Skills-Based Hiring: Do You Still Need a Degree to Get Hired Today?

Most people believe that getting a job without a college degree is difficult. But is this belief true, or is it a common misconception? This article explores skills-based and traditional hiring and whether finding work in today’s marketplace requires a college degree. 

What is Skills-Based Hiring? 

Skills-based hiring is an approach that looks at the skills needed to do the job rather than skill proxies that are often used such as education. This means that hiring managers prioritize the actual know-how and competency required for a role rather than simply hiring a candidate who has a degree from a prestigious institution. 

While traditional-based hiring might prioritize things like your resume, work experience, or college degree, skills-based hiring typically involves practical assessments to test your competence in your field. The skills being evaluated by hiring managers using the skills-based hiring approach are not always hard technical skills and may be soft, cognitive, or physical, depending on the role in question. 

More and more companies are evolving their recruitment practices and leaning towards skills-based rather than traditional hiring. Notable companies like Apple, Google, IBM, and Starbucks made headlines for dropping college degrees as one of their employment requirements. According to a survey by Harvard Business Review, companies reduced degree requirements for about 31 percent of their high-level position and nearly half of their middle-skill positions.¹  

More employers realize competency, not a qualification on paper, is what drives change in the workplace. The corporate world has dubbed this shift “breaking the paper ceiling.” 

 

The Shift Towards Skills-Based Hiring Practices 

Companies are warming up to skills-based hiring approaches because they allow hiring managers to immediately identify and select the most talented candidate from a group of applicants.  

Skills-based approaches have been instrumental in improving diversity and inclusion in the workplace and bridging the corporate gap between privileged and underprivileged groups. Research by the Pew Research Center shows that only 4 in 10 American adults have college degrees.2 According to this study, women were more likely than men to cite financial restrictions as a reason for not completing college. When racial backgrounds were considered, Hispanics were more likely than any other race to be unable to attend college due to financial reasons.  

If traditional hiring methods persist, these groups will most likely continue to be excluded from the workforce.  

Is a Degree Essential for a Modern Job Search? 

It depends. 

Many jobs prioritize skill over credentials, especially in fields related to information technology, cybersecurity, computer programming, or artificial intelligence. These jobs are relatively new to the scene. You might just as easily get a mid-skill position in an industry like cybersecurity after a six-month training boot camp as you would with a four-year college degree. However, this is less possible in other industries. Fields like law, medicine, and engineering still require a bachelor’s degree or higher. 

It is also necessary to highlight the importance of education in lifetime earnings projections. Data indicates that the higher your level of formal education, the higher you are likely to earn.3 According to Statistics by Social Security Administration, men and women with a college education earn, on average, around 900,000 USD and 630,000 USD more, respectively, than those with only a high school diploma. These are significant figures, but it’s important to remember that, aside from financial gain, job satisfaction and work-life balance are also crucial aspects of a fulfilling career. 

Ultimately, whether you need a college degree depends on your industry, the companies you apply to, and, of course, whether you choose to acquire one. 

What Industries Prioritize Skills Over Degrees? 

If you’re looking to break into an industry that values your practical skills and expertise over college credentials, here are a few industries that prioritize hands-on skills over college degrees: 

Technology 

Technology is at the top of the list because it is a very skills-based industry. Most tech roles don’t need college credentials and only require candidates to display proficiency in using frameworks, programming languages, AI models, and other software. 

Creativity and Culture 

The creative arts industry is notoriously flexible and is most likely one of the most skills-based industries in existence. Writers, illustrators, fashion designers, and other artists don’t need a college degree in their fields to get hired if they have portfolios that prove they have the practical experience and talent to shine in their workplaces. 

Sales and Customer Service 

Sales, marketing, customer experience, and other people-facing roles typically don’t prioritize a college education. These roles usually look for certain soft skills in candidates, such as strong communication skills, empathy, and persuasion. Extensive relevant experience is also a factor here, but college degrees are not strictly required. Service industries, entrepreneurship, digital marketing, and real estate are among other industries that don’t necessitate a college degree.  

How to Succeed in Skills-Based Recruitment 

Here are a few tips on how to succeed in skills-based recruitment, whether you have a college education or not: 

1. Put Your Best Foot Forward 

Skills-based recruitment will most likely come with practical assessments, so be prepared to showcase your expertise. Anticipate technical tests and have a portfolio ready to highlight your skills. This will effectively demonstrate your value to potential employers. 

2. Emphasize Your Soft Skills 

In a skills-based recruitment process, soft skills can be the tipping point between a good candidate and a great one. Highlight your strengths in communication, teamwork, and empathy—these are highly sought-after qualities by employers. Demonstrate your adaptability and eagerness to learn to showcase your well-roundedness and potential for growth. This strong combination can even compensate for minor technical gaps. 

3. Build an Online Presence 

Don’t underestimate the power of a professional online presence! It showcases your passion and expertise, allowing you to share valuable industry insights and network with potential employers. This not only establishes you as a thought leader but also helps you build a strong personal brand, making you stand out from the crowd in today’s competitive job market. 

DON’T LET THE LACK OF A DEGREE HOLD YOU BACK: LAUNCH YOUR CAREER WITH SUPPORT FROM PEAK PERFORMERS 

The job market is changing and Peak Performers is here to help you thrive in the skills-based hiring era. Whether you’re a non-degreed professional or a recent graduate, our focus is on connecting you with fulfilling jobs. 

Browse open positions and get matched with your perfect career fit. 

 

References 

  1. Miller, Jonathan. Langer, Christina and Sigelman, Matt. “Skills-Based Hiring Is on the Rise.” Harvard Business Review, 11 Feb 2022, hbr.org/2022/02/skills-based-hiring-is-on-the-rise.
  2. Schaeffer, Katherine. “10 facts about today’s college graduates” Pew Research Center, 12 April 2022, www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2022/04/12/10-facts-about-todays-college-graduates/.
  3. “Education and Lifetime Earnings,” Social Security Administration, November 2015, www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/research-summaries/education-earnings.html.

