While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly jobs reports have shown a steady and promising uptick in employment, it will likely still take until next summer to regain the jobs lost during COVID-19. But even without a global pandemic, the job market has been in the midst of a major shift for a while.
Not only have white-collar jobs become more technical and tech-heavy, but the workforce has also become more diversified in terms of skillset, background and location. Major agencies and brands no longer need to focus their recruiting efforts on major hub cities like New York or San Francisco, and four-year degrees—once considered a necessary gatekeeper in many industries—are no longer a gold standard for determining knowledge, skill and role-readiness.
As much as the jobs and employment landscape has changed in the past decade, it accelerated exponentially during the past year. Not only did companies that had previously been reluctant to allow employees to work from home have to turn on a dime, their hiring processes had to quickly catch up as well. This gap in preparedness needed to be filled, and so we worked to create a wider, more efficient and more equitable bridge between employers and job seekers.
Expanding the hiring pool
According to the World Economic Forum’s 2020 “Future of Jobs” report, nearly half of all employees will need reskilling by 2025 due to advances in technology, and some 70% of employers plan to offer the tools necessary—an encouraging number to say the least.
Part of this is due to a “double-disruption,” as the report calls it. Automation of tasks combined with the major economic and technical restructuring that happened due to the pandemic have accelerated this trend. These changes are not all bad or scary though: A large majority of online-based employers are considering making nearly half of their workforce remote, and the appetite among individuals for continued education through online courses has quadrupled.
These combined stats offer an exciting opportunity for employers. If new or existing roles can be location-agnostic, then the potential pool of candidates will greatly expand. And, because so many applicants are either advancing their skillset, taking classes to change careers or simply seeking out online certifications to verify their professional abilities, there are significantly more metrics by which to evaluate candidates than in the past.
That’s why we created Facebook Career Programs to help prepare job seekers with no relevant experience to kickstart professional careers through online training, credentials from Facebook and a job search platform for Facebook certified learners to connect with employers. We want to help facilitate a movement that will change the way people work and companies hire to help more individuals find professional jobs through alternative pathways.
The future of hiring
For all the advancements that technical industries make each year, one in which they’ve generally lagged is hiring innovation. According to the Harvard Business Review, nearly two-thirds of available jobs in the U.S. require a bachelor’s or associate’s degree, even in fields where on-the-job experience is more vital than theory and traditional classroom instruction.
Not only that, but HBR also reported that 61% of business and HR professionals recently admitted to discarding resumes that didn’t mention four-year degrees, which immediately discounts large swaths of otherwise qualified, diverse candidates. (Of course, these higher-education requirements disproportionately preclude many diverse workers, including 68% of Black, 79% of Latinos and 81% of Native American applicants.)
In fact, research by [email protected] reveals that when companies use arbitrary four-year degree screens, they overlook 70+ million U.S. workers who lack degrees but are Skilled Through Alternative Routes (STARs) — such as community college, workforce training, bootcamps, certificate programs, military service, or on-the-job learning. Their research also proves that excluding STARs can have damaging effects on workers, employers and the economy.
Many potential job applicants may have both the technical skills and strategic vision to create and grow a brand, but a traditional HR algorithm would likely discount their application because of a lack of a college degree.
As part of Facebook Career Programs, one of our key initiatives is through our new Facebook Certification Career Network which aims to push employers to rethink their standard practices as much as we encourage applicants to advance their skillsets. To that end, our career programs represent the steps Facebook is taking in hopes to help create equitable access to jobs through alternative, affordable and flexible career training. This includes career certificates in growing fields, online training and our job search platform, where we are actively searching out and partnering with companies to commit to sourcing diverse talent from a multitude of backgrounds, both personally and professionally.
For Muhammed Umair Tasleem, when the pandemic hit, his business took a beating. He had always been curious about marketing so he pursued the Facebook Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate and earned his Facebook Digital Marketing Associate certification. Within two weeks of obtaining the certification, he landed his first internship as a social media marketing specialist for an agency and now is working towards his dream career.
And now, as a certified professional who has access to Facebook’s certification career network, someone like Tasleem can scout (or be scouted by) one of the top agencies or brands who are participating in our consortium.
Join our movement
Talent like Tasleem’s shouldn’t be overlooked. There are now more than 60 employers who have joined our career network and are committed to sourcing skilled and diverse talent. Facebook and Coursera are partnering with more than 70 organizations and non-profits to distribute hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships to disenfranchised and displaced professionals globally.
We intend to grow this hiring consortium and change the way businesses hire. Top companies like BBDO, dentsu, GroupM, Havas Media, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health, Vayner Media, and of course, Facebook, are already posting opportunities, and we’ve also created our very own job search platform so that our certified job seekers can share their profiles with employers.
We hope that through this platform, we can broaden the scope of possibilities for both employers and applicants. If finding qualified, highly capable talent is easier and less time-consuming, that’s just one less process they will have to optimize for the future.