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.

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.

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-do/women-and-girls-with-disabilities/facts-and-figures. Accessed 29 Jan. 2024.

9 Emerson, Eric. “Loneliness, social support, social isolation, and wellbeing among working-age adults with and without disability: Cross-sectional study.” National Library of Medicine, 5 Aug 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7403030/. Accessed 29 Jan. 2024.

10 “Women and Girls with Disabilities.” Human Rights Watch, www.hrw.org/legacy/women/disabled.html. Accessed 29 Jan. 2024.

Shaping Tomorrow: 6 Most Important AI Trends for 2024 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to evolve, shaping our world in unprecedented ways. While 2023 showcased impressive generative AI applications, the new year is poised to unveil even more groundbreaking innovations in the realm of AI technology.

Learn more about the current and projected future impacts of AI on hiring and the staffing world.

 

Top AI Trends for 2024 

Here are six ways AI is impacting the staffing world:

 

1. Growing Use of Generative AI

Generative AI is about to get better with upcoming releases like GPT-5, shaping creative industries and processes. The generative AI market is projected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 27.02 percent from 2023 to 2032, with the market size reaching $118.06 billion by 2032.¹

There is a shift towards more autonomous agents, multimodal models, and open-source approaches. Businesses are increasingly investing in AI governance to manage risks and comply with evolving regulations. Multimodal AI, which processes different types of inputs like text, images, audio, and video, is expected to bring new levels of productivity across several industries, including staffing.

According to a McKinsey report, generative AI could boost labor productivity by 0.1 to 0.6 percent annually until 2040. This increase depends on how quickly technology is adopted and how workers’ time is redirected to more productive tasks. Combined with other technologies, work automation, including generative AI, has the potential to add another 0.2 to 3.3 percentage points to productivity growth each year.²

 

2. Smarter Candidate Matching with AI

Approximately 65 percent of recruiters now use AI in their recruitment processes, and its integration is expected to continue growing rapidly.³ AI technologies, including advanced machine learning and natural language processing, enable a more comprehensive understanding of a candidate’s skills and experiences. These technologies are not just limited to resume screening but also extend to AI-assisted video interviews, strategic talent sourcing, and support in onboarding and employee retention.

While AI significantly enhances efficiency and may help reduce biases in hiring, there is still a need for human oversight, particularly in strategic and relationship-building aspects of recruitment. One of the major concerns among recruiters is that AI might overlook candidates from historically underrepresented groups or people with unconventional backgrounds. Despite these concerns, its potential for time savings makes it a tool that most recruiters will not ignore.

 

3.  Career Disruptions and Skills Needed to Adapt

The impact of AI is not limited to recruitment alone. According to the 2023 Stanford AI Index Report, there’s a growing demand for AI-related skills across almost every sector, with an increase in AI-related job postings from 1.7 percent in 2021 to 1.9 percent in 2022.⁴ This represents a significant 10 percent increase in the share of AI-related job postings among all job listings, escalating importance of AI proficiency, not just in technology fields but across various industries.

OpenAI researchers have also developed a rubric that measures the “exposure percentage” of different occupations to AI, indicating the proportion of an occupation’s tasks that can be completed or aided by AI. They found that 19 percent of jobs now have at least 50 percent of their tasks exposed to AI, particularly in business-related fields.⁵

To succeed in this AI-dominated job market, there’s a need to focus on foundational skills like self-development, self-knowledge, and self-efficacy. These skills are critical for career readiness and will help individuals adapt to the evolving labor market, where AI continues to play an increasingly significant role.

 

4. Rising Emphasis on Responsible AI Practices

The integration of AI technology across various sectors raises concerns about societal impacts, particularly regarding bias, discrimination, and misuse of AI. Bias and fairness in AI involve ensuring that AI systems or applications do not produce or reinforce unfair or harmful outcomes.

This includes tackling issues like algorithmic bias, which can occur due to biases in training data or the algorithms themselves. Factors like feedback loops and feature selection in AI models can contribute to such biases. For instance, biased outcomes can reinforce themselves in systems with feedback loops, and the choice of features in AI models may inadvertently discriminate based on these feedback loops. Navigating the ethical landscape of AI in 2024 involves a delicate balance between fostering innovation and promoting fairness and non-discrimination.⁶

 

5. Increased Automated Administrative Tasks with AI

The automation of administrative tasks is increasingly influenced by Intelligent Automation (IA), which combines robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and business process management (BPM). This trend sees the expansion of IA into generative AI, leading to a more advanced and comprehensive automation of business processes.

In 2022, 85 percent of large enterprises used RPA in their operations.⁷ This integration enhances rule-based automation with intelligent decision-making, leading to operational excellence and cost efficiency. AI’s role in decision-making processes is amplifying, with AI-driven support systems enabling businesses to make faster and more precise decisions.

Emerging technologies like human augmentation and quantum computing are also playing significant roles. Human augmentation technologies are anticipated to boost workforce productivity, promoting a collaborative environment where human skills are complemented by machine efficiency.

 

6. Personalized and Efficient Learning with AI

AI integration personalizes training by tailoring learning paths to individual employees’ skills and learning styles, making training more engaging and effective. Data analytics in learning and development (L&D) are utilized to customize training plans and predict future needs, enhancing the overall effectiveness of training programs.

