With sustainability gradually becoming a key area for business and regulatory reasons, having green skills will be necessary for a variety of jobs including supply chain.
To earn these skills, micro-credentialing will be a core strategy for companies looking to train employees on the job. According to a recent report from Indeed, while job postings requiring green skills grew by 8% annually since 2017, the share of green talent has only grown by 6% in the same period.
MH&L: Are most logistic and manufacturing companies aware of digital credentials?
DK: Digital badges, credentials, and certificates have become a desirable alternative to traditional paper-based awards, making it easy for organizations to issue, manage, and authenticate credentials. By utilizing digital credentials, companies can save both time and money. This is the case for a variety of industries, but in the manufacturing and logistics space, these credentials help verify that workers are equipped to safely and effectively do their jobs.
Digital credentials are continuing to scale in adoption across these industries; for example, companies like robotic process automation software developer Automation Anywhere and Chile’s Mining and Industrial Training Center (CEIM) leverage these tools to streamline and modernize their training and certification processes. Having a built-out, robust digital credentialing practice offers manufacturing and logistics companies a much more efficient and flexible process of certifying qualified professionals.
MH&L: Are companies actively recruiting people with these credentials as compared to the more traditional ways of finding employees?
DK: Digital credentials offer organizations an additional avenue to identify potential candidates with appropriate skills. With the ongoing labor shortage across the economy, organizations from manufacturers to logistics providers struggle to find enough qualified people to fill open positions.
Digital credentials make it easier for companies to quickly identify the right candidates while, at the same allowing them to verify that they have the right skills. They can be added to a digital wallet, in lieu of having a physical card proving someone is certified or cleared to enter a job site. While physical cards often require additional verification via a phone call, a digital wallet card does that with one click, significantly streamlining the people management process.
MH&L: Do companies have internal capabilities to assess the value of these credentials?
DK:: Digital credentials are more trustworthy and secure due to the fact that they are conferred to learners with strong security protocols in place. With a combination of bank-level security measures and strong metadata within each credential to help convey a learner’s specific skills or competencies, businesses can quickly and easily verify skills of current and prospective employees.
In short, advancements in digital credentialing technology have helped remove the burden from employers and businesses themselves and allow for easier, faster assessment of workers’ skills.
MH&L: Why do you think the growth of those that have these green skills is slow?
DK:: The world only began to see a serious commitment to sustainability in the past few years, with governments from the US to China and the EU making net-zero pledges. The same was also true in the business world; however, I believe we are now at the point where governments and organizations will further accelerate their efforts to achieve sustainability. This, of course, is also why the growth in job roles that require green skills will progressively grow in the coming years.
As governments and businesses increase their focus on sustainability, there is a growing need for employees with green skills, not just in roles related to climate change like environmental management. This includes positions such as facilities managers, compliance managers, risk advisers, and safety technicians, as sustainability becomes the new norm for reporting and standards.
While growth in the supply of workers having green skills has been slow over the last few years, as organizations begin to realize their commitment to net zero over the next decade, it would inevitably result in the need for workers to acquire additional sustainability-related skills to remain competitive in the job market.
To address this, micro-credentialing is expected to become a key strategy for companies to train their employees while allowing them to continue their current workload. This is especially important in an economy that is becoming more aware of its impact on the environment.
MH&L: Does the talent pool (mostly younger workers) understand the value of these credentials in their job search?
DK: Many notable higher education and professional institutions now offer digital credentials for a variety of learning pathways, including Harvard, MIT, Rutgers University, and countless others. When a person completes a course or training with these organizations, they get a digital certificate or a digital badge proving the successful completion of the training. We have seen organizations that offer partner training programs increase the popularity of their programs since the introduction of digital credentials that can be shared on social media.
Scality, a company that trains its partners to effectively sell and deliver their software, has found that courses offering digital credentials are motivating more people to enroll in them. Their data shows that 72% of those who receive Scality's certification are sharing and displaying their certificates on LinkedIn, which inspires others to pursue this standard. Moreover, possessing a Scality badge has proven to be advantageous for those seeking to further their careers.
MH&L: Have you seen an increase in the need for your services as companies understand how this process can fill the talent gap they are experiencing?
DK: The short answer is yes - during the first half of 2022, for example, more than 1,700 of our partner organizations issued 1.7 million digital credentials on average to learners and students looking to grow their personal skill sets. This marks an increase from the first half of 2021, where 1.2 million credentials were issued across 1,200 partners and customers.
One of the main reasons that we’ve seen this increase is the return on investment for businesses. The verifiable nature of digital credentials makes what is otherwise a time-consuming and cumbersome verification process into an easy and automated one.
In a study by Zippia of 1,000 US professionals, 30% said they had ‘bent the truth’ or lied on their resume about their skills or experience. Digital credentials simplify the verification process by offering one-click verification, saving time for HR departments, hiring managers, and others. This speeds up the hiring process, allowing organizations to hire the right people efficiently.
Additionally, this digitalization process significantly improves the operational efficiency for organizations that offer training, allowing them to free up workers for other tasks. One example of how digitalization helped drive organizational efficiency comes from the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI). By adopting digital credentials and moving off of paper certificates entirely, the DMI reduced its time of issuing certificates by 93.75%, cutting 8 hours of work to a mere half-hour.