By Wanda “Sistah Soldier” Petty, President & CEO
As America moves forward during a pandemic and a social movement of the century, things continue to shift to the new norm. The job market is making a call for different kinds of criteria. Standards that were long unapproved by employers are making their way through the crevices.
On June 26, 2020, President Trump signed an Executive Order (on section 301 of title 3, United States Code, and sections 1104(a)(1), 3301, and 7301 of title 5, United States Code). Its purpose is to reform and modernize civil service hiring with improved identification of skills requirements, just as in the civilian sector.
The order emphasizes that “America’s private employers have modernized their recruitment practices to better identify and secure talent through skills- and competency-based hiring.” The Department of Labor has finally recognized employers are rapidly adapting to accepting a candidate’s competency-based skills and choosing to hire with this in mind, instead of allowing educational obstacles to cause disproportionate performance skills within their organization.
Having an overreliance on college degrees excludes self-taught qualified candidates from obtaining jobs that are emerging in technology, and creates a disadvantage and burden on low-income Americans. So, what does this mean overall? It means that individuals who have technology skills and do not possess a degree or certificate have a better opportunity to gain sustainable employment.
It’s reasonable to say one’s experience of using technology is now acceptable on applications and shouldn’t stop their progression if there’s no evidence of having a specific type of degree. However, I want to promote being proactive and not waiting for every employer to adapt to this model before you begin taking action to prepare yourself. Keep in mind; the key is “having the experience.” Just because the order is signed, it doesn’t mean every employer will accept it immediately.
With the pandemic, businesses are revising their offshoring and instead learning to emulate leaner ways for their teams to work: sharing resources across projects, leaning on professionals whose skills and experience are multifaceted, and embracing the collaboration of tools virtually.
Here’s how you can close the gap between you and acquiring a technical job.
Become familiar with the essential skills companies will look for to reduce their staffing. Tools such as Microsoft Teams, One Drive, Zoom, Slack, SharePoint, and DropBox will give you the ability to know, understand, and implement the smart technology companies with shrunken budgets seek, to continue technology initiatives that will advance their entities.
The hope is, the Executive Order will encourage employers to return their focus from offshore hiring and begin seeking talent in the United States.
Take the initiative to position yourself to be among the prepared when the jobs hit the market. Be ready, and hungry for change and become one of the many who will stand out from the 40 million unemployed candidates. It’s your time, and it’s your season! Stay in the know, catch the train of opportunity, and watch your life change for the better.
Sistah Soldier is an inspirational leader who helps veterans, women, and minorities step into God’s call for their lives using their creative skills. She is the CEO, Host, and executive producer of SHE VET iNSPIRES Television Show and the executive recruiter for SHE MediaTech™.