Major employers — including the state governments of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Utah — have done away with bachelor’s degree requirements for many jobs, opening up opportunities for millions of Americans. Yet, research shows most hiring managers still prioritize a bachelor’s degree in their hiring decisions even though millions of U.S. jobs go unfilled month after month.
To find workers for these open positions, employers can hire talent based on skills, aptitudes, and mindset, rather than degrees. This new approach to hiring works, but most employers, particularly smaller firms, are unsure of where to start.
Enter Opportunity@Work’s Stellarworx platform.
Why companies should move toward skills-based hiring
Opportunity@Work uses labor and education data to demonstrate to employers why they should eliminate degree requirements.
“If there’s really a war for talent, most companies have been waging it far too narrowly,” said economist Byron Auguste, CEO and co-founder of Opportunity@Work. “Our research shows 50 percent of the U.S. workforce are STARs (Skilled Through Alternative Routes such as community college, partial college completion, military service, workforce training programs, skills bootcamps, or learning on-the-job versus a bachelor’s degree). If companies don’t have a STARs talent strategy, they only have half a talent strategy.”
Opportunity@Work’s Stellarworx platform helps organizations recruit from a larger talent pool. The Charles Koch Foundation (CKF) will provide $1 million in 2023 to enhance Stellarworx. This investment will assist in the building of the technology and infrastructure needed to help employers scale hiring practices built on the belief that people are ready to contribute if matched with a role that fits their unique potential.
How StellarWorx advances skills-based hiring
Stellarworx is a “one-stop shop” that aids employers as they scale skills-based hiring, helps training and education providers connect learners to quality roles, and connects STARs with higher-wage jobs that lead to greater upward mobility.
Every job on Stellarworx is posted without degree requirements. The platform re-orients the traditional recruiting evaluation to focus on skills themselves, rather than where they were earned. Advanced skills-based matching, powered by global workforce intelligence company SkyHive, helps STARs find the right jobs and helps employers find people with the combination of skills they need for their open roles.
The platform is available nationwide and is rapidly expanding, with the strongest presence in regions like Washington, D.C., the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Houston.
“We believe that if you can do the job, you can get the job,” said Auguste. “Smart companies of all sizes in numerous industries are realizing it’s time to stop screening out good candidates based on pedigree and, instead, start screening-in talent based on skills.”
In the coming years, application programming interfaces (APIs) will connect Stellarworx directly to other hiring sites. This enhancement will allow those sites to turn on ‘STARs inclusion mode,’ expanding employers’ access to STARs, and STARs’ access to quality jobs.
“Opportunity@Work has shown employers their organizations benefit when they eliminate degree requirements and help skilled workers find opportunities that fit their unique talents,” said CKF Executive Director Ryan Stowers. “But this is just the start of a growing movement to help people unlock their potential. We believe Stellarworx provides a bottom-up solution for employers who are leading innovators in their industries, starting with a deep commitment to understanding the skills and aptitudes necessary to thrive in their organization.”
Learn more here.