Written by: Jenn Drakes
I will always marvel at the fact that although COVID-19 was the cause of many negative outcomes, it also provided just as many, if not more, blessings. One such blessing is that the job market is moving away from the belief that only degreed workers are employable and capable. That pre- conceived notion has marginalised a portion of society that may not be well-suited to our theoretical school systems, or those who have predominantly creative minds.
The job market is in turmoil. Companies need workers, and workers need jobs. Those job seekers are a blend of young and old, experienced and inexperienced, educated and uneducated, and everything in-between. Let’s face it, this job- related churn occurred as a result of COVID-19. Those that lost their job during the pandemic are experienced workers, but that experience was predominantly in the non-essential fields that took the brunt of COVID-19 lockdowns. Fifteen and a half months later, here we are with hundreds of thousands of unemployed individuals and “For Hire” demands that cannot be filled, unless something gives way.
COVID-19 eradicated the notion that work- from-home could not be productive or could not be managed at broader levels of allowance. The pandemic has also challenged the idea that the only employable and capable workers are those who attended school in a disciplined fashion, holding degrees or certifications.
As mentioned earlier, something needs to give way for change to happen, and that something is companies finally rethinking their approach to hiring. They are loosening up on where they look fortalent,andwhattalenttheyseekout. Their lens on “capable” is broadening and that is good. no, great news for the marginalised school dropouts and creatives out there. The new game is a return to on-the-job training or intensive short-term training of three months or less to showcase your talent. This is what I consider to be a common sense hiring approach, and a competitively winning one for companies.
To illustrate, Amazon did away with having to provide the traditional resume and cover letter, as well as the interview. Their online process involves completion of an application with optional resume and a behavioural test. This then leads to an on-site appointment to plan your work schedule. Of course it is Amazon’s chance to see who you are and ensure some level of appropriateness with the hire. After that, there is a background check, followed by more online onboarding that includes human resources paperwork, etc… Voila! You are hired and informed when you start! This approach is so successful that word-of-mouth is fueling Amazon’s program, and the great thing is that many people, including young adults, are getting an opportunity with a prominent company (and they are loving it).
Now, let’s see how quickly the companies cemented in old ways can get with the program and adapt.