The $4,700 Price Tag: The True Cost of Hiring and How to Reduce It

Finding a good employee is challenging and expensive. This might pose an issue for businesses, especially smaller ones, who need staff but may be finding hiring costs too high. Here, we’ll help you uncover winning tips to reduce hiring costs and optimize your recruitment budget. 

 

The True Cost of Hiring 

Hiring is the process of finding, attracting, selecting, and integrating a new employee. Costs include advertising, screening candidates, interviewing, training, and even turnover. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the average cost per hire is around 4,700 USD.¹ This is a large figure in itself and becomes even more alarming when you consider that many small or midsize enterprises cannot easily accommodate this cost without a significant impact on their bottom line. Here’s what makes up the cost of hiring: 

 

Recruitment Costs 

Recruitment involves identifying and hiring the most suitable candidate to fill your open position. Recruitment can drive up the cost of hiring significantly. You need to factor in costs like fees charged by job boards, referral bonuses, or relocation fees if your new hire lives in a different geographical location. And then, of course, you also need to factor in your staff’s time! 

 

Onboarding Costs 

According to Statista, businesses in the U.S. spend between $1,000 and $1,420 on new employee training.² Here, the soft costs come into play. How much time do your HR professionals spend developing and delivering training programs? What are the productivity losses associated with getting new hires up to speed? 

 

Productivity Ramp-Up Time 

New employees typically take some time to reach full productivity. The lost productivity during this ramp-up period can be considered a cost of hiring, as more seasoned employees may need to spend time assisting the new hire or covering tasks. 

 

Potential Turnover Costs 

The cost of replacing one individual employee can cost up to two times the employee’s annual salary, a staggering figure when you consider that voluntary attrition is completely avoidable.3 

These individual costs together make up your Cost Per Hire (CPH). This metric helps you quantify the return on investment in your employees. This helps you examine your hiring and recruitment process to determine if it works for your business or if you need to change strategies. 

 

Factors Affecting the Cost of Hiring 

Multiple factors may be impacting the cost of your hiring and recruitment process. Here are some of them outlined below: 

 

1. Location 

If your business is in an urban area with a high population, you will likely have access to a wider talent pool than if it were in a rural area. It also may help to have your business in an area near your competitors to attract their local talent, as we see is the case with Silicon Valley start-ups. Situating your business in an urban area may drive up hiring costs, as more candidates to interview inevitably elongates the recruitment process and culminates in more money spent, but it helps you find more qualified talent that needs less training. The local demand for your open position and the cost of living in that area can also increase your hiring costs. 

 

2. Company Size 

If you’re a larger business, a job opening in your organization would naturally attract a larger number of candidates. A higher volume of candidates to screen impacts your hiring costs and may cause your recruitment process to be more expensive; however, having more applicants also decreases the costs of having to advertise the job on various job boards. 

 

3. Industry 

Industry-related factors directly affect the cost of recruitment. If your industry involves highly technical skills with steep learning curves, your hiring costs might be significantly higher since you have a much smaller and much more in-demand talent pool. 

 

4. Job Role 

The job role you wish to fill can also affect your recruitment costs to a substantial degree. Hiring for an executive role, for example, may require a much stricter screening process to accurately assess candidates’ competence level and organizational fit. Recruiting for an entry-level position probably does not require the same level of rigor. 

 

5. Market Conditions 

The labor market is cyclical. When there are more candidates available, you generally have to spend less time and money to find candidates. Specific market conditions often affect different industry sectors at different times affecting the recruitment costs for companies within those sectors. 

 

How Much Hiring the Wrong Employee Costs You 

Another factor that could raise your recruitment costs even more is hiring the wrong employee. A bad hire could not only potentially soil your company’s reputation and cost you productivity, but it can also leave a hole in your business’ productivity as you seek to find a replacement. According to Career Builder, one bad hiring decision could cost your company as much as 15,000 USD.4 

 

How to Reduce Hiring Costs 

Here are four smart ways to cut down hiring expenditures and optimize your hiring budget: 

 

1. Utilize Recruitment Software 

One of the easiest ways to cut hiring costs is to use software to automate manual tasks. An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can help save your HR team the hours they would use to screen candidate resumes and manually store candidate information because it can perform these tasks for them.  

Additionally, using social media, such as LinkedIn, to attract and gather your ideal type of candidate may save you some time and energy in the hiring process, as well as some money. Most social media channels are free or with optional add-on purchases for exposure.  

Lastly, transitioning from physical interviews to virtual modes of interviewing, such as phone and video calls, helps you reduce your recruiting costs. Furthermore, many candidates may find virtual interviews more accessible and less intimidating. 

 

2. Encourage Employee Referrals 

Instead of mobilizing many resources to seek out fresh talent, you can use your current employees to attract candidates. To do this, you can implement a referral program, which will allow your current staff to earn some stipulated benefit for recommending talent to your organization. You can document these recommended candidates for future positions, even if you don’t currently have an opening. Seeking employee referrals can be particularly effective since no one knows the work and culture in your company more than your current employees. 

 

3. Outsource Recruiting 

Many companies simply choose to entrust your hiring needs to a reputable hiring company. A good recruitment agency can be particularly effective if you don’t regularly engage in recruiting and don’t have an established candidate pool. Peak Performers is a great staffing partner for all your hiring needs! Since 1994, we’ve filled over 30,000 jobs. We have extensive staffing and recruiting experience and will connect you to your perfect candidate! 

 

4. Focus on Retention 

Another effective way to reduce hiring costs is by prioritizing employee retention and creating jobs your staff can truly be proud of. Lower turnover saves your business time and money. By actively fostering employee engagement and job satisfaction, you’ll build loyalty and keep your top talent on board for years to come. 

