Developing Diverse Skill Sets With Non-Linear Career Paths

blog cover

Traditionally, employees embarked on the linear career path with aspirations to ascend the corporate ladder. They’d start in an entry-level position and work up to supervisor or management.

This career model may have been ‘okay’ years ago, but in a world where technology and job definitions continuously change, the typical career path is no longer robust enough to attract, inspire, and retain top-notch diverse candidates.

Often, employees may stay in the same department as they advance and can feel stagnated or unseen. Some workers prefer to stay in the same department because they’re comfortable, but comfort can mimic boredom or the feeling of being undervalued after a few years.

Whether the employee is ambitious or comfortable, they’re mostly recognized for the skills primarily listed on their resume, while other skills sit idle. These could be skills the company has been looking for.

Another issue with the traditional career path is not everyone strives for management. The extra pressure and responsibility of maintaining the workload of a team may be off putting for some employees. Promoting them to manager because it’s the next step can negatively impact the organization:

  • Wasted resources
  • High employee turnover
  • Low employee morale
  • Decrease in production

Instead of keeping up with tradition, organizations should consider another solution that fits employees’ wants and needs. Think of how employers adapted their work schedules, employee benefits, and company culture to accommodate different lifestyles, people, and expectations.

Over the last three years, candidate attraction, employee development, and career advancement have changed to reflect that in some way. The non-linear career path stems from these reflections and is being utilized by HR experts and organizational leaders.

Non-linear career paths aren’t anything new and have been around since the ‘90s, and it’s appearing more due to the change in employee goals, wants, needs, and demand for flexibility in their career. It can boost diversity and retention, and increase the number of qualified candidates.

Focusing On Skill

A significant problem for employers across multiple industries is the need for more qualified candidates. The problem gives verity to the statement “good help is hard to find,” or does it?

Perhaps it is worth considering the possibility that the current set of criteria employed to assess a candidate’s qualifications may not be entirely reliable. Relying solely on an individual’s possession or absence of degrees, licenses, and certifications has the potential to significantly restrict the pool of talent available for consideration.

Consequently, employers run the risk of overlooking exceptional candidates who possess extensive experience but lack the official credentials to substantiate their capabilities. As a result, valuable opportunities to acquire prime employees with a wealth of knowledge and expertise might be missed.

This singular factor can have a profound impact on applicants from diverse communities and restricts the options available to recruiters when selecting candidates. However, focusing on a candidate’s skill set can significantly diminish this limitation. While this has implications for job seekers, it also raises the question of how it affects current employees.

Candidates were hired based on the skill sets listed on their resumes, but as employees, they may have other skills beneficial to the company that aren’t listed. These skills are experienced first-hand by their manager and coworkers and are worth considering.

Determining these skills and where they are better served can help HR managers determine the employee’s next promotion or advancement. Finding out what hidden talents employees have is just as important as the skills they don’t have. By investing in employee development, employers can help their workers develop those skills and use them in other areas of the company.

Employee Development Benefits The Company

Employee development plays a crucial role in non-linear career paths and employee retention. A Microsoft survey found that 76% of employees would stay with their company longer if they could benefit from learning and development more.

Employee development allows employers to be strategic with their training. Training can be used to develop employees with skills that can strengthen a particular team or department. The company can also nurture the skills needed for a new department, team, or project.

Employees can be moved laterally into the new department or project, and hiring managers can finish building out the team with new hires using skills-based hiring. Not only does this help to enhance employee retention, but it can save the company money by hiring from within.

On average, it costs approximately $4700 to hire one employee and about $986 to train them. Hiring existing employees for other roles and departments can leave more room in the budget for other expenses.

Discover The Other Hiring Trends For 2023

How HR Technology Can Help

The landscape of work has evolved, and it’s essential for employers to look at non-linear career paths from their point of view, not just from the employee’s side. Non-linear careers make HR professionals, recruiters, and hiring managers look closely at candidates’ and employees’ skills to see where they could reach their full potential.

The company can then help its employees develop the skills the organization has trouble hiring for or doesn’t have. Whichever way, it revolves around looking at the skills needed for the job.

Once the hiring lens is refocused in that way, diversity and the candidate pool increase. As a recruiter and hiring manager, time doesn’t always permit you to comb through every resume to highlight specific skills, especially by hand.

Utilize the available contemporary human resources (HR) tools to your advantage. Embrace HR technology integrated with artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities that facilitate the streamlined evaluation of resumes, prioritizing the candidate’s actual skills rather than factors such as their educational institution, ethnicity, religious beliefs, gender, or similar attributes.

Seek technology that centers on the candidate’s qualifications: the skills, experience, and credentials that empower them to do the job.

ThisWay offers recruitment software that reviews applicant resumes based on skills and experience. It takes that criterion and matches them with open positions that best relate to their skill sets, making your ability to find the best candidate much more manageable.

Reach out to discover how to harness these benefits in your recruitment strategy!

Don't miss an article

Improve your workflow

Saepe nulla ab nobis itaque corporis fuga illo doloribus sequi esse aspernatur impedit nihil quisquam, voluptates placeat architecto adipisci id cum enim.

Get started