There is also a growing emphasis on developing soft skills such as critical thinking, communication, and emotional intelligence, which AI cannot replicate. This trend reflects the need for a balanced skillset where technical proficiency is complemented by interpersonal and problem-solving abilities.

 

PEAK PERFORMERS IS YOUR ALLY IN TODAY’S AI-DRIVEN WORLD

In an era where AI is revolutionizing the workforce, the need for an agile and skilled team is becoming more crucial than ever. At Peak Performers, we understand that even in a landscape increasingly shaped by AI, the human element remains irreplaceable. We specialize in connecting you with talented individuals who are not just skilled but also adaptable to the evolving AI-integrated workplace.

If you’re an employer seeking a workforce that can seamlessly blend with AI advancements and drive your business forward, partner with us to access a diverse talent pool including individuals with disabilities. And if you’re a job seeker aiming to thrive in this AI-transformed era, irrespective of your abilities, join our network to find roles where your skills and adaptability are valued.

Together, let’s navigate the challenges of an AI-dominated future and build a workforce that’s not only technologically proficient but also humanly exceptional. Connect with us today to begin your journey toward a workforce that’s ready for tomorrow’s challenges.

 

References 

1 “Generative AI Market” Precedence Research, Accessed 6 Jan. 2024, www.precedenceresearch.com/generative-ai-market.

2 “The economic potential of generative AI: The next productivity frontier” McKinsey, 14 June 2023, https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/the-economic-potential-of-generative-ai-the-next-productivity-frontier#introduction.

3 Stefanowicz, Beata. “AI Recruitment Statistics: What Is the Future of Hiring?” Tidio, 28 Nov. 2023, www.tidio.com/blog/ai-recruitment/.

4 “AI Index Report.” Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, Stanford University, 2023, www.aiindex.stanford.edu/report/.

5 “GPTs are GPTs: An early look at the labor market impact potential of large language models” OpenAI, 17 March 2023, www.openai.com/research/gpts-are-gpts.

6 “Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Peatworks.” Peatworks, 7 Dec. 2023, www.peatworks.org/employer-topics/artificial-intelligence-ai.

7 “Robotic Process Automation: Top Statistics” Strategic Market Research, Aug. 2023, www.strategicmarketresearch.com/blogs/robotic-process-automation-statistics.

Avoid These 9 Common Resume Mistakes to Get Hired 

Even the most qualified candidates might face rejection due to seemingly minor resume mistakes. Not all resumes are perfect. Avoid common mistakes in resume writing to increase your chances of standing out and securing an interview.

 

9 Common Resume Mistakes 

To help you land your next job, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the nine most common resume mistakes to avoid.

 

1. Having Spelling and Grammatical Errors

Spelling and grammar mistakes might seem small, but they can have a big impact. Think of your resume as your personal story. Just like typos in a favorite book, mistakes in your resume can be unappealing. Recruiters pay a lot of attention to these errors because they show how careful you are with your work.

Here are steps you can take to make sure your resume looks polished:

  • Proofread Carefully: Go through your resume multiple times, focusing on different sections each time. It’s amazing how a fresh look can catch things you missed before.
  • Use Helpful Tools: Tools like Grammarly and Spellcheck are like personal editors. They catch mistakes you might not notice and offer suggestions to improve your work.
  • Get Another Opinion: Sometimes, fresh eyes can catch mistakes you didn’t see. Ask a friend or family member to review your resume or seek help from professional services.

 

2. Putting Incorrect Contact Information

Double-check every detail—your phone number, email address, and home address—ensuring they’re up-to-date and written correctly with no typos or missing characters.

Place your contact information at the top of your resume for easy access. Having contact information that is accurate and visible makes it easier for recruiters to contact you, increasing your chances of landing that interview.

 

3. Using an Unprofessional Email Address

A study by CareerBuilder found that 76 percent of resumes are thrown away because the email address is not professional.¹  Opting for a mature and relevant address demonstrates your seriousness and commitment to the job application process. Using an email address that includes your name or initials is a safe and professional choice, steering clear of anything that could be considered unprofessional or too informal.

A well-crafted email address indicates your understanding of professional norms and helps create a positive perception. Employers often appreciate candidates who pay attention to such details, as it showcases your professionalism and dedication right from the start of the application process.

 

4. Including Outdated or Irrelevant Information

Only include your best work experiences for the job you want. It’s pivotal to curate content that resonates with the role’s requirements, showcasing your strongest qualifications and achievements to make a lasting impression.

To maximize the effectiveness of your resume, consider:

  • Strategic Prioritization: Highlight experiences and skills that correlate with the job description. Tailoring your content to clearly align with what the employer seeks presents you as an ideal fit for the role.
  • Precision in Detailing: Focus on recent and pertinent work history that demonstrates your proficiency and expertise in the field and cut off jobs that can be tagged as irrelevant experiences. Also, emphasize accomplishments and responsibilities that directly contribute to the targeted position.
  • Eliminating Non-Essentials: Steer clear of outdated or irrelevant details that dilute the impact of your resume. By excluding such information, you direct the recruiter’s attention to your most valuable assets, enhancing the clarity of your candidacy.

 

By aligning your resume’s content closely with the job’s requirements and not including irrelevant information, you craft a compelling narrative that resonates with recruiters, emphasizing your suitability and competence for the position.