 

HIRE FASTER, SAVE SMARTER WITH PEAK PERFORMERS STAFFING SOLUTIONS 

Peak Performers specialize in finding the right talent while keeping hiring costs under control. With over 30,000 successful placements, we offer a range of staffing solutions to fit your needs, from temporary staffing for short-term projects to direct hiring for permanent positions. We also offer dedicated executive search services to find the right leadership candidates. 

What truly sets us apart is our mission to advance disability inclusive hiring. We believe a diverse workforce is a stronger workforce, and we have the expertise to connect you with qualified candidates with disabilities who can bring unique perspectives and valuable skills to your team. Contact us today and discover how we can help your business thrive by finding high quality talent. 

 

References 

  1. Stephen Miller, “SHRM HR Benchmarking Reports Launch as a Free Member-Exclusive Benefit”, SHRM, 11 April 2022, www.shrm.org/topics-tools/news/benefits-compensation/shrm-hr-benchmarking-reports-launch-free-member-exclusive-benefit.
  2. Statista Research Department. “Training expenditure per learner in the training industry in the United States from 2015 to 2023, by company size” Statista, 17 Nov 2023, www.statista.com/statistics/795795/training-expenditure-per-learner-and-company-size-us/.
  3. Mcfeely, Shane, and Ben Wigert, “This Fixable Problem Costs U.S. Businesses $1 Trillion,” Gallup, 13 March 2019, www.gallup.com/workplace/247391/fixable-problem-costs-businesses-trillion.aspx.
  4. “Nearly Three in Four Employers Affected by a Bad Hire, According to a Recent CareerBuilder Survey,” Career Builder, 7 December 2017, press.careerbuilder.com/2017-12-07-Nearly-Three-in-Four-Employers-Affected-by-a-Bad-Hire-According-to-a-Recent-CareerBuilder-Survey.

Telling Your Story Online: Where Social Media Meets HR

Social media has changed the HR landscape. Social media platforms have become powerful tools for job-seeking and professional networking. But social media can be a double-edged sword. It can propel careers forward, as we’ll see in Marta Puerto’s inspiring story, or lead to unintended consequences, as highlighted by Brittany Pietsch’s experience. 

Brittany Pietsch’s Story 

Earlier this year, a TikTok video posted by Brittany Pietsch where her recorded dismissal from Cloudflare, a cybersecurity company, went viral. In the video, Brittany discusses her termination, claiming she was informed that her performance did not meet expectations despite her high activity and positive feedback from her manager.¹ 

She speculates whether the real reason for her and others’ dismissals was the company’s over-hiring. Cloudflare’s HR did not provide a specific reason for her dismissal, promising to follow up with her performance data. Brittany expressed frustration over the lack of transparency and the impersonal way her termination was executed. 

The video resonated with many viewers, leading to widespread support for Pietsch in the comments. However, it also attracted lots of criticism. On X, formerly known as Twitter, Candace Owens called Pietsch’s actions “unbelievably shortsighted” and implied they could hurt her future career prospects.² Several commentators echoed Owens’s viewpoint, portraying Pietsch’s decision to record her employer as a bad career move. 

The Risks of Oversharing 

In today’s social media-driven world, the line between transparency and oversharing can be blurry. Like the popularity of “Get Ready with Me” (GRWM) or “Day in the Life” videos, layoff video trends have been gaining a lot of traction and can be seen as an act of transparency. However, Brittany’s story shows that while sharing these layoff stories may be cathartic, divulging employment information on social media may adversely affect future employer’s decisions when they’re considering hiring you. 

1. Personal Brand 

Sharing such personal employment experiences can have a lasting impact on an individual’s professional image and personal brand. While Brittany received support, such actions can also make potential future employers question a candidate’s discretion and professionalism. After all, the number one rule in interviews is not to badmouth a past employer. 

2. Legal and Contractual Compliance 

Depending on the terms of employment and local laws, sharing sensitive or confidential information from within an employment context can lead to legal repercussions. Although Brittany’s video primarily focused on her personal reaction and did not disclose confidential company information, the act of recording without consent in certain jurisdictions or situations could pose legal risks. 

3. Professional Relationships 

This act can strain former and future professional relationships. While some viewed Brittany’s actions positively, seeing her stand up for herself, others might view such a public airing of grievances as a breach of professional etiquette, potentially affecting future networking opportunities. 

4. Public Perception 

The viral nature of such content often leads to polarized opinions in the public. While many supported Brittany, others criticized her approach, highlighting how public opinion can vary widely and impact a candidate’s professional journey. 

5. Company Reputation 

When employment disputes become public, it not only affects the individual but also the company’s image. Matthew Prince, CEO of Cloudflare responded to the viral video acknowledging the company’s imperfections in the firing process and emphasizing the need for a more compassionate approach in the future.³ While this can lead to a reevaluation of company policies and practices, it also puts the company in a defensive position in the public eye. 

 

Marta Puerto’s Creative LinkedIn Video 

Marta Puerto is a marketing manager who decided to break away from traditional resumes and cover letters, opting instead for a more unconventional method with a 1-minute and 42-second-long video that she posted on LinkedIn. In this video, she showcased her skills in five languages and ended with a playful “Free trial ended. Book an interview.” message.⁴ 

Her decision to create a video resume came from her frustration with the conventional job application process. She felt trapped in a cycle of automated rejections in the increasingly competitive and automated job market. Leveraging the power of social media and video content, she was able to bypass the traditional barriers that many job seekers face when trying to get noticed by employers. 

Social Media as a Powerful Tool for Professional Banding 

Marta’s video gained over 140,000 likes on LinkedIn and captured the attention of hundreds of potential employers. If there’s one thing this revealed, it’s that social media can be used strategically to advance your career because it provides you with: 

1. Visibility and Reach 

Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram offer a global stage to showcase your skills, achievements, and professional insights. Sharing innovative content that reflects your expertise and values attracts the attention of peers, recruiters, and potential employers worldwide. 

