The SHRM Foundation is partnering with Grow with Google to promote upskilling and reskilling and to link companies to skilled job seekers who otherwise may not be on the radar of hiring managers and their organizations. Grow with Google is a program of professional certifications that can be earned in six months.
"The SHRM Foundation wants employers to think about competency-based hiring and steer away from rejecting skilled job seekers simply because they do not have a college degree," said Wendi Safstrom, the SHRM Foundation's executive director. "Equity is such a challenge for folks who have limited opportunity to access postsecondary education, whether it is because they lack a high school diploma or the financial means to attend college, or they have other challenges."
The free career certificate program is open to anyone—including people with disabilities, veterans and other members of the military community, those who have been furloughed or displaced from their jobs, and people with a conviction record—with the aim of helping employers easily identify highly skilled and diverse individuals.
The program is available on the Coursera online learning platform and emphasizes essential digital-skills training in high-demand fields such as IT support, user experience design, data analytics and project management. Graduates of the program are potential job candidates for employers needing more diverse, qualified talent.
Google has worked with top employers in each of the fields in which Google offers the career certificates "to ensure that the skills we are teaching are aligned to the jobs employers want to fill," said Lisa Gevelber, vice president of Grow with Google, in a statement announcing its partnership with the Foundation.
"Google has been so pleased with the Career Certificate graduates we have hired," she said, "and we're excited that so many top employers are signing up to recruit these graduates as well."
Safstrom said the Foundation is excited about its partnership with Google.
"All at once, our approach tackles two of the greatest challenges confronting the world of work: inequity and the skills gap," she said. "These problems are by no means simple to solve. But by paving pathways for all workers to find new skills and opportunities, and by helping employers tap into this diverse pipeline, together we can make a meaningful difference."
The Foundation's vision, she added, is for HR professionals to serve as a social force in the workplace. "Diverse hiring practices are key to fulfilling that vision."