Related Article: Seal the Deal: Crafting the Perfect Response to “Why Should We Hire You?” 

 

5. Failing to Demonstrate and Quantify Results

Illustrating your accomplishments with quantifiable data is a powerful method for showcasing your impact. Instead of merely outlining your job duties, spotlight specific achievements with measurable outcomes, offering recruiters a clear view of your contributions.

For instance, focus on tangible results rather than stating you are experienced with project management, leadership, and customer service. Consider saying that you:

  • Successfully led a project, resulting in a 20 percent increase in project efficiency, streamlining operations, and reducing project completion time by 15 percent.
  • Implemented problem-solving strategies that minimized project delays by 30 percent as team leader, enhancing team productivity and meeting project milestones ahead of schedule.
  • Received a 98 percent positive approval rating from customers you served in the previous company.

 

This approach captures recruiters’ attention and substantiates your ability to deliver tangible and quantifiable outcomes, emphasizing your value as a potential candidate. You vividly portray your capabilities by emphasizing measurable achievements, showcasing why you stand out among applicants.

 

6. Stuffing Too Many Buzzwords and Keywords

Integrating keywords into your resume is essential, but doing so naturally is the key to success. According to Mckinsey, 60 percent of recruiters say that the biggest mistake job seekers make on their resumes is using too many buzzwords.²

Avoid overloading your resume with forced or excessive keywords from job descriptions and job postings, as this can make it sound unnatural and raise red flags for recruiters. Balancing the use of keywords in a way that seamlessly fits within your content ensures your resume gets through applicant tracking systems while maintaining a genuine tone.

By strategically incorporating relevant keywords that organically align with your skills and experiences, you increase the chances of your resume getting noticed without sounding contrived or forced. This approach helps your resume stand out for the right reasons, showcasing your qualifications effectively to potential employers.

 

7. Including a Headshot

Unless the industry or job explicitly requires it, avoiding including a headshot in your resume is advisable. Usually, recruiters focus on your skills, experience, and qualifications rather than your appearance. Including a photo can introduce biases or distractions that could overshadow your professional credentials.

Therefore, it’s often best to exclude a headshot from your resume to maintain a clear, focused, and unbiased presentation of your qualifications. This allows your skills and expertise to take center stage, ensuring recruiters focus solely on your professional suitability for the position.

 

8. Using Dense Blocks of Text or Too Many Bullet Points

Achieving a balance between text and bullet points is essential for an effective resume. Instead of dense blocks of text or excessive bullet points, aim for a balanced approach. Use concise paragraphs to describe your qualifications, providing enough detail to showcase your skills and experiences without overwhelming the reader.

Additionally, utilize bullet points strategically to highlight key achievements, skills, and accomplishments, making it easier for recruiters to scan through your resume quickly. A good resume has a balanced combination of well-structured paragraphs and bullet points which ensures that your qualifications are presented clearly and succinctly, allowing recruiters to grasp your expertise without feeling overloaded with information.

 

9. Making the Resume Longer Than Two Pages

While there’s no hard-and-fast rule dictating resume length, it’s wise to aim for brevity and clarity. Limit your resume to two pages by prioritizing the most pertinent and recent experiences. Concentrate on showcasing your most relevant skills, achievements, and qualifications that directly align with the job you’re applying for.

Focusing on the essentials ensures that recruiters can quickly grasp your capabilities without being overwhelmed by unnecessary details. A concise and well-organized two-page resume often has a stronger impact than a lengthy document, allowing you to effectively highlight your strengths and suitability for the position.

Related Article: The Employed Job Seeker’s Dilemma: Can You Reach Out to a Recruiter? 

 

GET HIRED WITH PEAK PERFORMERS

Are you a job applicant struggling to craft a flawless resume, or perhaps a seasoned employee looking for a career change? Peak Performers can support you in your job search. Our team of experts specializes in refining resumes and matching candidates with tailored job opportunities that suit their skills and aspirations.

Unlock the potential of your resume by partnering with Peak Performers. We offer personalized guidance to enhance your resume’s impact and ensure it stands out to potential employers. Let us assist you in navigating the competitive job market, connecting you with your ideal job role.

Contact Peak Performers today and take the first step towards securing your ideal job opportunity. Let our expertise empower your job search and elevate your chances of getting hired!

 

References 

1 Three Simple Fixes to Stand out in a Flooded Job Market – LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/pulse/three-simple-fixes-stand-out-flooded-job-market-thelions. Accessed 12 Dec. 2023.

2 Smet, Aaron De, et al. “The Great Attrition Is Making Hiring Harder. Are You Searching the Right Talent Pools?” McKinsey & Company, McKinsey & Company, 13 July 2022, www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/the-great-attrition-is-making-hiring-harder-are-you-searching-the-right-talent-pools.

10 New Year’s Resolutions to Make Your Workplace Better in 2024 

Making New Year’s resolutions is about showing how you want to grow and become a better version of yourself. The results of a study by YouGov showed that 37 percent of Americans said they had a New Year’s resolution for 2023, and 87 percent said they would likely to stick to it.¹

In the workplace, these resolutions can serve as a powerful catalyst for transformation. They aren’t just individual goals but blueprints for creating better work environments.

