Companies have traditionally relied on academic qualifications to measure candidate ability, with pay grades often determined by the individual’s highest education level. That served as an acceptable proxy in most cases, and we see even a developed understanding that formal education need not really prepare one for the workplace. Its role in signalling is more imperative and relevant.
In these economies, the odds are stacked against those without strong paper qualifications. It is not uncommon to hear of individuals failing to secure even the first interview after sending out numerous applications. In more traditional industries, career progression can even be structurally capped even after you make it through the door. “If you do not have ABC, the furthest you’ll progress is XYZ” is what we hear, accept, and come to internalise; at some point, we probably perpetuate it as well.
The (Not-so-secret) Secret Sauce of Hatch’s Model
This translates directly into untapped value for the individual and the company, and a deadweight loss for the economy. With the problem being increasingly recognised, we see a progressive shift from qualification-based hiring towards skills-based hiring. Hatch Immersive is built upon this opportunity, therein the marriage of 2 distinct groups - high-potential youth and forward-looking companies.
“Skills are what carry a premium now, and skills need to be honed throughout our lifetimes ... All of us need to keep learning and deepening our skills throughout our lives”
We see a generation of youth whose simple aspirations often appear unattainable. Compounded by limited knowledge of possible jobs and pathways, self-belief is commonly eroded in those lacking opportunities and resources. The acquisition of skills out of traditional institutions is prohibitively expensive and can be particularly difficult for those who are financially bootstrapped. But let’s remember that this is a group that is highly malleable and perfectly primed to learn and acquire skills. With the motivation to work hard and a strong drive to succeed, it is entirely possible to develop anyone into a valued and contributing employee.
We also see the emergence of companies which are fast expanding with high-growth potential. These companies have the vision to balance immediate demands with future business needs, and see value in nurturing the talent they wish to keep. Teams grow and flourish with talent. Managers hiring for entry-level positions want adaptability, potential, and a mindset for growth - traits which are difficult to assess in the traditional hiring process.
We developed Immersive to give youth from non-traditional pathways the resources to develop their talents and kickstart their careers. We first identify strategic industries by taking into consideration existing and future markets. Currently, we offer two tracks in Digital Marketing and UI/UX Design, and are on the lookout for new verticals to expand into.
In the design of our program, we looked at success archetypes in the digital and design space, and created our curriculum to build youth for desired characteristics. Beyond building skill proficiency through industry-sourced problem statements, we train the youth to make use of many available online resources for further development.
The majority of our target companies prefer to train and evaluate their hires on-the-job, hence the 3-month internship after the youth has completed their training with Hatch. Upon completion of the transition and onboarding in that period, Hatch graduates with a suitable fit will convert to become full-time employees in their respective companies.
To meet the dynamic needs of the industry, the design of our services is and will remain in constant iteration. As a team, we are moving towards greater clarity on the value we provide in this ecosystem. It has been an exciting journey building towards the future of recruitment, a real pleasure I would say to be able to work with companies at the forefront of HR innovation.