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Considering Alternative Credits Can Uncover Untapped Talent

Considering Alternative Credits Can Uncover Untapped Talent

April 25, 2022
A new SHRM study shows that almost half of U.S. workers have some form of alternative credential.

Workers are doing their part. To enhance their ability and demonstrate to employers that they are ready to work, 45% of the U.S. workforce has a type of alternative credential and the other half ( 49%) have considered earning one.

This is according to a new report,  The Rise of Alternative Credentials in Hiring, from the Society for Human Resource Management that was released on April 20.  

While these credentials can bring value to the workplace there is a disconnect in that systems aren’t in a place that can easily identify an individual’s skills and talents as well as reluctance by employers to recognize a new way to validate these skills, says the report. ,

“Alternative credentials are key to uncovering untapped talent, especially when it comes to those job seekers who may not have the opportunity to build skills in a traditional way but have the competencies they need to succeed,” said SHRM Foundation President Wendi Safstrom, in a statement. “A majority of executives, supervisors and HR professionals believe that including alternative credentials in hiring decisions can actually improve overall workplace diversity.”

Other key findings include:

  • Alternative credentials are popular with workers: Nearly three-quarters of U.S. workers (72%) agree they are an affordable way to gain the skills or experience necessary to enter a new job, and 77% agree that having a job-relevant alternative credential increases or would increase their chances of being hired for a job.
  •  People who hold alternative credentials bring value to the workplace, according to executives (87%), supervisors (81%) and especially HR professionals (90%).
  • During a time of skills shortages, alternative credentials can uncover untapped talent. When employers recognize alternative credentials, it becomes easier for diverse candidates to obtain employment, according to 81% of executives, 71% of supervisors and 59% of HR professionals.
  • Adjusting applicant tracking systems could help increase awareness of alternative credentials. Nearly half of HR professionals surveyed (45%) say their organization uses automated prescreening to review job applicant resumes, but only one-third of those (32%) say their automated system recognizes alternative credentials.

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