Skills, educational degree, or both—the dilemma is not new! With remote work becoming the new normal and digital hitting the priority list of enterprises of all scales and sizes, this debate has further gained steam. In the words of Canadian - American motivational speaker Brian Tracy,“Those people who develop the ability to continuously acquire new and better forms of knowledge that they can apply to their work and to their lives will be the movers and shakers in our society for the indefinite future” ; it's a reaffirmation that continuous skilling is a must for the employer as the employees.
The On-ground Reality
Enterprises are rethinking their hiring models and talent management process. A research by ManpowerGroup states, “63% of Indian companies report talent shortages.” Not only that, according to the World Economic Forum, “more than 1 billion jobs, almost one-third of all jobs worldwide, are likely to be transformed by technology in the next decade.”
The nature of work has dramatically changed and witnessed a world of difference due to advancements in technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and data science.
Skills over Formal Degrees—Why?
The rapidly changing workplaces make it imperative for candidates to acquire new skills to be able to perform the right work, at the right time. The formal education of candidates does not necessarily guarantee an appropriate skill set.
Despite investing in hiring candidates with impressive educational backgrounds, organizations often have to confront a growing talent problem. They end up spending more on their skill enhancement. All this happens for the simple reason that theoretical education is way different than what a real job environment demands from candidates. Academic percentage touches as high as 100, but there are still gaps in translating those sky-scraping scores into quality output.
Despite the mainstreaming of new-age technologies, such as AI, ML, and data science, organizations do not get industry-ready talent. The harsh reality is that the gap in the sought-after skill set and the academic education is widening with each passing year.
The dynamically changing marketplace and technological environment are transforming in numerous ways, making it important for organizations to prioritize skills.
Compensation, Talent Determination, and More!
Given the hybrid working models and push to the new-age gig economy, compensations are likely to be “deliverables-centric” in the times ahead of us. The ability to embrace changes will take knowledge workers to new heights, empowering them to survive the cut-throat competition.
Some of the renowned organizations have started breaking the barriers, already, by hiring candidates who were academically ‘not-so-successful.’ Today, candidates are leaving no stone unturned in adding new feathers to their caps and are making fortunes with their sheer ‘talent determination.’
The Need of the Hour – Challenge the Legacy Recruitment Models
Change is the only constant. New-age customers are spoilt for choices. Brand loyalty is decreasing; the ability to deliver a superior customer experience is now a necessity for organizations. Personalization has taken over standardization. As a result, customers settle for nothing less than a flawless experience. To meet customers’ expectations and build a great brand reputation, onboarding candidates will not yield intended outcomes just based on their academic scores.
The immediate need of the hour is to look beyond the obvious and challenge the legacy models of hiring. Education is not time-bound but a continuous learning process. The curious, willing, and passionate individuals are likely to succeed more than their counterparts. Hiring managers must look at the bigger picture and onboard well-rounded personalities.
Glassdoor compiled a list of ’15 companies that no longer require a degree,’which includes tech giants Apple, IBM, and Google. Furthermore, it mentions various organizations that are offering well-paying jobs to the candidates, with non-traditional education or a high-school diploma.
Educational qualification/degree should not be perceived as lifelong stamps of professional competency. Academic qualification indeed remains an important consideration while assessing candidates and onboarding them, but it would not be the only requisite for their entry into the corporate world. Candidates, aiming to be a part of renowned organizations, must keep upgrading their skill set to stay current and relevant in the competitive marketplace. The bottom line is that learning should be an ongoing process to ensure personal and professional growth.