'Skills, Not Schools,' an Equitech Approach to Hiring

With tech job openings up 25%, let’s rethink hiring

In April, the unemployment rate in the Baltimore area hit 3.3%, the lowest it has been since December 2019. And Baltimore saw a 25% increase in tech-sector job postings in Q1 compared with last year.

The “help wanted” signs everywhere, online and IRL, are great news for workers – especially those whose talent has been overlooked.

And, while it might feel like blasphemy during graduation season, one of the ways to tap a bigger talent pool is to eliminate degree requirements.

As a writer on the LinkedIn Talent Blog framed it last year: “Skills, not schools. Performance, not pedigree. Results, not requirements.”  

Not only do companies find that they open doors to an entirely new base of potential employees, but they also see increases in underrepresented talent across the company, including in managerial roles.

These are not new ideas in Baltimore. Baltimore Corps, Catalyte and the companies in the Baltimore Tracks consortium have been leading the country in inclusive, skills-based hiring models. Let’s lean into this key Equitech strategy, to grow and foster the tech skills of Baltimoreans, lure diverse tech workers from other cities and build out a supportive community to retain that talent over the long term. We can do this.

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