The pandemic has ushered in a new era of remote hiring, pushing up demand for "new collar jobs," or skilled positions that don't require a Bachelor's degree and often require specialized skills or technical know-how.
In the new normal of job recruiting, more companies are moving to a digital-first recruitment approach, employers are casting a wider geographic net to reach recent grads and young professionals entering the workforce.
As a result, new collar jobs ranging from computer information system management to data analytics to marketing and graphic design, are expanding and shaping the digital economy that is to come. “It’s allowing employers to challenge the status quo and open up their school network,” CEO and co-founder of Handshake Garrett Lord told FOX Business.
Companies are now "realizing that they can do everything they did before with high-quality candidate experience and a lower cost per hire and build a more diverse incoming recruiting class," added Lord, "And I don’t think we will go back to the way things were done before.”
Handshake, a career network and recruiting platform, recently raised 80 million in Series D funding round to expand its efforts behind virtual and remote job fairs. As a company that helps students find their first job and with nearly 500,000 companies and over 1,000 universities on its software, Lord predicts that at least 30,000 more companies will tap into the virtual recruiting process by the end of the Fall season.
For many companies, sourcing more diverse talent from non-traditional institutions through remote hiring has helped close the digital and opportunity divide.
Computing giant, Dell Technologies, is broadening its recruiting efforts to include community college and apprenticeship programs for roles that require a two-year degree, versus the traditional four-year college route. Starting in Spring 2021, Dell will begin recruiting from nearly two dozen community colleges. This should open up new career opportunities at Dell for people with two-year degrees, according to Dell’s Director of University Recruiting Jennifer Newbill.
Under Armour has also capitalized on the benefits of virtual recruitment increasing by 40 fold the number of colleges in its recruitment pool from just a handful of schools near its Baltimore headquarters to more than nearly 500 schools nationwide.
Cloud content management company, Box, has also grown its list of just six recruiting colleges to a total of 629. After expanding its qualified pipeline by thousands of students, it has seen 84% of new applications outside of its home in California.
Pushing the recruitment envelope has also brought in more diverse applicants. PayPal’s Latino applicants have increased tenfold year over year, while its Black applicants have surged by 15 times more and female applicants nine times more.
General Motors has similarly recruited from over 600 schools and shifted their aim to hiring students based on extracurricular activity, coursework, among other criteria outside of the traditional metrics. Accordingly, the Detroit-based auto giant has seen the most diverse representation in its recruiting class, with more women, Black and LatinX students than ever before, Handshake’s Lord said.
Amid the “new collar” wave that calls for more tech-oriented talent and a discrete set of skills, community colleges will be the direct beneficiary.
“In the way the economy is evolving, these community colleges will play a very important role in retooling the economy, given the kind of skills and landscape progression that is happening in the enterprise,” Lord said. “And it only becomes more important in a pandemic where tens of millions of people are unemployed, and companies are very much in need of community colleges to cut it.”