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Recruiting to Retention: The Emerging Role of Digital Credentials in the World of Work

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  • Picture of Jonathan Finkelstein
    Jonathan Finkelstein
  • Future of Work
  • Economics and Finance
  • Employment

In a survey of global CEOs, PwC found that “availability of skills” was among the top 5 threats CEOs worry will harm their organization’s growth—behind issues like over-regulation, terrorism, and geopolitical uncertainty.

In an era where the number of jobs that require a degree is growing -- but just a fraction of adults ever complete college -- employers are learning that their hiring practices may actually exacerbate the very skills gaps they were designed to alleviate. Led by the UK offices of firms like EY and Penguin Random House, a growing number of global employers are making the move to skills-based hiring, looking beyond historic proxies toward more granular evidence of skills in demand and the capabilities of would-be employees.

It is a shift rooted in a belief that skills gaps are, in some ways, simply communications gaps. And it is fueling demand for secure, portable, digital credentials that can provide employers with better evidence of in-demand skills, and provide job-seekers with new tools to show employers what they know and can do.

 

Communications Gap, or Skills Gap?

The move toward skills-based hiring is being enabled by a growing number of education providers, including traditional colleges and universities, that are leading the charge, issuing badges that recognize not just courses and credits, but the skills embedded within academic programs.

Consider the case of an architecture firm in the State of Colorado, which struggled for months to fill three open positions before learning about an engineering graphics badge issued through Credly’s digital credential platform by the Colorado Community College System. Within 72 hours of reaching out to badge holders surfaced by our platform, the firm was able to fill all three positions.

 

A “Heat Map” for Talent

But digital badges are being used by savvy employers for far more than just hiring. A growing number of organizations are using digital badges to track and manage internal talent. Digital credentials can reveal opportunities to close internal skills gaps through targeted development-- or to create more transparent career pathways to retain top performers as a tight labor market fuels costly churn.  The IBM Open Badge Program, which officially launched in 2016, now manages 1,700 badgeable activities and has issued digital credentials to more than 400,000 individuals. The award-winning initiative has improved recruitment, engagement, and retention, and enabled corporate leaders to create a virtual “heat map” of the skills possessed by badge earners in 195 countries.

 

A New, Common Language

Of course, the issuance, earning and management of digital credentials requires technology that enables a multiplicity of stakeholders to exchange data in ways that maximize not just security and portability for earners, but allows for seamless authentication and validation of skills by employers. Credly is fast becoming the platform that helps the world speak a common language about people’s knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Individuals are empowered with evidence of their capabilities, certifications, and achievements that are verified in real-time, at the click of a button. Earners are bridging the divide between school and work, gaining recognition for skills developed on the job as well as in the classroom.  And to ensure validity, forgery-proof metadata built into the badge includes who earned it, who issued it and when, and if and when the credential expires.

We believe that skills are the coin of the realm in a knowledge economy. And that the translation of skills into digital credentials can unlock the potential of both individuals and organizations. 


 

 Jonathan Finkelstein, CEO and founder, Credly

For more information about using Credly for digital credentialing within your company or organization, visit www.credly.com.

 

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