STEAM in AI: Breaking Barriers with Skills-Based Hiring
Skills-based hiring is a practice increasingly adopted by employers when seeking new employees. As opposed to traditional hiring techniques, this method focuses primarily on candidates’ skill sets rather than their qualifications and credentials.
With this shift in mind, we must place more value on developing the skills that employees seek and ensuring that everyone has a chance to do so – an opportunity that we are providing with our STEAM in AI Research and Build Program.
There was a significant rise in skills-based hiring practices during the pandemic when employers became more desperate to find skilled workers to fill gaps in their labor force. At this point, they had to resort to disregarding specific qualifications, such as college degrees, that would otherwise have been deemed necessary to securing the job.
However, this paradigm didn’t change post-pandemic, and skill-based hiring has stuck around.
This trend may be related to the various benefits this method brings to organizations. Amongst these, skill-based hiring promotes diversity, as candidates with different credentials are being considered, and causes an increase in the pool of candidates for each role as more people are deemed qualified.
The practice of skills-based hiring could also be seen as more ethical in some ways than traditional hiring practices. For example, when solely considering a potential candidate’s skill set instead of concentrating exclusively on their resume, there is a lower risk of unconscious bias, as employers will be less focused on information such as the candidate’s name, place of residence, or gender.
Skills-based hiring can be of particular benefit to those affected by systemic barriers, such as a lack of access to higher learning establishments or funds to pay for certificates.
This practice would allow them to overcome these barriers and have an opportunity to enter positions previously inaccessible due to the skills they developed over time through practical experience.
We know that innovative technologies, including AI, are on the rise in almost every field and sector. Simultaneously, the demand for skilled workers to lead these developments is also increasing. Considering this and the current trend of skill-based hiring, it is more important than ever that everyone has the chance to gain experience and develop or expand their skill set in the field of STEAM.
Our STEAM in AI Research and Build Program is the perfect place to do just that, allowing high school students to connect with professionals and Ph.D. students working in AI, Data Science, and STEAM for 1:1 mentoring while working on a practical project. This is a valuable opportunity that can allow you to gain various skills that employers are looking for and help you unlock doors to multiple career paths.
If this sounds like something you or someone you know would be interested in pursuing, then visit steaminai.org to learn more.
If you’d like to hear about how focusing on your skills rather than formal education can allow you to adapt to new roles, join our first fireside chat with Simi Hunjan.
From pursuing a career in the healthcare industry with a biology degree to entering the Blockchain/distributed ledger industry, Simi followed a complex journey into the tech world, riddled with a series of challenges.
On February 2nd at 6 pm (PST), she’ll join us to discuss her career change and the obstacles she faced because of it.