Why skills are more important than ever

As new technologies drive evolving business needs, you are less likely to get by in today’s job market with the skills you developed 10 or 15 years ago.

The World Economic Forum has suggested that 1 billion people must be educated into new and evolving skills by 2030. The types of job skills for which the WEF predicts high demand include not only specialized technical skills for working with emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing, but also those for collaboration and interaction required soft skills others, such as team building and developing a strong corporate culture.

Recent data from LinkedIn shows how quickly the bottom is shifting. According to the platform for professional networking, the skills for jobs have already changed by 25 percent since 2015. This number is expected to double by 2027. As a result, some hiring practices have begun to place more emphasis on skills: the number of recruiters using LinkedIn Skills data to fill positions is up 20 percent year-over-year — with those who follow this practice being hired more successfully .

However, many companies are still missing out. According to a Harvard Business School study, 80 percent of company leaders said their applicant tracking systems were filter out half of highly qualified, qualified candidates due to system parameters such as gaps in professional history or missing certificates.

As it stands, “the job market works a lot better when you’ve gone to the right school and have a specific job title from a branded company,” says Rohan Rajiv, product manager at LinkedIn. “But the challenge is, what if you didn’t?”

In an effort to provide fairer outcomes, Rajiv and his team are developing product features for the professional networking platform, such as comparing how one’s skills match a position’s requirements.

Prioritizing competency over, say, a resume full of shiny companies and college-level education could help ease a tight job market. This type of competency-based hiring approach would place less emphasis on details such as educational qualifications, years of experience, and previous job titles, and instead focus on the candidate’s ability to demonstrate that their professional skills are a good match for the requirements of the position for which they are applying.

The relaxation of degree requirements is especially important for the many workers who are skipping traditional college education altogether. A recent report by Opportunity at Work, which helps people without degrees find jobs, says there were more than 70 million American workersmany of whom are people of color who have developed skills without even earning a bachelor’s degree.

Rohan Rajiv, product manager at LinkedIn, works on tools to help companies find candidates based on their skills

Rohan Rajiv, product manager at LinkedIn, works on tools to help companies find candidates based on their skills

A competency-based approach could help companies better assess candidate potential because “potential is king,” says Jill Chapman, a senior performance consultant who specializes in recruiting and onboarding. “In today’s hiring economy, an employer hiring prospective employees commits to hiring candidates who may not have the prior experience or preferred education when they start, but possess the qualities that will make them suitable for the company now and in the future make it successful.”

While the responsibility lies with employers to assess and ensure potential, today’s employees must also actively develop their skills to remain relevant. When I was growing up in the 1990s, education was king. Get a bachelor’s degree, my mother said – and then ideally a master’s and a PhD – and it would open up a rich career with untold earning potential. It’s still true that degrees mean higher lifetime incomebut it’s not enough.

Even if you’re not changing jobs, Rajiv advises that you can keep up with your industry by browsing job listings and noting what skills are listed in the description. Use this to identify gaps in your resume and fill them in by looking for testimonials, conferences, online courses, or other educational or networking opportunities, he says.

According to LinkedIn Future of Skills report., diversity, equity and inclusion expertise, and cryptocurrencies are some of the most talked about and demanded skills. Facebook is now out; The failure of its bid to “switch 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 specific compared to 2015. For example, people are more likely to cite specific software as a skill, or say “portrait photography” rather than just “photography.” That 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 ‘photography’ and you’ll get a range of options.” By using more nuanced language around skills, workers are better able to differentiate themselves on opportunities that suit them best.

It’s too early in the major restructuring to tell, but we may be moving toward a more fluid market where workers leverage their specific skillsets, rather than focusing on a linear path of progressively higher job titles. This would mean that employers would adjust their hiring and career development attitudes and be much more open to assessing transferable skills to allow workers to change directions and try new things.

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Chandra Turner is a career coach who has been advising clients on career change by successfully marketing the skills they have acquired in the media industry. In Chandra’s experience, hiring managers are already “very receptive” to hire changes, especially when hiring for newer industries like brand publishing or affiliate marketing, because not enough people already have the background and expertise in those specific areas.

Tomorrow’s job market could be one that’s less picky about “career changes,” “swings,” and unconventional résumés, where workers can more freely map their next steps based on where their skills are most needed – and paid highest .

Chandra admits that having a recognizable company or educational institution on your resume is still helpful, but it’s no longer the only route to success. “Our gaze is drawn to things we know and recognize [on someone’s CV]’ she says, ‘but we have a tight job market and there’s still room for you.’

It is not only possible but necessary. “Some of my older clients find it exhausting to constantly change and grow,” says Chandra. “But we have to be flexible. When you start to feel stable, you should start getting nervous because you don’t change – and everyone else changes.”

https://www.ft.com/content/7af07212-3d66-4ac7-b9f3-2e5ef3341369 Why skills are more important than ever

Adam Bradshaw

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