2. Engagement and Networking Opportunities 

Unlike traditional resumes or CVs, social media allows for a two-way interaction. By engaging with others’ content and responding to comments on your own, you can build a community of like-minded professionals. This active engagement fosters networking opportunities and can lead to job offers, collaborations, and mentorship opportunities that may not have been accessible otherwise. 

3. Feedback and Growth 

The immediate feedback loop available through social media interactions is invaluable for personal and professional growth. Whether through comments, likes, or shares, the response to your content can provide insights into your audience’s preferences and perceptions, allowing you to refine your brand and messaging accordingly. 

4. Career Opportunities 

As demonstrated by Puerto’s experience, creative and strategic social media use can directly lead to job interviews and offers. In a job market increasingly influenced by online presence, a well-crafted social media presence can make you stand out from other applicants and attract job offers, freelance gigs, and collaboration opportunities. 

Striking the Right Balance: Personal Expression Vs. Professionalism 

The contrasting stories of Brittany Pietsch and Marta Puerto highlight the undeniable impact of social media on one’s career. While social media offers a platform for connection and self-expression, navigating personal branding in a professional landscape requires a strategic approach. 

Social media allows us to connect, share, and express ourselves. However, when it comes to our professional image, a bit of caution is essential. It’s great to showcase our individual personalities while still maintaining professionalism. For instance, steer clear of posting excessive content about your personal life, especially anything potentially controversial. 

Here are some best practices to help you navigate social media professionally: 

  • Maintain a respectful and professional tone in your interactions and online persona. While some humor or personal anecdotes might be okay, avoid negativity, excessive complaining, or anything that could be construed as offensive. 
  • Be mindful of what you post. Before hitting the post button, take a moment to reflect. Ask yourself if the content aligns with your professional brand and how it might be perceived by potential employers or colleagues. 
  • Adjust your privacy settings. Most social media platforms offer extensive privacy settings. Utilize them to control who sees your posts and tailor your content for appropriate audiences. Consider creating separate accounts for personal and professional use if that aligns with your comfort level. 
  • Maintain authenticity. While professionalism is key, striking a balance doesn’t mean being robotic. Let your personality shine through in a way that complements your professional image. Share insights, experiences, and interests that showcase your expertise. 

 

LEVEL UP YOUR JOB SEARCH WITH PEAK PERFORMERS! 

Juggling a job search while building a great online presence can be challenging. This is where Peak Performers can help you find suitable job opportunities—especially in IT, accounting/finance, and office/professional roles—while you focus on creating good impressions. You can start your journey with Peak through our website. 

 

References 

  1. Pietsch, Brittany. “Layoff” TikTok, Jan 2024, vm.tiktok.com/ZMMhPq2Wr/.
  2. Owens, Candace [@RealCandaceO]. “Content of the tweet.” Twitter, 14 Jan 24, twitter.com/RealCandaceO/status/1746562178482593978?s=19.
  3. Prince, Matthew [@eastdakota]. “Content of the tweet.” Twitter, 12 Jan 2024, twitter.com/eastdakota/status/1745697840180191501?s=19.
  4. Puerto, Marta. “Meet Marta: The Movie.” LinkedIn, March 2024, www.linkedin.com/posts/marta-puerto_hiremarta-productmarketing-pmm-activity-7168583881632169984-c7bI?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_android.

The ROI of Talent Development: The Link Between Human Capital and Business Outcomes

Talent development is one of the most important elements for business growth because it empowers employees to unlock their full potential and contribute significantly to business success. While the primary goal for many businesses is profit, the importance of nurturing talent should not go unrecognized.  

Let’s explore the many advantages of prioritizing talent development and how these can positively impact business success. 

 

Why Talent Development is Important for Your Business 

Deliberately choosing to invest in your employees holds much more value for your business than you might realize. Research company McKinsey Global Institute conducted a study for businesses to determine the relationship between people development and maintaining a competitive edge.1 Their experts found that companies that were both strongly performance-driven and people-centered were much more likely to outperform their peers by nearly every standard.  

They not only were able to double their revenue within the same period when compared with regular performance-driven organizations, but they also had only half the earnings volatility. Additionally, they recorded higher employee retention and satisfaction rates and were much more likely to remain afloat during periods of economic downtime, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. This study makes it abundantly clear that people development is integral to building a business that not only succeeds financially but can last a lifetime. 

For deeper insight into how valuable your workforce is, here are some more specific points on the benefits of talent development for your organization: 

 

Building a Trail-Blazing Business 

Today’s industry landscape demands not just innovation but the ability to redefine boundaries and set new benchmarks. A workforce skilled and empowered to push what’s possible is the cornerstone of a trail-blazing business. Investing in the growth and capabilities of your employees equips your business with the most crucial ingredient for success: a team that drives innovation from within. 

This approach to talent development is not just about enhancing skills—it’s about cultivating an environment where creativity flourishes, and challenges are embraced as opportunities to excel. When employees are supported in their professional growth, they become the architects of your business’s future, designing solutions that anticipate market shifts and respond to them with agility. It’s through nurturing their potential that your business can transform from being an industry participant to a leader that others seek to emulate.  

 

Improved Employee Performance Rates 

When you take care of your employees, your employees take care of your business. A well-curated talent development initiative will not only give your employees the ability to build your business into a profit machine, but the enthusiasm to do so. According to Gallup, employees who are engaged with their work are significantly more profitable than workers who aren’t.³ Investing in your workers’ skills, knowledge, and physical and emotional health will remarkably increase productivity rates. 

 

Increased Innovation 

Employees who are skilled, engaged, and enthusiastic are much more likely to find a new way to do an old thing. This link between engagement and innovation is supported by research; for instance, a study done on 372 Chinese senior employees in the IT, real estate, trade, financial, and telecommunication industries found that employee engagement can significantly enhance innovative work behaviors.4 

Whether it’s streamlining a business process, identifying a gap in the market, or tweaking a product to serve customers better, innovation is never distant from employees who are treated as valuable by their organization. Developing a well-curated talent development program can help vastly improve the running of your business and the quality of your product or service and skyrocket your earnings. Focusing on diversity within your hiring also helps drive innovation. 

