American businesses are on notice: To be competitive in today’s market, you must diversify your workforce.
One way to widen the talent pool is to pay closer attention to people who have acquired their skills through alternative routes. Millions of Americans learn on the job, in community colleges, at boot camps, or through life experience. According to Opportunity@Work, more than 70 million Americans are overlooked because of degree requirements. Despite their abilities, these “STARs” (those who are skilled through alternative routes) find themselves stuck in jobs for which they’re overqualified and underpaid.
Opportunity@Work, an innovative social enterprise, reached out to IDEO to help collaborate with companies, talent developers, and STARs seeking career growth. To make this overlooked talent pool more visible, we created a campaign and video to rally companies. We also designed a data dashboard to help regional employer networks identify qualified talent and potential partnerships with skill-building programs. And to provide STARs with direct support, we scaffolded the job-seeking experience, focusing on key moments like the interview process.
It’s time for businesses searching for talent to open their eyes, look to the STARs, and see what they’re missing.