As 2019 comes to a close, it’s becoming clear that in 2020, we can expect a greater emphasis on ‘new collar’ jobs: excellent career opportunities for people without 4-year college degrees. This shift can be attributed to the U.S. unemployment rate hitting a 50 year low in September and the rapid pace that technology is changing the skill sets that are relevant. The rise of ‘new collar’ workers in occupations requiring basic computer skills is due to these unique circumstances.

In 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that more than 50% of jobs required some type of technology skills. In less than a year, that number is forecasted to reach 77%. That means, by 2020, three out of four jobs in this United States will require some level of computer proficiency. In an attempt to fill open positions, industry leaders are turning to skill-based hiring.

Measuring Skills, Not Degrees

In the past few years, Google, Apple, IBM, and many other high-profile companies have dropped the bachelor’s degree requirement from many of their positions to mitigate the effects of the historically low unemployment rate. These companies are turning to computer skills placement tests to identify candidates who have the necessary skills for positions. According to research by Google, GPA, education, and interviews don’t correlate with whether or not an employee is successful on the job.

A survey conducted by the American Management Association found that almost 90 percent of companies that test job candidates say they will not hire job seekers when pre-employment testing finds them to be deficient in basic skills. This finding is not surprising as pre-employment skills tests are increasingly seen as reliable indicators of future performance. Utilizing basic computer skills tests allows recruiters to spend their time interviewing only the most qualified candidates.

Increase in Remote Hiring

According to a study released by Upwork and the Freelancers Union, “Freelancing in America: 2018,” freelancing is now growing faster than the traditional workforce. The study estimates nearly 57 million Americans freelance, an increase of nearly 4 million over the past five years. The freelancing workforce grew 7%, while the non-freelancing workforce grew only 2% during the same time period. Companies are utilizing computer skills tests to confidently hire remote freelancers.

Assessing Future Performance

Measuring candidates’ basic computer skills also allows you to evaluate how easily they can be trained on new software and computer-based procedures in the future. Understanding candidates’ computer literacy enables companies to assess the time needed to train an individual in computer programs or functions that may be job-specific. The ability to use quantitative measurements to predict future job performance, allows hiring managers to make informed decisions during the hiring process, resulting in lower employee turnover rates and increased productivity.

Increasing Employee Retention

The cost of a bad hire is alarming. Harvard Business Review estimated that one mis-hire could cost businesses anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000 or more. To prevent this unnecessary expense—and to help ensure candidates actually possess the abilities they claim—more and more companies are now opting for basic computer skills tests in the beginning stages of the hiring process.

Automated Efficiency

Automation and technology may be creating new jobs that are hard to fill at exponential rates, but they are also changing the hiring process for the better. According to Select International, employment assessments save companies time and money by allowing personnel to focus their time reviewing candidates that meet the benchmark on competencies needed for success on the job. Money spent on automated computer skills tests that screen out the wrong candidates translates to hours of time back in your teams’ day.

Upskill Existing Employees

The current lack of qualified candidates for most positions puts pressure on companies to provide opportunities for existing employees to upskill. The idea is that companies will then be able to fill the funnel of entry-level positions. eSkill’s computer skills placement tests allow companies to identify the employees that would benefit from training opportunities resulting in career advancement.

Creating relevant computer skills tests is necessary to optimize the hiring and training in today’s tight labor market. eSkill’s customizable assessments and computer skills simulations are a reliable and valid method of assessing the required skills of candidates and existing employees. Offering a perfect 15-year history of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission compliance, eSkill provides a legally defensible testing platform.

Companies around the world now recognize how skills tests can reduce company spend, and the time it takes to make hiring and training decisions. Learn how eSkill’s employment assessments can help your company save money and time while increasing productivity and employee retention.

Interested in Computer Skills Tests?

Learn more about the benefits of using eSkill’s computer skills tests to evaluate candidates and existing employees quickly.

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Adina Miron

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