 

ROT: The Bridge Between People and Productivity 

While you might be quite familiar with the concept of Return on Investment (ROI), there’s also a concept known as Return on Talent (ROT).5 ROT takes a closer look at the value your employees bring to the table. It’s all about measuring how much the investments in your team—like training and development—pay off through their generated and applied knowledge. 

ROT is concerned with whether managers are selecting the right individuals for their teams and leveraging their skills effectively. The relevance of ROT becomes clear when considering that all the physical assets a business has—like machinery, buildings, inventory, and financial resources—cannot achieve their full potential without smart, talented people to run them. ROT aims to tangibly quantify the contribution of your workforce’s knowledge and expertise to business profitability, highlighting the critical role of human capital in achieving organizational goals.  

 

Ways to Optimize Your Talent Retention for Impressive ROI 

Now that you know just how valuable your workforce is to your business, here are some tried-and-true methods for fully maximizing your employees’ potential. 

 

1. Align Your Talent Strategy with Your Business Goals 

Businesses differ, and so do business goals. Therefore, the best way to invest in your employees while deliberately achieving your business objectives is to tailor your talent development programs to those objectives. 

Do you plan on increasing revenue by the end of the quarter? Invest in increasing your employees’ persuasion skills so that they each become more effective at selling your product, regardless of what department they function in. Want to improve customer experience? Organize training where your employees learn valuable people skills so that each customer interaction is a success story. Whatever your talent development strategy is, make sure it aligns with the short and long-term vision of your business. 

 

2. Customize Employee Programs 

Employees, like businesses, differ from one another. You might reap greater benefits from your talent development initiatives if they are specifically tailored to your employees. It is important to consider your employees’ different interests, their current skill level, and their life contexts.  

Members of your staff who are building families and have more experience might learn differently or require different instruction from members who are new college graduates. Some may learn better digitally rather than through physical resources, while others may prefer self-paced learning options to more structured syllabi. Tailoring employee programs to their specific needs will help you create programs that are more effective in disseminating knowledge. 

 

3. Build a Stellar Work Culture 

Work culture can either make or break a company. A toxic work culture is the quickest way to demoralize and demotivate your employees, and this will significantly lower your employee retention rates. Strive to create a positive workplace atmosphere for your staff by including key principles such as open communication, good leadership practices, conflict resolution strategies, and diversity and inclusion initiatives. It’s best to ensure your employees feel safe and motivated to be their best selves in the workplace. 

 

4. Offer Competitive Compensation 

It’s no secret that workers who feel valued and appreciated for their efforts are much more likely to be more involved in their work. Offering fair financial compensation, as well as other benefits, is one of the most important ways to secure employee loyalty and keep your workers engaged. Compensating your employees also helps establish trust between you and them and fosters better, healthier work relationships. 

 

5. Expand Your Workforce 

In the dynamic landscape of business, waiting for urgent hiring needs to arise before expanding your workforce can leave your team overstretched. Proactively growing your team and building a robust talent pipeline is a strategic investment that pays dividends in both the short and long term. This forward-thinking approach ensures your business is always prepared for growth opportunities, market changes, and unexpected challenges. 

Expanding your workforce ahead of immediate need allows for a smoother integration of new candidates, reducing the burden on existing employees and maintaining high levels of productivity and morale. It transforms potential stress and burnout into enthusiasm and engagement, as employees see their employer investing in their well-being and in the company’s future.  

Moreover, developing a talent pipeline prepares your organization to rapidly adapt to industry shifts without the downtime associated with urgent recruitment drives. It enables strategic delegation of tasks, opens opportunities for internal career progression, and enhances your team’s agility. This not only improves operational efficiency but also positions your business as an attractive employer, capable of attracting top talent by offering meaningful career development opportunities. 

Investing in workforce expansion and talent pipeline development also means your business can maintain a competitive edge by being better equipped to handle fluctuations in demand. It provides the flexibility to scale operations up or down with ease, ensuring that you can capitalize on opportunities without overburdening your current staff. 

 

TRANSFORM YOUR TEAM BY TRANSFORMING YOUR BUSINESS 

At Peak Performers, we’re not just a staffing firm – we’re your partners in shaping your business’s future. Specializing in Temporary Staffing, Direct Hire, and Executive Search within sectors like legal, office, engineering, and IT, our focus is on harnessing the unique talents of individuals with disabilities to drive your business forward. We believe in the power of diversity and the innovative solutions it brings to your most challenging problems. 

By partnering with us, you’re filling vacancies while also strategically enhancing your team’s capabilities and diversity. Our expertise in identifying and nurturing talent with disabilities means your business gains a competitive advantage through innovative perspectives and dedicated professionalism. Reach out to us today, and let’s start crafting your success story through exceptional talent acquisition. 

 

References 

1 Madgavkar, Anu, et al. “Performance Through People, Transforming Human Capital into Competitive Advantage.”, Feb 2, 2023. www.mckinsey.com/mgi/Our-Research/Performance-through-people-Transforming-human-capital-into-competitive-advantage. 

2 “Mind the [Skills] Gap.” McKinsey and Company, January 27, 2021. www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/sustainable-inclusive-growth/chart-of-the-day/mind-the-skills-gap. 

3 Harter, Jim. “Employee Engagement on The Rise in the US.” Gallup, 26 Aug. 2018, news.gallup.com/poll/241649/employee-engagement-rise.aspx. 

4 Ali, Hazem, et al. “Employee Engagement and Innovative Work Behavior Among Chinese Millennials: Mediating and Moderating Role of Work-Life Balance and Psychological Empowerment” Frontiers in Psychology, 15 Jul. 2022, www.frontiersin.org/journals/psychology/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.942580/full. 

