(Beaver, PA) – The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted many of the ways in which society traditionally functions says Andrew Lloyd of Beaver, PA. The limitations brought about by measures such as stay-at-home orders and distancing guidelines were the push needed to transform the regular operations of many industries. Andrew Lloyd Beaver PA says a prime example of this can be seen within the tech industry — a sector that has completely transitioned into a new form of hiring.
Post-Pandemic hiring is a nightmare. So is employee retention. Employees have a total advantage over employers as the pandemic comes to a close. Use that to your advantage says Andrew Lloyd from Beaver PA. Forget trying to find good help. You are the only help. Take your position in the driver’s seat because it is very difficult to find qualified workers. Have a job now? Retention is a headache too. Employers want to keep well-qualified people and they will end up paying a premium if you take the initiative to learn new skills according to Andrew Lloyd.
Up until recently, most major corporations and businesses had moved away from skills-based hiring methods. A quick look on the job market would bring about results of open positions that required conventional qualifications — a college degree, in-person experience in a similar position, etc. However, the unique circumstances that have arisen in the past year have been a basis for change. Organizations have moved away from hiring processes based on degrees, instead focusing on merit-based hiring. Andrew Lloyd has seen this from the small town of Beaver, PA to a large tech city like Austin, TX.
Skills or merit based hiring refers to the process of employers setting specific skill requirements that will be utilized in a job position. These can be cognitive abilities, such as reading comprehension or mathematical skills, or soft skills — things like customer service, leadership, and time management. Employees who have been hired with a certain skill or skill set in mind are often better equipped to do well once on the job. This is often attributed to them having a foundation that makes it easier for them to understand their responsibilities, and thus makes the training process simple.
Tech companies who have begun to implement this method are part of a bigger trend that is happening globally. For example, in June of 2020, the United States transitioned from hiring based on degrees and education level, to hiring that embraced the competency and skill level of the individual applicants. This was part of an executive order that revolved around modernizing and reforming the assessment and hiring of federal job candidates.
Leaders within the tech industry recognize these changes and have positioned themselves to target qualifications outside of a basic four year degree. Companies such as Microsoft are carrying the conversation, giving insights into the rapid transformations that the pandemic has brought about.
“Skills will be the new currency in the post-pandemic world,” said Ahmed Mazhari, President and Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Asia.
This is evident when looking at current job posting trends on sites like Linkedin. In fact, Linkedin reported that, in the past year, there has been a 21% increase in job postings that focus on advertising skills rather than depending on the amount of qualifications or requirements that an applicant meets. This data also reveals that in the United States in the past year, job postings that don’t require a traditional college degree increased by 40%.
Many businesses have used these changes to their advantage in order to diversify their pool of applicants and pull from a greater number of sources to fill their open positions. Especially for roles that may be difficult to fill, employers can pinpoint skills — without applicants having to face barriers — and target better qualified potential employees.
While these major players in the tech industry have been the arbiters of these trends, those looking to be hired have also been using these new procedures for their own good. As many people were let go from their jobs at the height of the pandemic, they have had the opportunity to focus on developing their own skills. The availability of online courses and guides has provided many people with the ability to become experts in fields that are currently in high demand. This is especially true for skills such as Excel.
Having a strong knowledge of Excel is crucial.
Excel — an application part of the Microsoft Office Suite that uses spreadsheets primarily for data entry — is an in demand skill that many have been learning with the use of the internet. Youtube videos and digital courses have been utilized to learn features of the program such as calculation, graphing, and pivot tables. The program has become a mainstay within tech jobs and other industries, however, many existing employees and potential applicants have inadequate skills pertaining to the software. This is why so many companies, particularly those who have adopted skills based hiring procedures, look for applicants who are comfortable with Excel. In fact, research shows that full time employees within certain sectors can see an initial salary bump of $1,000 to $7,000 per year.
Andrew Lloyd says the value of knowing Excel expands across a multitude of different parts of a business. When it comes to financing and accounting, for example, the program has given way for complex procedures to be completed in the click of a few buttons. Most modern businesses have centered the outlining of their financial results, budget planning, and major business plans around the use of Excel. Also, facets of company’s success such as production and marketing management have been efficiently organized through the program. Having the background and experience needed to apply Excel to some of these processes has given many the chance to substantially increase their value as a job applicant in the modern world.
The pandemic has brought about a clean slate in regards to the way that many companies run their businesses. With the past year opening the door for employees to expand their skills, there exist many more opportunities to break into industries that were previously unreachable for many applicants. The development of individual skills such as Microsoft Excel proficiency has given an array of employees the ability to elevate themselves in their personal careers.