Article | September 11, 2019

How to Hire a Skilled Workforce

Jackie Black

With U.S. unemployment at continued record lows while the pace of innovation speeds ahead, it’s no surprise tech companies are having trouble finding skilled workers. According to CTA’s 2019 Future of Work survey of over 250 U.S. business leaders, 80% of respondents said it will be difficult to find candidates with the right skills and abilities and half (50%) of respondents said it will become more difficult to find qualified candidates in the next five years – a nine-point decrease from 2018.

To solve this problem, tech employers are using a wider variety of hiring strategies. Here’s a breakdown of three key tactics.

Hire for skills, not degrees.

Recently, companies such as Bank of America, Ernst & Young, Google and IBM have dropped their four-year college degree requirement because eligible candidates were getting disqualified prematurely in the selection process. At the same, new hiring platforms, such as SkyHive, are emerging with a focus on skills-based hiring – rather than degrees. SkyHive’s candidate sourcing and screening website automatically quantifies a candidate’s experience based on skills they previously attain. This allows employers to quantify their job descriptions based on the same defined proficiencies. A skills-based approach shortens the applicant screening process and – more importantly – helps to eliminate systemic bias.

Use social media to tell your story.

CTA’s Future of Work survey also found 62% of respondents are advertising on social media to recruit new talent, up six points from 2018. For example, Panasonic increased its presence on Instagram to better target millennial job seekers. Using #LifeatPanasonic, the company shows what prospective employees would work on if they joined their team. Living in Digital Times also uses social media to promote its flexible work environment – specifically for working moms who are often overlooked in the hiring process.

Create an employee referral program.

An overwhelming majority (73%) of survey respondents said employee referral is the most-used tool and strategy to recruit new talent. The key is “well-defined, well-marketed, motivating in terms of the bonuses paid and one that still ensures all aspects of candidate assessment are addressed before anyone is hired” says David Lewis, president and CEO, OperationsInc. In addition to cash incentives, consider using public recognition, vacations or charitable contributions to motivate employees to refer candidates.