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Degree Inflation & Hiring

This post was written by Adam Naor, Senior Partner Manager at Amazon Web Services, and former Senior Manager of Partnerships at Indeed.

According to numerous blogs and research published by LinkedIn, sixty nine percent of job seekers believe that employers are on their way to skills-based hiring. What does this mean? Increasingly candidates will be selected based on what they can do, rather than degree or pedigree. 

Candidates will still need to stand-out, but traditional definitions of differentiation are changing. Job seekers face a new set of challenges and opportunities.

Fifty-seven percent of LinkedIn's respondents to a series of job data surveys believe that employers will place more value on nontraditional credentials after Covid. Job seekers will increasingly rely on badges, proof of tangible skills, and specific abilities to show that they have the skills to add value from the day one.

After conducting an exhaustive analysis of 26 million job postings, researchers at Harvard found the following: the degree gap (the discrepancy between the demand for a college degree in job postings and the employees who are currently in that job that have a college degree) is significant. For example, in 2015, 67% of production supervisor job postings asked for a college degree, while only 16% of employed production supervisors have one. 

Digital credentialing can help change these outcomes.

From research I observed while working at the job platform Indeed, I know that more than 6 million jobs are currently at risk of degree inflation. Employers, as a result, will need to align hiring with levels of skill and not degrees. 

The rise of the alternative certification system will be particularly important for remote workers and those that remain in home offices post Covid.

When a hiring manager or firm wants to demonstrate that they are open to hiring people with specific skills, they will need a way to do so. Not all credential programs are created equal.

When your firm is deciding that creating badges and credentials for your staff is something you want, you need to first articulate why. If your organization is partially or fully remote, this articulation is even more important because you will want to motivate and engage with your staff - through onboarding and new hire acceleration

Digital badges help motivate remote workers and help them verify progress and complete milestones or general upskilling. Earning badges is not only a source of pride but a clear marker of competency. 

The best thing you can do is establish a clear set of goals to indicate what you are trying to accomplish by developing a digital credential program. Use your program to communicate clearly with your stakeholders (new hires, users, existing staff, candidates) to drive the outcomes you desire.

A credentialing platform is an important part of differentiating your organization when hiring or retaining workers. By transforming knowledge, skills, and achievements into digital credentials, you will be best suited to empower your staff, your users, and your firm.