Why skills are more important than ever
As new technologies drive changing business needs, it’s less likely you’ll be able to get by in today’s job market with the skills you learned 10 or 15 years ago.
The World Economic Forum has suggested that 1 billion people need to be qualified in new and evolving skills by 2030. The types of professional skills for which the WEF predicts high demand include not only specialized technical abilities to work with new technologies such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing, but also the soft skills needed to collaborate and interact with others, such as building teams and developing a strong company culture.
Recent data from LinkedIn shows how quickly the field is changing. According to the Professional Networking Platform, skill sets for jobs have already changed by 25% since 2015. This figure is expected to double by 2027. As a result, some hiring practices have begun to place greater emphasis on Skills: The number of recruiters using LinkedIn skills data to fill jobs is up 20% over last year—those who follow this method are more successful at getting hired.
However, many companies are still missing. According to a Harvard Business School study, 80% of business leaders said their applicant tracking systems were filter half of highly qualified and skilled applicants due to system parameters such as gaps in work history or missing credentials.
In its current form, “the job market works much better if you went to the right school and had a certain job title from a brand name company,” says Rohan Rajiv, chief product officer at LinkedIn. “But the challenge is, what if you haven’t?”
In an effort to create fairer results, Rajiv and his team are creating product features for the professional networking platform, such as tools that help companies search for candidates based on skills and explicitly list skills. in job postings, while allowing job seekers to clearly compare how their own skills match the requirements of a position.
Prioritizing skills rather than, say, a resume strewn with stellar companies and a college-level education, could help ease a tight job market. This type of competency-based hiring approach would downplay details such as degree, years of experience, and previous job titles, and instead focus on the candidate’s ability to demonstrate that their job skills are a good fit with the requirements of the job for which you are applying.
The relaxation of degree requirements is particularly important for the many workers who ignore traditional higher education altogether. A recent report by Opportunity at Work, which helps people without degrees find jobs, said there were more 70mn of American workersmany of whom are people of color, who have developed skills without earning a bachelor’s degree at all.
A skills-based approach could help companies better assess candidate potential, because “potential trumps everything,” says Jill Chapman, a senior performance consultant specializing in recruiting and onboarding. “In today’s hiring economy, an employer hiring for potential is committing to hiring candidates who may not have the past experiences or preferred education when they start, but who possess the traits that make them fit for the organization now and successful in the future.”
While it is up to employers to assess and respond to potential, today’s workers must also actively continue to develop their skills to stay relevant. Growing up in the 1990s, education was king. Get a bachelor’s degree, my mother said — then ideally a master’s and a doctorate — and it would unlock a bountiful career with untold earning potential. It is always true that degrees translate into lifetime earningsBut it’s not enough.
Even if you don’t change jobs, Rajiv advises you to keep up with developments in your industry by browsing job postings and taking note of the skills listed in the description. Use it to identify gaps in your resume and fill them in by looking for credentials, conferences, online courses or other training or networking opportunities, he says.
According to LinkedIn Future of Skills Report, expertise in diversity, equity and inclusion, and cryptocurrencies are among the most talked about skills and for which there has been an increase in demand. Facebook, meanwhile, is out; its failure to “pivot to video”, among other controversies since 2015, has made it less reliable, and therefore a less powerful tool for social media marketing strategies.
Another trend noted in the report is that the definition of skill types is more precise compared to 2015. People are more likely to list particular software as a skill, for example, or specify “portrait photography” instead. than simply “photography”. This specification is good practice, says Rajiv.
“Ten years ago you could just say ‘photography’ and you’d be fine, but today, [a recruiter might] type in “photography” and get a bunch of options. By using more sophisticated language around skills, workers are better able to stand out for the opportunities that suit them best.
It’s too early in the big shakeup to tell, but we may be moving towards a more fluid market where workers leverage their specific skills, rather than focusing on a linear path of more job titles. more seniors. This would mean that employers would adjust their mindset around recruitment and career progression and be much more open to assessing transferable skills so workers could change direction and try new things.
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Chandra Turner is a career coach who already advises her clients on how to change careers by successfully marketing the skills they have learned in the media industry. In Chandra’s experience, hiring managers are already “very open” to people who pivot, especially when hiring for newer industries like brand publishing or affiliate marketing, because too few people still have experience and expertise in these specific areas.
Tomorrow’s job market could be less picky about “career moves”, “pivots” and unconventional CVs, in which workers more freely assess their next moves based on where their skills are most relevant. necessary – and the best remunerated.
Chandra admits it’s still helpful to have recognizable companies or educational institutions on your resume, but that’s no longer the only path to success. “Our gaze is drawn to the things we know and recognize [on someone’s CV]she says, “but we have a cracking job market, and there is still room for you.
This is not only possible, but necessary. “Some of my older clients find it exhausting to constantly change and grow,” Chandra says. “But we have to be flexible. When you start to feel stable, that’s when you should start to get nervous, because you’re not changing – and everyone else is.