Competencies, not degrees! Survey shows shift in criteria for sourcing talent


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A survey conducted in November 2019, in the US, by the Chamber of Commerce Foundation, shows a shift in how businesses recruit. Among the 500 hiring managers and respondents interviewed, 74% acknowledged the dearth of skilled workforce in the labour market.

Since, the global market is tight-knitted, and talent is being sourced any where, the study serves as samples of what is obtainable in many other parts of the world, especially Africa where there is slow adoption of tech innovation.

This is it. Advances in technology is constantly changing skills requirement for the work place. Unfortunately, the education systems across countries are slow to adapt to the obvious market shift.

Hence, a Senior Vice President of the US Chamber of Commerce, Cheryl Odham, emphasized the “need to move toward a skills-based approach for educating and hiring where the skills taught in the classroom directly align to the skills required for a career”,

Taking into consideration the skill gap in places like Nigeria, in the next 20 years if the crop of present graduates and undergraduates are not retrained, they will either be redundant or underpaid.

The study defined competencies as knowledge and skills that can be observed, measured, and assessed. As a remedy for the skill gap, the team at the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation advised states and private authorities agencies to :

  • Increase upskilling initiatives for current employees¬†
  • Work with educational programs (i.e. partner programs with local schools, post-secondary partnerships, etc.) to strengthen talent pipelines¬†
  • Improve alignment between educational program curricula and the skills needed in the workforce.

Whereas Nigeria has one of the largest youth population in the world, ensuring the educational programs in the tertiary institutions align with the realities in global market place will placed many of the young people at advantage against workforce from India, Silicon Valley or Beijing going into the future. This is critical to reducing the present rate of unemployment. It will also help shore up the skills needed among the demography aiming to take up entrepreneurship.

Toyin Afilaka
Toyin Afilaka
Toyin Afilaka writes with simplicity and insight. He aims to enrich the Nigerian small business landscape. Through Hustle24 he connects entrepreneurs with information about new policies, enterprise solutions and opportunities that will aid their 'hustle'. He has written extensively for CobraReview, a product review portal, and served as a lead project manager for MarketingMix where he consulted as PR consultant for MTN Project Fame and Business Next Titan etc.


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