On behalf of the Federal Government of the US, President Donald J. Trump announced on Friday 26th June 2020 a new hiring protocol replacing degree-based hiring with skill-based hiring in all federal agencies.
The American Federal Government, which hires more than 2 million civil American worker is modernizing the hiring strategy focusing on the competencies of the individual rather than the academic qualifications.
The comparison between a competency and an academic qualification is not a new subject we are discussing for the first time. Many countries shed the light towards harnessing skills and competencies starting with school students to prepare them with the needed talents in the labor market, such as Finland, Norway, Switzerland, Belgium and others.
The strategy which the US President just announced has been debated 2 years ago in #Europe, #Canada, #Australia, #Russia and many other countries. However, many issues and complications emerged during the time of a crisis, as if it was a hidden iceberg hit by a ship, letting everybody knows how much they were underestimating what they were looking at from the surface.
The #American government considered the hiring criteria which the federal agencies are following are outdated, and changing this strategy will improve the quality of the civil services provided.
This announcement gives a greater opportunity to the talented individuals with apprenticeships, technical training, and apt backgrounds pursue careers in the Federal civil service.
As an HR specialist with a wide experience in the vocational training, having a solid hiring process based on the skills of any individual is a must and this topic is always an interest to me. I was supposed to attend a major conference in the same topic in Moscow few months ago, but due to the pandemic the conference has been postponed, unfortunately.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum – the Ruler of Dubai Emirate, also announced few months ago that the future government of Dubai – UAE is different than the one before or during the pandemic. He emphasized on how important is to have an agile, slim and human-centered government with no Fat, which means that he needs less people in his government, but they must be sharp, creative and highly competitive; to manage the future challenges.
In the Kingdom of Bahrain for Instance, the government paid a particular devotion to focusing on competencies, as it drew its attention to the importance of instilling skills and competencies required in the work environment in addition to the academic qualification of each individual. One of these initiatives was done through the introduction of the National Qualification Framework (NQF) provided by Bahrain Education and Training Quality Assurance Authority (BQA) and delivered by Bahraini training institutions.
In conclusion, and based on my experience in the Labor market requirements, I foresight the following:
1. Based on a report titled “Jobs of Tomorrow” published by the #WEF in the beginning of 2020, top emerging and most needed economies are Care Economy, Green Economy, People and Culture; Data and AI, Engineering and Cloud Computing, Product Development; Sales, Marketing and Content.
The labor market after the pandemic will be reformed completely and will change more in the coming few months. Highly competent people will retain their job, whereas low competent people will lose their job, unless if they show a desperate intention to upgrade their skills and knowledge at least to the above average upgrade standard.
2. Worldwide unemployment rate will also increase. The UN’s International Labor Organization predicts that in the second quarter of 2020, COVID-19 may cost the equivalent of 305 million full-time jobs. In US, 3.8 million Americans filed an unemployment claim in April 2020. In UK, KPMG forecasts the unemployment rate will reach not more than 9%. Many governments supported their manpower to survive during the pandemic, such as the “Universal Credit” benefit scheme in UK, “Chômage Partiel” in France, “Kurzarbeit” in Germany. In Bahrain, the government supported the community by suspending loans for 6 months to the nationals, dropped water and electricity bills during the lockdown period and offered financial support to the businesses through the “Business Continuity” scheme done by the National Labor Fund “Tamkeen”.
3. Competency Knowledge, Skills and Attributes (KSA) will play a vital role in shaping our future labor market, therefore, the world is moving towards competency-based qualification rather than a time-based qualification.
Although the focus was on the importance of the competency-based qualification, my demonstration doesn’t intend to diminish the importance of the academic qualification. We still recognize the role of Researchers, Academics, and academic qualifications, but the future job market looks for individuals with the professional skills needed to ensure the success for all parties, the organization, the employer, and the employee.
I personally and seriously recommend that each individual, irrespective if you are an employee (Senior or Junior), you need to double your efforts to be highly competent and acquire latest competency qualifications in your field before losing your job. If you are a Job Seeker or a student you must sharpen your mind with the latest trends and practices and develop and adopt accordingly to pave the way towards the success path.
Australia for example have recently launched a program called #ADOPT_2020 of which they are rehabilitate and reshape many of individuals who lost their jobs so they re-prepare them again for the new jobs market.
This is a difficult but not impossible task, as the individuals who lost their job they should be able to convince any new employer that they are a star performer, highly competent and able to add value to any organization.
Dr. Ahmed Al Banna
Chief Executive Officer
IFTDO Board Member
Kingdom of Bahrain