 

Why You Should Make New Year’s Resolutions for Work 

Embracing New Year’s resolutions for work can guide personal growth and professional development. This cultivates a proactive mindset, encouraging you to leave your comfort zone for continuous improvement. Ultimately, it contributes to a more dynamic and motivated workforce.

Additionally, here are four key advantages of setting New Year’s resolutions for work:

  1. Clear Goal Setting: Resolutions offer a structured framework to set achievable goals in alignment with your personal goals and your company’s objectives.
  1. Enhanced Motivation: Resolutions often serve as powerful motivators, inspiring you to strive for self-improvement and growth throughout the year.
  1. Focus and Engagement: Resolutions help you prioritize tasks and efforts, directing focus toward specific areas that contribute to personal and professional success.
  1. Celebrating Achievements: Resolutions offer opportunities to mark milestones, contribute to a positive work culture, and boost team morale.

 

10 Workplace New Year’s Resolutions Ideas 

As you step into the New Year, it’s essential to assess how you can contribute to making your workplace experience even better. Here are ten New Year’s resolutions tailored for you:

 

1. Learn New Tools and Platforms

Embrace the spirit of continuous learning by mastering new tools and platforms relevant to your field. Learning new tools and platforms can help things run smoother and quicker at work.

For example, project management tools can help organize tasks better, automate repetitive jobs, and ensure everything flows smoothly. This makes assigning tasks, keeping track of progress, and working together as a team more accessible.

Whether software applications, project management platforms, or innovative AI technologies, dedicating time to learning these tools and platforms can significantly boost your efficiency and effectiveness in the workplace.

 

2. Prioritize Your Mental Health

It’s essential to prioritize mental health amid the fast-paced demands of the workplace. Encouraging open conversations about mental health helps create a supportive company culture where everyone feels comfortable discussing their challenges and seeking help when needed.

Educational workshops led by professionals or hosting lunchtime sessions to discuss stress management techniques can equip you and your colleagues with valuable coping strategies. Regular short breaks throughout the workday can also positively impact mental health.

Prioritize your mental health for yourself and your colleagues to create a workplace environment that values and safeguards each team member’s mental well-being.

 

3. Work on Your Soft Skills

Enhancing soft skills such as active listening, conflict resolution, and critical thinking is crucial for professional growth to promote effective communication and collaboration in the workplace.

For example, practicing active listening during meetings or discussions is a valuable soft skill that can be honed. A conscious effort to fully concentrate, understand, respond, and remember what’s being said fosters better understanding and empathy among team members.

Related Reading: 12 Soft Skills You Need to Thrive in Today’s Workplace 

 

4. Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

Enhancing your LinkedIn account can significantly impact professional networking and career opportunities. You can start by updating your profile picture with a professional and high-quality image to create a positive first impression.

Additionally, crafting a compelling headline that reflects your expertise and career aspirations helps capture attention and defines your professional identity.

Optimize your profile to highlight your skills, experiences, achievements, and career goals. Also, tailoring your profile with relevant keywords can improve search visibility and attract potential employers and professional connections.

 

5. Prioritize Workplace Safety

Take the initiative to acquaint yourself with safety protocols and guidelines established by your company.

Stay informed by actively participating in safety training sessions or refreshers, ensuring you are updated on the latest workplace best practices, emergency procedures, and hazard identification.

When workplace safety becomes a top priority, everyone plays a role in creating a secure and healthy workspace for all.

 

6. Widen Your Professional Network

Expanding your professional network is valuable for career growth. Actively participate in industry-specific networking events, seminars, and workshops—whether in person or virtually.

In addition, engage in meaningful discussions and share invaluable insights with professionals in related or complementary fields.

Building professional relationships widens your network and offers valuable insights and diverse perspectives that can aid in career development, opening doors to significant opportunities that can shape your career trajectory.

Related Reading: Networking in 2023: Offline and Online Relationships Matter 

 

7. Find a Career Mentor

Seek a knowledgeable, supportive mentor who can guide your career journey. Start by identifying individuals within your industry or organization whose experience, expertise, and values align with your career aspirations.

Establishing a mentorship relationship involves open communication and a willingness to learn. Be proactive in seeking advice, discussing career goals, and seeking guidance on overcoming professional challenges.

By finding a career mentor, you gain valuable insights, guidance, and support that can shape the trajectory of your career in meaningful ways.

 

8. Prioritize Work-Life Balance

Being in a job that supports work-life balance is the key to happiness and productivity. Start by setting clear boundaries between work and personal time. Designate specific hours for work-related tasks and equally allocate time for personal activities, family, and relaxation.

Additionally, incorporate self-care practices into your routine, such as regular exercise, mindfulness, or hobbies that promote relaxation. Prioritizing self-care rejuvenates you and enhances your effectiveness and resilience in handling work-related challenges.

Striving for work-life balance improves overall satisfaction, mental well-being, and productivity in both personal and professional spheres.

 

9. Secure Fair Compensation

Ensuring fair compensation for your contributions is essential for professional satisfaction and financial well-being. Consider advocating for fair and equitable compensation that aligns with your skills, experience, and market value.

Understanding the current market rates for your role enables you to negotiate more effectively for fair compensation during performance reviews or when considering new job opportunities. Prepare a compelling case highlighting your accomplishments and the value you bring to the organization and engage in constructive discussions with your manager or HR department.

