In the digital world that we live in today, job searching and applying is seemingly quicker and easier than that of yesteryear. Rather than physically traveling to each work space to turn in a resume and cover letter, documents can now be submitted directly to the company through their website or on a large database. In the New York Times article “Job Hunting in the Digital Age”, Tara Siegel Bernard details the sense of helplessness that recent college graduates feel when they submit hundreds of applications and don’t hear back from any.
Digital Hiring Process:
As online resources are being used to hire new employees, these companies use algorithms and digital tools to narrow down applicants without even talking to them. Companies use software to search incoming resumes for keywords that pertain to job descriptions, such as project management or specific software use. As a result, applicants will oftentimes be rejected from the hiring process before human eyes see their resumes. To counter this, applicants must learn the specialized skills of their field and begin to understand the hiring process more to get a relevant job. Without job-specific training, applicants will not have the necessary employment skills and related keywords to stand out in the job market.
While digital tools streamline the hiring process, they fall short compared to the effectiveness of personal connections. One example used in “Job Hunting in the Digital Age” is how Ben Kim, a recent college graduate, only found full-time employment after connecting with the head of a software user-experience design company on Twitter. This personalized approach, in union with the specific skills that Mr. Kim developed post-graduation, secured his future employment because he was able to go outside of the blanket, digital hiring approach. By using Twitter, he circumvented the current ineffective and robotic hiring process. Overall, new graduates need to utilize the new hiring technology, but not completely rely on it to find employment in their fields.
With the Bridging Nations Foundation’s new “Education 2 Employment Bridges” initiative, we aim to help job seekers gain specific employment skills, without the high cost of traditional higher education. This specialized education will help make unemployed and underemployed people more attractive in the hiring process, giving them the training they need to advance into a better employment opportunity.
In 2015, the unemployment rate of young college graduates was 7.2%, with the underemployment rate at 14.9% (Economic Policy Institute). Studies have shown that, with an advanced degree, this unemployment rate drastically decreases due to the skill level of the employee increasing (cite studies/source). However, an advanced degree comes with a hefty price, which often means a hefty loan. Such a decrease can also be achieved through specialized training that gives applicants the skills needed to succeed without the costs of unnecessary classes needed for degrees.
With E2E Bridges, the Bridging Nations Foundation takes a blended learning approach on educating people to prepare them for the workforce. E2E Bridges uses a more personalized approach based on the goals of the person, as well as the curriculum needed to gain necessary skills. Additionally, E2E Bridges promotes working directly with mentors so students can learn from mentors’ experience and seek their guidance.
While standard higher education provides students with base knowledge, specialized career-centric learning makes them stand out in the overcrowded job market. As stated by Dr. Prakash Ambegaonkar, CEO of Bridging Nations Foundation, “Student employability is the last mile in higher education.”
Written by: Arianna Bartlett
Tags: college graduates, digital hiring, education to employment, higher education, last mile, learning, skill gap, unemployment