Traditional Hiring vs. Skills-based Hiring

Is it safer to hire based on college and graduate degrees? Or, based on skills and certificates? Traditionally, hiring new employees relies on degrees and resumes as a forecaster of accomplishments on the job. The imagesdebate surrounding alternative options to college and graduate degrees as predictors of success is more relevant to today’s business world than people realize. To support the typical “flip” side of the argument, when employers use a college degree as a requirement, they are overlooking highly qualified people right out of the gate. By discriminating against people who are capable but have no degree, employers are not helping their own company, the workforce or the economy.

The divide is evident today, because, despite the unemployment rate, many companies still strain to fill open jobs. The Aspen Institute has done research, and the results show that nearly 3 million jobs in the United States are unfilled because employers cannot find people with the right skills. So why are the companies with unfilled jobs being so picky?

Fortunately, there is a shift towards skills-based hiring occurring in the business world. For this reason, projects and/or firms such as the New Options Project, and even our own ProMatch  System are working to change the way employers think about talent. Skills-based hiring is progressively perceived as a more accurate prediction of a candidate’s potential to succeed on the job, rather than their degree. Innovate+Educate has proved that employers who incorporate skills-based hiring have seen major reductions in employee turnover, in hiring time, reductions in cost-to-hire, and in time to train. If skills-based hiring and similar models continue to grow, we will start to see a major shift for job seekers and employers alike in all fields of the workforce.


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About the Author

avatar About Ashley Peterson

Ashley Peterson is currently a full time MBA student at the University of Denver, Daniels School of Business, studying marketing and sustainability. A Colorado native, in Ashley graduated from Bowdoin College in Maine in 2010 with a double BA degree in Environmental Studies and Spanish. She returned to Colorado and worked for the Colorado Governor's Energy Office. Vail Resorts lured her away to work in their corporate Environmental Public Affairs department at their Broomfield, Colorado headquarters. This position is where Ashley found her true passion working in the marketing and public affairs side of sustainability and business in general. Ashley is extremely experienced with technology and a vast array of social media platforms and has brought these proficiencies and passions to Prescott Solutions. A former NCAA college athlete, Ashley applies the same characteristics to her professional career that made her a two-time NCAA National Champion (2007 & 2008 Field Hockey): energy, focus, enthusiasm, drive, and team oriented. Ashley's passions extend outside the business world where you can find her cooking, scuba diving, outdoors on a bike, coaching lacrosse or traveling.

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