Monday, July 6, 2020

Hiring for skills

The thesis is simple enough: when you need a job done, hire a skillful person [setting aside, for the moment: robots]
Who's not referred to Angie's List from time to time to find a plumber?

Bachelor's hegemony
But in the project business, there has been for a long time the hegemony of the bachelor's degree ... which is not to be denigrated in any way (I've got one) .... but there are alternatives.

Let's hear it for skills
And so the "skills development" industry has gone into high gear .... shifting now to mostly online ... with much corporate help [Microsoft, among many others] to make it possible for millions who have lost retail and hospitality jobs to move in the direction of filling the pre-pandemic 12M openings for alternatively skilled staff, usually at a higher compensation.

Now, ours is a business that has put emphasis on either/and a bachelor's degree or a PM credential from PMI or others. Our local university has a very robust program in project management that is available to the public.

But there's no reason that for the myriad of project jobs -- not necessarily the PMO -- that the hiring principle should not be 'skills-first'.

What do you get?
  • Usually bootstrappers who've shown personal initiative and have got other work and life experience; they appreciate the opportunity to dig into a good opportunity
  • Not too much baggage that requires re-training. In many cases it's a green field for both culture and job-specific skills
  • Opportunity to be a 'good corporate citizen' for the local community
  • A few that can't make it in your context .... HR issues around tenure, etc

Buy them at any online book retailer!