill jobs, which good for both workers and employers. But more work remains to be done. Read More

Companies are struggling to attract and retain talent, as more people than ever before have been rethinking how, where and why they work. Sectors, such as tech, are blazing hot, and businesses can’t find enough workers to fill the empty seats. LinkedIn’s solution to create a better selection and hiring ecosystem is to focus on the skills a person possesses. Instead of labeling someone and putting them in a box, it makes more sense to view a candidate in light of their skill stacks. This is a holistic perspective. A human resources professional or hiring personnel should focus on an applicant’s array of skills and assess how they may be applied to jobs. Read More

The tech workforce in the Pittsburgh metro increased 7.5% between January 2021 through the end of April 2022, marking the region among the strongest growth areas across the country, according to a new report. That doesn’t mean Pittsburgh can rest easily. Its growth rate slightly lags Pennsylvania’s, which was 7.6%, and hiring demand is high. “Tech Workforce Trends: The Migration of Tech Jobs Since the Pandemic,” released on Tuesday by the Technology Councils of North America, revealed that remote work increased over 421% from January 2020 through the end of April 2022. Read More

Companies nationwide are struggling to get employees back in the office, but not in Austin. These days, the city’s workforce is putting in more face time at offices than those in any other major U.S. metro area. Austin offices are 59%-occupied—and cracked the 60% threshold last month—according to data from Kastle Systems, an office-security firm that records workers’ comings and goings by measuring badge swipes into skyscrapers and corporate campuses. Read More

Do You Work Remotely? Take This Survey!

This survey is collecting information and insights into remote workers’ unique work-from-home experiences and the qualities that make where you live better or worse working remotely. Data collected will be used to identify what benefits and challenges workers are finding while working from home in their specific region.

Please take a few minutes to participate and make your voice heard! Click here to get started.