Furthermore, consider other aspects besides salary, such as benefits, bonuses, or professional development opportunities. Evaluating the overall compensation package ensures you receive fair and comprehensive rewards for your contributions.

By advocating for fair compensation, you contribute to a workplace culture that values the employees’ worth and ensures equitable treatment.

Related Reading: Salary Negotiation 101: A Job Seeker’s Guide to Securing Fair Compensation 

 

10. Champion Diversity and Inclusion

Advocating for diversity and inclusion in the workplace is crucial for fostering a more welcoming and equitable environment. Consider making it a priority to champion diversity and inclusion initiatives within your workplace.

Begin by deepening your understanding of the significance and advantages of diversity, both for individuals and the organization as a whole. Actively support and participate in initiatives that promote diversity, such as diversity hiring programs, mentorship opportunities for underrepresented groups, or employee resource groups.

Take a proactive stance in encouraging leadership to formulate inclusive policies and practices that acknowledge and value diversity. Advocate for equal opportunities for all employees, ensuring that workplace structures and the overall office culture embrace the richness that diverse perspectives bring.

In doing so, you contribute to a workplace where everyone feels valued, heard, and empowered to thrive.

 

ADVANCE YOUR CAREER THIS 2024 WITH PEAK PERFORMERS

Finding the perfect career path might be challenging as you set your New Year’s resolutions. That’s where Peak Performers comes in—to simplify your search and connect you with opportunities that match your aspirations.

Whether navigating a career change, seeking growth, or aiming for a more fulfilling role, we will match your unique skills and goals to new career opportunities. With our commitment to fostering inclusive workplaces, we’re dedicated to helping professionals find their ideal roles.

Embrace the New Year with enthusiasm—reach out to Peak Performers today, and let’s kickstart your journey toward a rewarding career.

 

References 

1 Sanders, Linley. “What Are Americans’ New Year’s Resolutions for 2023?” YouGov, YouGov, 29 Dec. 2022, www.today.yougov.com/society/articles/44868-americans-new-years-resolutions-2023-poll.

Is Your Compensation and Benefits Package Aligned with Your Needs? 

Compensation and benefits are crucial to your lifestyle and your satisfaction.

This article looks into the importance of compensation and benefits, providing ways to communicate and know if your compensation offers are enough. Let this guide help you align your benefits package with your personal needs and career goals.

A Look at the State of Work Benefits Today 

A Pew Research Center survey on why US workers quit their jobs found that 43 percent of the respondents felt their benefits weren’t competitive.¹ It’s worth noting that in a survey by Mercer, 70 percent of large companies and 53 percent of small organizations plan to provide better employee benefits packages.² Meanwhile, 7 percent of top organizations are planning significant enhancements in their benefits packages.

Are Benefits as Important as Compensation?

Benefits are essential for achieving long-term financial goals and mitigating the economic impact of emergencies. Good health insurance keeps you healthy and out of debt!

Benefits can also help you pursue a better work-life balance and a healthier lifestyle through having enough paid time off, paid holidays, and ample sick leave. Other benefits even help you prepare for the future, like retirement plans and life insurance.

Ultimately, benefits cost the employer money, so it’s best to consider your benefits and other perks and evaluate them as part of your holistic compensation package.

Evaluating Benefits: Questions to Ask to Know What’s Enough 

You may be wondering if your compensation and benefits are enough. If this is the case, here are four questions that can help you evaluate what is being offered to you:

1. What are my priorities?

These are the non-negotiable things you need to prepare for your next job application. People often look for work that offers health insurance, and there are good reasons for it. Sickness and injuries can cost you a considerable amount of money, and preventative healthcare can keep you from getting ill in the first place.

2. How does the package compare to those offered by other companies?

Evaluate your options if you have multiple job offers. Examine which employer is offering the best compensation package. Initially, compare it with your current or previous employer and see if there has been an improvement.

Remember to weigh your options and not just focus on the salary compensation. The benefits should have their contribution as well.

3. What will my future look like with this package?

One of the things employees often overlook is the future. Are there any retirement plans? Are there life insurance benefits, and is it competitive? Is there any health insurance that can cover you or your family?

While these things may be in the distant future, preparing for what could happen is best. If your employers offer it, consider these benefits to ensure that you and your family are ready for an unexpected event and are prepared to achieve your long-term goals.

4. What are the eligibility requirements for each benefit?

Each company offers different kinds of benefits programs, and some may have eligibility requirements. It’s best to know these prerequisites so that you can easily access them. For instance, some benefits are only accessible to tenured employees. During your interview, ask detailed questions about eligibility for the promised benefits.

Making the Right Decisions: Negotiating Benefits 

Aside from Salary negotiations, there is another discussion you need to address.

1. Should you negotiate your benefits?

Not every employer can negotiate benefits, but many are. Typically, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

2. What Benefits might be negotiable?

Even though an employer is open to negotiating, some items, such as 401(k)s and insurance plans, usually can’t be negotiated. Here are some benefits that you may be able to negotiate:

  • Job titles
  • Paid time off (PTO)
  • Sick leaves
  • Parental leaves
  • Student loan repayment
  • Tuition reimbursements
  • Travel allowances
  • Relocation assistance
  • Stock options

 

3. When do you negotiate the benefits?

The best time to negotiate benefits is when you receive a written job offer confirmation. Take the time to acknowledge and review the job offer and other documents sent to you before deciding whether you want to negotiate and what you’d like to see in your benefit package.

