WIP Maria Flynn

Skills-based hiring: Changing the mindset around success and the path to get there

A conversation with Maria Flynn, president & CEO, Jobs for the Future (JFF)

In this episode of Work in Progress, as the Horizons 2022 conference kicks off in New Orleans, I speak to Jobs for the Future (JFF) president and CEO Maria Flynn.

There’s a shift in thinking about the path to career success. There’s a growing awareness that four-year degrees don’t have to be the gold standard, that skills and credentials are just as important, maybe more so for starting or advancing careers. Flynn and I talked about this transformation and about how JFF is spreading the word about non-traditional career pathways.

“It’s really all about how we change the mindset in this country around what is success and what is the path to get there,” explains Flynn.

“At JFF, what we’re really working on is how do we really broaden the discussion, change the narrative around the different high-quality pathways that exist for folks beyond high school. That could include registered apprenticeship, it can include community colleges, it includes industry-recognized credentials, and many options that can be stepping stone to a four-year degree or also stepping stones to great career opportunities and advancement,” she continues.

Flynn says despite a growing emphasis on credentials and skills, more employers and learning institutions still need to appreciate the value of competency over degrees.

“On the employer side, by and large, employers see the four-year bachelor’s degree as a proxy for career readiness. At JFF, us and a lot of our partner organizations, are doing work on the demand side to help them move more towards skills-based hiring and how to hire based on what someone can do, what they have the skills to do, versus just looking at the degree as the signal,” says Flynn.

Here more about skills-based hiring in the podcast. And follow us at #WorkingNationOverheard and #JFFHorizons on social media for the latest from the Horizons 2022 conference.

Episode 232: Don’t Leave Older Workers Out of the Jobs Recovery
Host & Executive Producer: Ramona Schindelheim, Editor-in-Chief, WorkingNation
Producer: Larry Buhl
Executive Producers: Joan Lynch and Melissa Panzer
Theme Music: Composed by Lee Rosevere and licensed under CC by 4.0

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