Hiring for the future, not the past: future-proofing your organisation.

The new year started off with a personal policy pledge by Rishi Sunak, for maths to be compulsory study for students up to 18 years of age in a move to boost low numeracy rates.

Whilst the Government has repeatedly acknowledged the vital importance of STEM subjects to the UK – and with the Fourth Industrial Revolution hot on our heels, there is absolute merit in this – but, one has to also ask: is this what the future of work needs?

For decades, upward mobility for millions has been based solely on the job they had, degrees earned, or who they knew; however, according to a recent study that’s starting to change: degrees are no longer the number one recruitment requirement.

At Google, a four-year degree is not required for almost any role at the company: “Our focus is on demonstrated skills and experience, and this can come through degrees or it can come through relevant experience,” said Tom Dewaele, Google’s vice president of People Experience.

In the UK, a survey by the Institute of Student Employers (ISE), reveals a similar shift: the number of employers stipulating a 2:1 degree as minimum entry criteria for graduate jobs has fallen to 48%.  The lowest in its history.

It’s a rather novel approach to recruitment: hiring for a candidate’s future potential, rather than their past history – and yet, one that is gaining traction around the world.

Fostering a culture of continuous learning

What employers really want to know – especially in this time of unprecedented change – is, can a person do a job?  It’s seemingly less about qualifications and more about skills, experience, personality traits – and, most importantly, ability to learn.

As Harvard Business Review so succinctly puts it: “When you hire people with the right aptitude or capacity to learn, you can quickly accelerate training to develop high-value skill sets in these individuals.”

Re-skilling does work: if adequate programmes and training are in place, up to 60% of a company’s future roles can be filled by current employees.

It’s a move designed to widen the talent pool, increase the socio-economic diversity of business and also improve social mobility.

To succeed in the future of work, we need a future-proofed workforce: one that adapts to changing environments, navigates multiple interfaces and communication methods.

A workforce that brings balance to technology-driven companies through humanity and emotional intelligence. With skills-based hiring becoming a standard practice in recruitment, many businesses are noticing the benefits already.

How to future-proof your workforce?

According to Gartner, “to hire quality talent, recruiting leaders must shift their strategies from replacing the workforce to instead shaping the workforce by defining needs based on skills, sourcing talent more broadly and creating responsive employment value propositions (EVPs).”

To be prepared for the future of work, traditional recruitment criteria (and processes) need to be examined and radically renewed:

  • Case studies and a review of your people can identify the key skills and capabilities required to take your organisation into its next chapter.
  • Behavioural and skills assessments can help discover the right internal candidate (who only needs upskilling) to be a perfect fit for an open role.
  • By creating more opportunities for current employees to grow through applying their skills (or learning new ones) to unique career experiences, your organisation gains the flexibility of re-deployed key talent – and the acquisition of resources needed, with speed and agility.
  • Re-adapting interview processes – and application criteria – can encourage a better demonstration of skills and surface capabilities hitherto unexplored, diversifying your workforce.

It’s a small amount of effort to ensure organisations are future-proofed, diversified and empowered to build rewarding, impactful careers and businesses for success.

A future-proof workforce not only improves talent retention, but also employee engagement and growth – it’s a win-win.

If you’d like to find out more about how Bretom can support your skills-based recruitment needs and help you future-proof your organisation, give us a call. We’ve got skills.