Giving Compass’ Take:
• With the help of Harvard Business School, two crafty social entrepreneurs created Skillist, a platform that encourages applicants to detail their skills drawing deep from their experiences, and then matches them with employers who require someone with a specific skill set. Their goal is to create a more balanced and equitable hiring system.
• How can enterprises like Skillist encourage employers to use an equity-based lens during the hiring process? How can all organizations shift their mindset toward this type of thinking?
For entry-level job roles, many employers tend to rely on the credentials within a resume – like a four-year degree or a blue-chip employer – as a proxy for skill. However, this practice significantly narrows the pool of talent that a given employer might consider, and leaves millions of jobs sitting open. At the same time, tens of millions of workers are being overlooked for great entry-level professional jobs because they lack the right credential, even though they’re otherwise completely qualified. This massive systemic imbalance is what drives us every day at Skillist.
By April 2017, we had determined that a solution that enabled fairer and more effective connections between jobseekers and employers was the best way to move forward — and we decided to pursue our idea full-time. We’ve since built and launched Skillist, a proprietary skills-based application system. We currently work with companies who have unfilled, entry-level roles in critical functions like customer service and administration, and we connect them to great candidates who they might otherwise overlook.
We work with employers to translate their job descriptions into a clear list of skills. Candidates apply by sharing detailed examples of how they have developed and acquired each skill. We encourage users to draw from all aspects of their lives, adding personal achievements and volunteering to more traditional professional activities like education and work history. When employers receive an application, there is no name or identifying information attached, which lets them make a decision based on skills above all else.
During our pilot, we found that 40% of all Skillist applicants were passed through to the next round, meaning it was twenty times more effective than the pass-through rate on the average online job board!
Read the full article about skillist by Ananth Kasturiraman & Caroline Fay at Harvard Business School
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