Blog Details

  • It's Time for a Shift in Thinking: Unlock a Talented Workforce Through Skills-Based Hiring

    It’s time to change how we hire in the tech community.

    The exponential growth in tech occupations, combined with companies’ fast-changing needs to keep pace with the rest of the industry, has made hiring a daunting challenge. Talent is the key to success. In order to remain competitive, tech employers need top talent yesterday, and in Colorado, where our unemployment rate sits at 2.9%, everyone often is competing in the same shallow talent pool.

    There are more than 13,000 open computing jobs in Colorado, but we only graduated 785 Colorado job seekers with a computer science degree in 2015, according to Code.org. It doesn’t add up.

    Companies shouldn’t have to struggle so much in order to find the talent they need. Skills-based hiring unlocks a talented workforce ready to add to your company’s success. By focusing on what each candidate brings to the table, regardless of their formal education, you will find better fits for your team, fill positions faster and increase retention rate.

    Colorado Technology Association’s (CTA) Foundation and Skillful have partnered to help anyone involved in hiring – from HR managers to startup CEOs – sharpen their process from start to finish through a three-part Skill Works series, which will launch in February. We’ll walk you through a skills-based approach to crafting job postings, evaluating candidates and onboarding new team members.

    Skills-based hiring is a big departure from traditional hiring, and it requires thoughtful execution. But by valuing a candidates’ skills above all else, Colorado’s tech economy will grow. Industry leaders aren’t waiting around, and neither should any forward-thinking company. As an example, last year IBM shifted its approach to focus more skills-based hiring, citing the reality that the old model no longer works.

    “New collar jobs may not require a traditional college degree,” said Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and CEO. “In fact, at a number of IBM’s locations spread across the United States, as many as one-third of employees don't have a four-year degree. What matters most is that these employees … have relevant skills, often obtained through vocational training.”

    In order to foster growth and build our state’s future, we need a workforce that is positioned for the digital economy. The companies willing to take a new approach, given today’s intense competition, will be rewarded. CTA and Skillful are embarking on this training series to help employers take the first step to land the talent they need to remain competitive.

    I hope you’ll join us for the Skill Works training, a three-part series from 8:30 – 11 am on February 8, 15 and 22. Spots are limited, so sign up today and reach out to me if you can’t make it for this round but would like to know about any upcoming trainings down the road.

    Register today!

    Colorado Technology Foundation bridges companies to education and workforce programs that align with employers' needs and supports programs and initiatives that derive a diverse and inclusive technology workforce.

    Skillful, a nonprofit initiative of the Markle Foundation in partnership with Microsoft, LinkedIn, the state of Colorado and local partners, is working to achieve a skills-based labor market that works for everyone. Starting by expanding throughout Colorado and then moving to additional states, the partnership aims to create a model that can be replicated across the U.S. to help millions of Americans overcome barriers to obtaining better-paying jobs.