4. How do you negotiate your benefits?

Once you have decided to negotiate your offer, here are three things to consider when communicating with the employer.

Be transparent and specific about why you want to negotiate 

Explaining why you want to negotiate can help the employer see your perspective. If there’s a particular benefit they don’t offer, explain why you need it and how it can positively affect your work. This is because employers want to see their members thrive and be satisfied, as it can help them achieve the business results they want.

Show the employer your value 

During the negotiation, communicate your worth to the employer and remind them why they should hire you. Emphasize your successes in your work history and explain to them how working with you can help boost team results. Tell them how you aim to aid the organization with your skills and experience and that your benefits should match the efforts you are about to provide them.

Helping employers see the advantages of working with you can make them more receptive to adjusting to your needs.

Ask for the final offer in writing 

Remember that you will need a revised job offer once you and the employer agree to change things in your benefits package.

Take the time to review the new document they sent you to make sure everything you agreed on is included. Send them a signed copy of the document and keep a copy for your records to address any potential misunderstandings in the future.

PEAK PERFORMERS CAN HELP YOU FIND YOUR NEXT BEST OPPORTUNITY

Here are Peak Performers, we value our employees. We provide health insurance, dental benefits, and vision insurance after 60 days. We also offer a 403(b)-retirement savings program and an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help you find better opportunities. If you are outside of Austin, you can also reach us here.

References 

1 Parker, Kim and Horowitz, Juliana. “Majority of Workers Who Quit a Job in 2021 Cite Low Pay, No Opportunities for Advancement, Feeling Disrespected.” Pew Research Center, 9 Mar. 2022, www.pewresearch.org/majority-of-workers-who-quit-a-job-in-2021-cite-low-pay-no-opportunities-for-advancement-feeling-disrespected.

2 “Health & Benefit Strategies for 2023.” Mercer, 2023, www.mercer.com/2022-health-benefit-strategies-for-2023-survey-report.

A Path to Unity: Celebrating December Holidays and Human Rights for a More Inclusive Year-Ender 

Thanksgiving has passed, and there’s another celebration worth highlighting: Human Rights Day.

This resource will discuss this monumental day and how it synergizes with holiday celebrations. Through this article, we hope you embrace various holidays that can be a powerful platform for promoting understanding and respect.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights 

The international community commemorates Human Rights Day every year on December 10. In 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This helps protect human rights, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, disability, and other statuses.¹ Here are the 30 articles listed in the UDHR:

  1. All human beings are born free and equal.  
  1. Everyone is equal regardless of race, color, sex, language, religion, politics, or where they are born. 
  1. Everyone has the right to life and to live in freedom and safety.  
  1. Everyone has the right to be free from slavery.  
  1. Everyone has the right to be free from torture. 
  1. Everyone has the right to be recognized before the law.  
  1. We are all equal before the law.  
  1. Everyone has the right to seek justice if their rights are violated.  
  1. Everyone has the right to freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention, or exile.  
  1. Everyone has the right to a fair trial. 
  1. Everyone has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.  
  1. Everyone has the right to privacy and freedom from attacks on their reputation.  
  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and to be free to leave and return to their own country. 
  1. Everyone has the right to seek asylum from persecution.  
  1. Everyone has the right to a nationality.  
  1. Everyone has the right to marry and to have a family.  
  1. Everyone has the right to own property. 
  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion.  
  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.  
  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.  
  1. Everyone has the right to take part in government and to have equal access to public service.  
  1. Everyone has the right to social security.  
  1. Everyone has the right to work, equal pay, protection against unemployment, and the right to form and join trade unions. 
  1. Everyone has the right to rest and leisure.  
  1. Everyone has the right to a decent standard of living, including food, clothing, housing, medical care, and social services. 
  1. Everyone has the right to education.  
  1. Everyone has the right to participate in and enjoy culture, art, and science. 
  1. Everyone has the right to a social and international order where the rights in this Declaration can be fully realized.  
  1. We have a duty to other people, and we should protect their rights and freedoms.  
  1. Nobody can take away these freedoms and rights from us.  

Human Rights Day: An Impactful Day of Celebration This December 

The theme for the 75th anniversary this 2023 is “Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All.”² Celebrating Human Rights Day is important, and here is why we celebrate it every year:

To Raise Awareness

Every human being has their personal rights that need to be protected. This serves as an opportunity to educate people about their rights and those around them, creating a supportive and respectful environment for everyone.

To Promote Equality

It helps promote the idea that everyone is equal and should be treated with dignity and respect. We can take this time to celebrate diversity and recognize contributions from different walks of life.

To Advocate for Change

Many around the world are still suffering. By advocating for our rights, we establish awareness against various forms of abuse and demand justice for those whose rights have been violated.

To Honor Human Rights Defenders

Human Rights Day helps honor the works of those who defended people’s rights in the past. Some people may have risked their lives to protect their rights and everyone around them. On this day, we recognize their courage and stand with them as we look into a brighter future that these brave individuals once sparked.

