In the global ecosystem of skills-based hiring, learners will be judged and discovered by employer search engines looking for named skills.

Is K-12 ready for skills-based hiring?

In the emerging global ecosystem, learners and earners will be judged and digitally discovered by employer search engines that look for named skills

Editor’s note: eCampus News is exploring the future and potential of microcredentials in a multi-story series. Check back each week for fresh perspectives from educators and industry experts.

There are very few silver linings emerging from the worldwide pandemic related to education, but one of them is a crystalizing view about the importance of “skills visibility.” Skills are becoming and will soon be the currency in the new emerging global talent and hiring ecosystem.

This means that learners and earners will be judged and digitally discovered not by a paper resume that lists their college major, their clubs and activities, and their job experience so far, but instead, they will be digitally discoverable by employer search engines that set algorithms to look for named skills (thus, the skills become the currency).

Why is this view emerging? At the Education Design Lab, where we have been charting and designing new education models around the needs of “new majority learners” for eight years, we have been surprised ourselves by how quickly the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated three key factors.

One: There is a growing recognition that employers want to move to a “skills-based” hiring system. The Society for Human Resource Management has just released a study suggesting that 70 percent of employers want to assess candidates based on demonstrated skills. That’s to send better signals for career preparation and to diversify their workforce, on the belief that opening up professional career tracks to those without college degrees will help feed their hiring pipelines.

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