5 Chowdhury, Subir. “Return on Talent Return on Talent” QFinance, Accessed 7 Feb. 2024, www.academia.edu/28852166/Return_on_Talent_Return_on_Talent. 

Scaling Workforce:

Scaling teams efficiently to meet project demands is a widespread challenge in today’s work environment.

Our State Agency client faced this issue and sought a high-volume recruitment solution to enhance operational efficiency without straining their internal infrastructure. Peak Performers provided the solution. Through a strategic approach, we bridged this gap, delivering a solution that was both scalable and efficient.

OBSTACLE

Our client, a state agency with a workforce ranging from 1,000 to 2,500 employees and annual revenues between $500 million and $1 billion, faced an urgent need for additional staff but lacked the internal infrastructure to efficiently source, recruit, and hire suitable candidates. Anyone running an organization would understand how potential delays and inefficiencies in recruiting the right professionals could affect a project’s timelines and outcomes. This client needed a partner who understood these challenges and can provide a scalable, effective staffing solution.

SOLUTION

We addressed this challenge with a carefully designed volume hiring strategy, developed under the expertise of our Public Sector division, tailored specifically for government-related staffing needs. Understanding the critical need for a manageable onboarding process, we implemented a tiered approach—gradually integrating 15 associates each week over a defined period. This method aimed to fill positions efficiently and ensure that each new employee could be effectively onboarded and trained without overwhelming the system.

OUTCOME

The successful execution of this strategy resulted in the creation of a reliable and robust candidate pipeline, streamlined onboarding processes, and manageable training sessions. These improvements have enabled the agency to effectively respond to its increased staffing demands. Consequently, the agency is now well-equipped to confidently address the project’s requirements, supported by a team of capable and thoroughly prepared employees.

IMPACT

For a large organization like the State Agency, which operates with a lean HR team, the support from Peak Performers proved invaluable. Our ability to adapt and manage recruitment at scale enabled the State Agency to concentrate on its core mission, free from operational constraints. This collaboration highlights the critical importance of flexibility, strategic planning, and the strength of partnership in successfully navigating the complexities of government projects.

Peak Performers’ innovative approach to staffing continues to demonstrate lasting impact on our clients’ operational capabilities. Our dedication to understanding and meeting the unique needs of each client, along with our expertise in managing large-scale recruitment, distinguishes us in the staffing industry.

Peak Performers’ innovative approach to staffing continues to demonstrate lasting impact on our clients’ operational capabilities. Our dedication to understanding and meeting the unique needs of each client, along with our expertise in managing large-scale recruitment, distinguishes us in the staffing industry.

Welcome to the 2024 World of Work: 4 Things Your Workforce Needs 

As the workforce demographic evolves, a new generation of workers is introducing different expectations and values, demanding that employers meet these needs. As business leaders, it’s crucial that we adapt to the changing needs of times to attract and retain talent.

 

1. Sustainability and Social Responsibility

There’s an increasing demand for companies to enhance their focus on disability inclusion and accessibility within their sustainability and social responsibility efforts. Employees are looking for organizations that not only make public commitments to sustainability but also integrate these practices into their core business strategies. According to Gitnux, about 86 percent of consumers—who may also be employees—cite brand authenticity as a crucial factor when deciding what brands they like and support.¹

Integrating disability inclusion not only broadens the definition of diversity but also ensures that organizations are accessible, offering equal opportunities for all employees. This includes creating inclusive workspaces that accommodate individuals, implementing hiring practices that actively seek diverse candidates, and ensuring that company policies reflect a commitment to fairness and equality.  Companies that embrace disability inclusion as a part of their sustainability efforts stand to benefit from a wider talent pool, innovative perspectives, and enhanced brand reputation.

Employees are also more likely to align with organizations that demonstrate a real commitment to environmental and social governance (ESG) initiatives, which now increasingly include diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) as core components. From the adoption of green technologies to promoting diversity and inclusion, corporate sustainability encompasses a wide range of initiatives aimed at driving positive change.

 

2. Continuous Learning and Upskilling

Employees are always looking for ways to grow professionally. Zippia’s survey shows that 76 percent of employees seek better opportunities to expand their careers, and 45 percent say they would stay longer at a company that invests in their learning and development.²

Upskilling and learning in the workplace can include both technical and soft skills, which benefits a wide range of sectors for which Peak Performers provides staffing solutions, including Information Technology, Accounting & Finance, and Office/Professional environments. In IT, for instance, providing training on emerging technologies can help software developers advance into specialized fields such as data analytics or artificial intelligence. Similarly, in Accounting & Finance, employees with a grasp on traditional practices can be upskilled in financial software and analytical techniques to enhance strategic decision-making.

Practical learning opportunities also extend to soft skills development, crucial for leadership and communication roles across all industries. For example, an administrative assistant with strong organizational skills might receive project management and leadership training to prepare for managerial responsibilities. Mentorship programs further support this growth by pairing less experienced employees with seasoned professionals, facilitating a rich exchange of knowledge and skills. Such initiatives not only fill immediate organizational needs but also contribute to individual career progression.

Investing in employee development creates a win-win situation for both employers and employees. It enables teams to become more productive, bridges skill gaps, and reduces recruitment costs, all while building a versatile and skilled workforce. This approach to professional development ensures a pipeline of qualified leaders and specialists, fostering a culture of growth and retention that aligns with the aspirations of today’s workforce.

 

3.  Bridging Disability Inclusion Gaps with AI

For the longest time, the gap in disability inclusion has persisted as a significant societal issue. People with disabilities consistently experience lower levels of employment than the rest of the population. Often, this is due to assumptions about their abilities and skills. This challenge is highlighted by recent statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reveal that in 2023, the unemployment rate among individuals with disabilities was 7.2 percent, roughly double the rate for those without disabilities, at 3.5 percent.³

Beyond merely automating tasks, AI technologies could play a huge role in narrowing this disability inclusion gap.  Promising future technology includes the development of cutting-edge tools that enhance workplace accessibility, such as image recognition for visual impairments, advanced speech recognition for real-time captioning, and AI-driven platforms that provide personalized learning pathways for career development.