Emphasizing Human Rights: Activities to Enjoy This Season 

This holiday season, remember the people around you by celebrating the beauty of our humanity and honoring our rights. Here are some activities you can take part in at work:

1. Set up a free expression wall for the whole organization.

For this activity, you can set up a giant piece of paper or canvas against a massive wall and encourage employees to write about what human rights mean to them. This can allow them to bring forward their ideas, concerns, and feelings about their situation.

Encourage employees to read what their peers have written to help them understand what others think and what their lived experiences are.

2. Start a social media campaign.

You can encourage your employees to talk about their struggles and how they sought justice.

You may ask them to choose a format they will be comfortable sharing their story through, such as Facebook Live, social media posts, stories, or email newsletters. Remember to use related hashtags to help your posts appear on the feeds of interested people. You can use hashtags like #HumanRightsDay, #StandUp4HumanRights, or #UDHR75.

3. Arrange a networking event to boost connections.

This is to bring people from different organizations closer. This event allows people to share ideas and collaborate on initiatives. It would be best to choose a venue that’s easily accessible to the people you’ll invite to ensure most of them can attend.

Prepare activities encouraging attendees to connect, like icebreakers, group discussions, and workshops. You can invite speakers to share their experiences and insights on human rights issues.

You can encourage them to connect by providing opportunities to communicate by setting up an area where attendees can exchange business cards and contact information.

4. Host human rights conferences.

If you wish to educate your employees about the issues we face today, you may organize human rights conferences where they can gain access to various topics and discussions. Here are some subjects you may discuss:

5. Organize an activism summit.

Statista surveyed 3,227 Gen Z respondents about which social issues they consider important.³ Here are a few related to human rights that were highlighted:

  • 88% guaranteeing quality education for every child
  • 86% preserving individual rights and freedoms
  • 85% ensuring greater access to healthcare
  • 78% addressing systemic racism
  • 74% safeguarding the rights of vulnerable populations

Help your employees put their values into action by organizing an activism summit. You can invite leading activists to discuss their advocacies and inspire your members. Encourage discussions to teach your employees to speak up about what is important to them and help them develop actionable plans.

Humanity deserves celebration this Human Rights Day 

The UDHR started a global initiative, and we can help the progress continue through commemorations and education.

This Human Rights Day and holiday season, take this time to talk to your colleagues and loved ones about their rights and how to protect them and others.

CELEBRATE HUMAN RIGHTS BEYOND DECEMBER WITH THE HELP OF PEAK PERFORMERS

Human rights can be commemorated and celebrated from Human Rights Day and beyond. You can do this by hiring inclusively and welcoming diverse candidates into your organization. Let Peak Performers help you by connecting you with top candidates with disabilities.

We have 28 years of experience and 99 percent customer satisfaction in matching the right people with their best employers. Let us know if you need to fill temporary, direct hire, or executive roles in engineering, technology services, government, or finance.

Get in touch with us today and start expanding your teams.

References 

1. “Title.” Amnesty International, www.amnesty.org/universal-declaration-of-human-rights. 21 Nov. 2023.

2. “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Turns 75.” United Nations, 2023, www.ohchr.org/en/get-involved/campaign/udhr-75.

3. “Thinking about the Kind of America in Which You Want to Live, How Important Are the following Issues to You Right Now?” Statista, 13 Oct. 2023, www.statista.com/gen-z-perspective-on-social-issues-us.

Navigating People-First and Identity-First Communication 

Addressing a person with a disability is much like engaging with any other individual. Such interactions lay the foundation for comfortable conversations that foster rapport and respect.

This article delves into the dialogue surrounding people-first and identity-first languages. People-first language prioritizes the person before their disability and emphasizes their humanity. Meanwhile, identity-first language acknowledges and, in some cases, highlights disability as a significant part of a person’s identity.

We’ll explore both perspectives and the intricacies of language selection in pursuit of more inclusive, disability-affirming communities.

 

Disability Inclusive Communication 

Disability-inclusive communication is all about recognizing and respecting diverse human experiences while ensuring that communication is open and welcoming to all. This approach to communication goes beyond just addressing people with disabilities; it benefits everyone.

Related Reading: People with invisible disabilities are everywhere 

 

The Complexity of Language Choices in Disability-Inclusive Communication 

Choosing the right words in disability-inclusive communication isn’t always straightforward. While some phrases are clearly disrespectful, others fall into a gray area. This ambiguity comes from the person’s age, background, how they feel about their disability and personal preference.

Sometimes, people will even use words considered offensive to refer to themselves or those with similar conditions, a process often referred to as “reclaiming” or “reappropriating” language. Also, people with disabilities may use ableist language because it is culturally commonplace to do so. Individuals with mental health conditions might use terms like “insane” to describe situations, and those who are blind may casually say they “see your point.”

Finally, many people with disabilities often feel that others are overly cautious when interacting with them, leading to awkward exchanges or a lack of inclusion altogether. “Walking on eggshells” like this stifles open communication, and many people with disabilities prefer you saying the wrong thing and correcting yourself instead of saying nothing at all.

In this intricate language landscape, engaging in open conversations about inclusive language is essential. Language is constantly evolving, and we are all learning. Communicating with empathy and respect, coupled with a readiness to apologize and improve when mistakes are made, is the key to fostering more disability-inclusive communities.

