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Skills-based hiring revolution is here, says LinkedIn

Skill based hiring is here

Companies are increasingly abandoning traditional degree requirements in job postings and placing a greater emphasis on the skills that potential employees can bring to the table. LinkedIn reports that this skills-based hiring or  “skills-first” approach to hiring has expanded the number of potential candidates for employers by almost tenfold. According to Joseph Fuller, a management professor at Harvard Business School, “skills-based hiring is the great white whale, the holy grail of the labor market.” This shift in hiring priorities has been triggered by several factors, and it presents new opportunities for employees to capitalize on the evolving future of work.

The skilled labor shortage

One significant factor driving this shift is the ongoing labor shortage in the United States. While the economy has surpassed predictions by adding 339,000 jobs in May, there is a lack of available workers to fill these positions. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reveals that there are currently 9.9 million job openings across the country, but only 5.8 million unemployed workers. Even if every unemployed person in the country found a job, there would still be over 4 million open positions.

The aging workforce is one reason for this shortage, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the issue. Many individuals who lost their jobs during the pandemic have not returned to the workforce, contributing to the labor shortage. The labor force participation rate has dropped from 63.4% in February 2020 to 62.6% currently. Additionally, early retirements, increased savings during the pandemic, and childcare needs have hindered workers from re-entering the job market. Given the tight labor market, it is understandable that employers would relax their college degree requirements to expand their talent pools. The LinkedIn report indicates that over 45% of hirers utilized skills data on the platform to search for candidates in the past year, marking a 12% increase from the previous year. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years.

Skill centric workforce

There are numerous workers who may lack a college education due to financial constraints or a loss of faith in the value of post-secondary credentials. However, they possess valuable work experience and practical skills. To take advantage of this shift, workers are encouraged to enhance their existing skills and add new ones to their job profiles. LinkedIn members have already responded to this recommendation by adding 380 million skills (up over 40% since 2021) and certifications (up 16% since 2021) to their profiles in the past year.

How can you benefit?

LinkedIn provides a list of in-demand skills that have been mentioned in the majority of global job postings since 2015. These skills include both hard skills, such as digital marketing and business development, and soft skills like leadership, storytelling, and problem-solving. It is also beneficial to invest in relevant certificate programs or other skills-based training and include them on resumes. These professional certifications can demonstrate capabilities to recruiters, even without a traditional degree.

To increase visibility and stand out during the screening process, individuals should ensure their LinkedIn profiles and resumes are regularly updated. Keeping these platforms fresh and up to date can lead to increased exposure and make them more attractive candidates to potential employers.

It is evident that the shift towards skills-based hiring is driven by the ongoing labor shortage and the need for employers to expand their talent pools. Workers can seize this opportunity by enhancing their existing skills, acquiring new ones, and obtaining relevant certifications. By staying proactive and maintaining updated profiles and resumes, individuals can increase their chances of being noticed by potential employers in this evolving job market.

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