AI’s impact extends to the recruitment process. Platforms like LinkedIn have introduced AI-driven job recommendation engines that prioritize accessibility, making the job market more inclusive. Similarly, specialized staffing firms utilize AI to match professionals with disabilities to meaningful employment, thereby enriching the workforce with diverse perspectives and talents. This technology has the potential to remove hiring biases or perpetuate them, depending on how it is programmed and trained.

 

4. Prioritization of Mental Wellness

The emphasis on mental health and general well-being has never been stronger than it is right now. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the value of mental health and wellbeing at work and the necessity for employers to give their employees’ mental health top priority.

In fact, the World Health Organization has issued new guidance that explores how long working hours, limited autonomy, and low wages can contribute to depression and other mental disorders.⁴ The benefits are clear: prioritizing these things reduces stress and burnout and increases engagement and productivity.

Aside from evidence-based tactics like the provision of mental health coverage, appropriate training for employees, and equity in the workplace, the decentralization of workplaces, the implementation of a four-day workweek, and the maintenance of a positive work culture are also gaining traction as effective ways to improve employees’ well-being.

 

Essentials for Evolving Workplace Needs  

Decentralization of Workplaces

This year, there may be an increase in the movement away from corporate headquarters and toward a network of smaller, regional offices—or even no physical offices at all. This is fueled by our need to reduce costs, the availability of sophisticated communication technologies, the need to attract employees, and a desire to tap into talent pools in different regions. Decentralization offers employees the benefit of working closer to home, reducing commute times, and enhancing work-life balance.

 

Implementation of Four-Day Workweeks

This trend is becoming increasingly popular among organizations worldwide. The idea is to increase productivity and employee satisfaction by reducing burnout and improving work-life balance.

Studies have shown that a shorter workweek can lead to higher productivity levels, as employees are more focused and motivated during their working hours. The world’s most extensive four-day workweek trial, involving 2,900 workers from 61 companies, found that the four-day workweek significantly increased job satisfaction, improved work-life balance, and reduced employee stress.⁵

Gartner’s survey also revealed that a four-day workweek is the most attractive future work benefit for 63 percent of job seekers. This trend reflects a shift in workplace culture, prioritizing output and results over the traditional measure of hours worked.⁶

 

Maintaining a Positive Work Culture

Positive work culture is not just a trend but a strategic move for organizations seeking to attract and retain ideal candidates. According to Zippia, 77 percent of job seekers consider a company’s culture before applying for a position, and 90 percent who rate company culture as having poor company culture have thought about quitting.⁷ A positive work culture reflects the values, norms, and behaviors that define how employees interact with one another, how they perceive their organization, and how they experience their work environment. It is characterized by trust, transparency, collaboration, recognition, and a sense of belonging.

 

SHAPE THE FUTURE OF WORK WITH PEAK PERFORMERS 

In the dynamic world of work in 2024, staying ahead means embracing change and fostering a workforce that’s adaptable, skilled, and resilient. Peak Performers is your ideal partner in this transformative journey. We specialize in aligning your talent acquisition efforts with your diversity and workplace culture goals.

Let us help you lead the way in building a future-ready workforce. Connect with us today and take the first step towards a progressive, sustainable, and successful future in the 2024 world of work.

 

References 

1 Castillo, Lorena. “The Most Surprising Brand Authenticity Statistics in 2024.” Gitnux, 20 Dec. 2023, gitnux.org/brand-authenticity-statistics/.

2 Flynn, Jack. “35 Key Employee Training and Development Statistics [2023]: Data + Trends” Zippia, 9 Mar. 2023, www.zippia.com/employer/employee-training-development-statistics/.

3 “Economic News Release: Persons with a Disability: Labor Force Characteristics Summary” Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 22 Feb. 2024, www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/disabl.pdf.

4 “Guidelines on Mental Health at Work.” World Health Organization, 28 Sept. 2022, www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240053052.

5 Laker, Benjamin. “How Far-Reaching Could the Four-Day Workweek Become?” MIT Sloan Management Review, 20 Mar. 2023, sloanreview.mit.edu/article/how-far-reaching-could-the-four-day-workweek-become/.

6 Turner, Jordan. “9 Future of Work Trends for 2024” Gartner, 3 Jan. 2024, www.gartner.com/en/articles/9-future-of-work-trends-for-2024.

7 Flynn, Jack. “25+ Essential Company Culture Statistics [2023]: Why Is Company Culture Important?” Zippia, 31 Aug. 2023, www.zippia.com/advice/company-culture-statistics/.

Women’s History Month 2024: Dissecting The Intersection of Gender and Disability in Employment 

Women’s History Month serves as a vital platform not just for celebrating the monumental contributions of women across diverse fields but also for illuminating critical issues that continue to affect the lives of women worldwide.

The United Nations estimates that about 75 percent of women with disabilities are unemployed, and those who are employed often earn less than their male counterparts.¹ This gap highlights significant challenges that go beyond the need for recognition and call for deliberate and practical solutions.

 

What is Intersectionality? 

Intersectionality, a term originally coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, is a framework that helps to understand the compounded experiences of being part of multiple historically disadvantaged groups. It acknowledges that various aspects of a person’s identity, such as gender and disability, do not exist in isolation but intersect, affecting their experiences in complex ways.²

For women with disabilities, this intersectionality often translates into dual discrimination in the workplace—a result of biases against both their gender and their disability. Intersectionality reinforces the idea that disability disclosure is an intersectional embodiment of complexity and contradictions across the spectrum of diversity. This framework’s application is emphasized as a means of countering hegemonic ideas and creating more inclusive and liberating places.