 

Creating an Inclusive Environment for All 

Just like anyone else, individuals with disabilities have the same desire to communicate and form meaningful relationships. It’s essential to recognize them as friends and peers who share the exact social and emotional needs as everyone else. This approach encourages open, unbiased dialogue.

Here are some tips for creating a disability-inclusive communication environment:

 

1. Embrace Open Communication

Welcoming individuals with disabilities into conversations requires a commitment to open and respectful dialogue. The key is to approach everyone, regardless of their disability status, with kindness and respect. Treat them and communicate with them as you would anyone else.

Related Reading: Disability Inclusion Starts with You 

 

2. Prioritize Ongoing Education

Inclusive language keeps changing to be more respectful and inclusive of persons with disabilities. It’s essential to keep learning and adapting. Educate yourself on topics such as person-first vs. identity-first language, avoiding stigmatizing or derogatory words, and learning more about the lived experiences of people with disabilities.

 

3. Observe Nuances in Language

Language choices can be intricate and nuanced. Some phrases that may seem disrespectful in one context are commonly used by individuals with disabilities themselves. Language is a powerful tool, and even well-intentioned words can sometimes perpetuate stereotypes or inadvertently offend people.

Here are some common phrases and words to avoid, as highlighted by the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) and their recommended word choices to be more respectful and inclusive.¹

Use Avoid
“People/Individuals with disabilities” “The disabled”
“People with disabilities/specific disability” “Handicapped”
“People with intellectual or cognitive disabilities” “Mentally defective”
“Individuals who are hard of hearing” “Deaf and dumb”
“People with physical disabilities/mobility challenges” “Crippled”
“People who are unable to speak/use synthetic speech” “Dumb” or “mute”
“People with epilepsy/seizure disorders” “Epileptic”
“Wheelchair user” “Wheelchair bound”
“People living with” or “individuals who experience” “Afflicted by”

4. Overcome Fear of Offense

Many people with disabilities experience the feeling that others are “walking on eggshells” around them, which can lead to awkward or strained interactions. To address this, we seek to create an environment where disability is normalized and accepted, and people with disabilities are seen the same as their peers without a disability.

However, realize that mistakes will be made. When this happens, apologize and seek to learn from your mistakes. Build a culture of openness and grace where mistakes are used as opportunities for growth.

Related Reading: Everything you know about disability inclusion is WRONG 

 

FOSTER INCLUSIVE COMMUNICATION WITH PEAK PERFORMERS

Discover more about disability-diverse communication with Peak Performers. Explore our blog, share insights with your peers, and start a path of continuous learning. Let’s foster discussions that support our friends, colleagues, and bosses with disabilities at work.

If you’re seeking employment opportunities, or if you’re an employer looking to build an inclusive workplace, get in touch with us to explore how we can collaborate.

 

Reference 

1 “Person-First and Identity-First Language.” Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN), https://askearn.org/page/people-first-language. Accessed 25 Oct. 2023.

The Key to Job Fulfillment: Learn to Evaluate Company Culture 

Finding the right job is more than just finding the right compensation package. Discovering long-term happiness in a job also means identifying a company culture that resonates with your values and what matters most to you.

In this article, we examine the importance of company culture and also provide you with tips to evaluate the work culture of perspective future employers.

The Importance of Company Culture 

In a Gallup report, employees who were quietly quitting were surveyed about what they would change about their current workplace.¹ These three were the top answers:

  • 41% Culture or Engagement
  • 28% Pay and Benefits
  • 16% Well-being

Based on these results, better culture and engagement is the most desired change! While we may often be attracted to a job based on its pay and benefits, ultimately culture and engagement determine whether we stick around.

According to Great Place to Work, there are three main criteria.² Here is how a company culture can affect an employee’s career:

Credibility

A solid company culture starts with trust, and that trust begins with you. You’ve got to believe that your leadership’s actions align with their words. It’s all about honesty, integrity, and ethical behavior. When you trust your leaders and find them credible, the effects are significant.

Your job satisfaction skyrockets, motivation peaks, and your commitment to the company strengthens over the long run.

Fairness

Fairness means fostering equal opportunities and just compensation. When you trust your organization maintains a level playing field with equitable recognition and compensation, your experience turns notably positive. Equity cultivates a deep sense of justice and equality, elevating employee satisfaction and engagement.

Workplaces supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives often create more opportunities for individuals with disabilities, contributing to a more inclusive and enriching work environment.

Respect

Respect is more than acknowledgment; it’s a genuine appreciation for you as an individual with a life beyond work. A culture based on respect values your contributions, welcomes your perspectives, and provides flexibility in your work arrangements.

When you encounter respect, trust, and the support to pursue your professional goals while balancing your personal life, your engagement, dedication, and commitment to the company flourish. Respect creates a nurturing and empowering work environment where diversity and inclusion thrive.

Related Article: Set the Right Foundations: What is Belonging in the Workplace? 

Make Sound Career Decisions: How to Evaluate Company Culture 

Now that you understand the importance of company culture, let’s look at the steps you can take to assess the culture of any potential employer. Here are five practices you can apply.

1. Identify what you are looking for in your next job.

In finding your next job and getting to know a potential employer’s organizational culture, you must first identify your priorities. Ask yourself what you are looking for in your next job. Create a list and use that to research potential employers.

According to Gal