 

A Historical Perspective 

Historically, these women were often confined to roles that were undervalued and underpaid, if they were employed at all. The predominant societal view was one of incapacity and dependency, overshadowing their potential as capable contributors to the workforce.

However, the past decades have witnessed a gradual but significant shift. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been a cornerstone in reshaping opportunities for women with disabilities in the workforce.³

ADA also spurred initiatives for inclusive employment and mandated accessibility in technology, significantly contributing to a deeper understanding of the needs and capabilities of women with disabilities. This shift, complemented by various gender equality laws, has been pivotal in challenging long-standing biases and enhancing the professional landscape for women with disabilities.

 

The Intersection of Gender and Disability in the Employment Landscape 

Despite the advancements made, women with disabilities still face unique challenges in the workforce today, ranging from pay gaps to deeply rooted societal biases.

 

Wage Gap

Women with disabilities experience a discernible pay disparity in skilled trades and other professions when compared to non-disabled women, according to a 2023 report covered on the U.S. Department of Labor Blog.⁴ This wage disparity reflects not only potential unequal pay for similar work but also the limited range of job types often accessible to women with disabilities.

This challenge is also prevalent in other parts of the world. A Statistics Canada report reveals that while earnings of men and women with disabilities were found to be lower than people without disabilities, women with disabilities earned 20 percent less than men with disabilities.⁵

 

Accessibility and Accommodation

Effective workplace accessibility may involve more than physical modifications; they may require assistive technologies, flexible scheduling, and diverse communication methods. However, many employers may hesitate to implement these accommodations, often due to concerns about cost. The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has addressed this by tracking the costs of reasonable accommodation, finding that most accommodation is free. The average one-time expense, when applicable, is around $300 or less.⁶

Furthermore, a study on “Employer and co-worker perceptions of the accommodation process for employees with disabilities” illustrates the broader benefits of such accommodations.⁷ They not only support employees with disabilities but also others in the workplace, fostering a more inclusive and adaptable work environment.

 

Discrimination and Bias

According to a report by the United Nations, women with disabilities are reported to face discrimination three times more than women without disabilities.⁸ This disparity isn’t confined to statistical metrics alone. It permeates through various facets of professional life, notably reflected in the glaring underrepresentation of women with disabilities in leadership roles. Take, for instance, a revealing study spanning 19 nations in 2017, which found that only 2.3 percent of women with disabilities occupied legislative or managerial positions, in contrast to 2.8 percent of men with disabilities.⁸

The gap becomes even more glaring in the Asia-Pacific region, where the absence of female parliamentarians with disabilities is striking across many countries. These biases extend beyond representation, affecting hiring practices where misconceptions about their abilities can lead to an overlook of skilled professionals who could contribute significantly to organizations.

 

Social and Emotional Barriers

The findings of a cross-sectional study examining loneliness, social support, social isolation, and well-being among working-age adults with and without disabilities revealed that individuals with disabilities, particularly those facing cognitive or intellectual challenges, report higher levels of loneliness and social isolation compared to their non-disabled peers.⁹ This is often a result of limited social circles and fewer avenues for engagement.

In a related report by Human Rights Watch, women with disabilities face the same human rights infringements as non-disabled individuals, their experiences are intensified by increased social isolation and dependency.¹⁰ Women with disabilities, when compared to non-disabled women and their male counterparts with disabilities, often have lower educational achievements, career advancement, financial stability, and social networking opportunities.

Workplaces can help combat this challenge through social inclusion practices and networking opportunities. And it’s even easier when an organization is headed and led by an equal-opportunity or supportive employer.

 

LET PEAK PERFORMERS CONNECT YOU WITH AN EQUAL-OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER  

Peak Performers is a non-profit staffing firm committed to reshaping the disability employment landscape. We believe in the potential of every individual, including women with disabilities, to thrive in the workforce.

By joining our talent pool, you gain access to a network of inclusive employers who prioritize diversity and inclusion in their hiring practices. Whether you’re looking for an ideal accounting, office, or IT job, take the first step towards a rewarding career journey by partnering with us.

And by becoming a client, you’ll be expanding your DEI impact by hiring people who may come from multiple disadvantaged groups. Connect with us today to learn more about our staffing services.

 

References 

1 “Advancing Women and Girls with Disabilities.” U.S. Agency for International Development, www.usaid.gov/what-we-do/gender-equality-and-womens-empowerment/women-disabilities. Accessed 29 Jan. 2024.

2 Coombes, Hannah. “Intersectionality 101: What Is It and Why Is It Important?” Womankind Worldwide, 15 Oct. 2020, www.womankind.org.uk/intersectionality-101-what-is-it-and-why-is-it-important. Accessed 29 Jan. 2024.

3 “Commemorating 30 Years of the Americans with Disabilities Act.” U.S. Department of Labor, www.dol.gov/agencies/odep/ada30/timeline. Accessed 29 Jan. 2024.

4 “Data Spotlight: Employment of Women with Disabilities in Skilled Trade Professions.” U.S. Department of Labor Blog, 21 Mar. 2023, blog.dol.gov/2023/03/21/data-spotlight-employment-of-women-with-disabilities-in-skilled-trade-professions.

5 McDiarmid, Carrly. “Earnings pay gap among persons with and without disabilities.” Statistics Canada, 27 June 2023, www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/89-654-x/89-654-x2023002-eng.htm.

6 “Costs and Benefits of Accommodation” JAN (Job Accommodation Network), 4 May 2023, askjan.org/topics/costs.cfm.

7 Bonaccio, Silvia, et al. “The Participation of People with Disabilities in the Workplace Across the Employment Cycle: Employer Concerns and Research Evidence.” Journal of Business and Psychology, vol. 35, 2020, pp. 135–158, link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10869-018-9602-5#citeas. Accessed 29 Jan. 2024.

8 “Facts and figures: Women and girls with disabilities.” UN Women, www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-d