Mature man construction worker at the construction site in the c

New York Likely To Make Changes to Contractor Liability: How to Keep Your Team in Compliance

The state of New York is on the cusp of being the sixth state, joining California, Nevada, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia, to put a wage theft law into effect exposing General Contractors and subcontractors to significantly greater lability than before. The General Contractor Liability for Unpaid Wages Act (NY Senate Bill 2766), passed by New York State Senate and State Assembly in early June, shifts liability to GCs for wage theft cases on private construction projects.

What does this mean?

General Contractors are directly liable for unpaid wages owed to a worker by any subcontractor on any level of the project. The General Contractor could be liable for up to three years after a project has been completed, even if the wage theft was conducted by a subcontractor tiers down, unbeknownst to the GC. However, the General Contractor, under NY Senate Bill 2766, “may withhold payment to a subcontractor or lower-tier subcontractor for failure to provide certain payroll records.”

One potential consequence of this law could be the delay of payments by the General Contractors to subcontractors to allow time to confirm appropriate wage payments. Thus, it will be in the subcontractors’ best interest to be able to affirm appropriate wage payment in order to ensure timely payment of its award amount.

How can we help?

SkillSmart understands the intricacies of tracking data, as well as how to report on it efficiently. That’s why we’re the only solution that provides complete visibility throughout all of your project tiers. Not only that, Insight offers proactive notifications on potential wage rate issues, missing data, and more.
Utilized by owners and General Contractors across the country, SkillSmart InSight allows all project tiers to enter their employee and payroll information to ensure accurate notification of wage data. Utilizing a proactive notifications system and reporting on the underlying data and potential non-compliance. InSight provides unmatched visibility down the project tier – allowing identifications of issues in real-time for every subcontractor on the job.
InSight can be accessed from anywhere – job site, office, on the road, and is a secure location to store company, employee, contract, and business data, for one or multiple projects. InSight is the only comprehensive construction solution for labor, MWDBE participation, and business compliance tracking. Whether your projects have state, federal, local, or internal goals that your organization is committed to achieving, InSight gives you the real-time data to ensure your project meets every requirement.
General Contractors that could be liable under the New York law should deploy InSight, as it will give real-time confirmation that each subcontractor, at any tier, is paying the appropriate wage for salaried and 1099 workers. Without a tool like this, a GC will be forced to withhold subcontractor payment and take on the expense of retaining records, for up to three years, if an employee at any tier would bring a claim for unpaid wages.
To learn more about how InSight can help you simplify your project team’s compliance efforts and track goals to meet every owner’s expectations, request a personalized demo today.


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SkillSmart Announces Integration with Autodesk Construction Cloud

Beginning today, SkillSmart’s Insight construction compliance tracking and reporting platform will integrate BIM 360®, a construction management software part of Autodesk Construction Cloud™.

This seamless integration enables joint customers to stay informed about on-site construction progress and make critical project management decisions with real-time data, including diversity and inclusion data points. With the simple addition of a Partner Card to BIM 360’s Project Home dashboard, customers can view InSight’s regularly updated workforce, vendor, and key performance metric data directly on their project management home-base.

InSight’s best-in-class collection, monitoring and reporting technology empowers users to collect critical data – such as labor hours, payroll, diverse and local workforce utilization, contractor wages rates, MBE participation, and supplier tracking – and track the insights and stories needed to remain competitive. By adding the SkillSmart InSight Partner Card to BIM 360, project teams can reduce their administrative work, improve project management decision making, and enhance communication with their clients and stakeholders.

“We are excited to partner with Autodesk Construction Cloud to address one of the most significant challenges facing the construction and infrastructure industry today,” said Jason Green, Co-Founder of SkillSmart. “We believe for the industry to remain relevant and grow, it must demonstrate its impact on local communities. This integration allows joint customers to receive key real-time data on critical metrics to meet specific compliance requirements, and also to set goals, measure progress and demonstrate the economic impact of projects.”

“Construction teams today collect a wealth of data in their digital solutions,” said James Cook, head of integrations at Autodesk Construction Solutions. “By leveraging that data to make informed decisions, teams can yield significantly more productivity. With the addition of the InSight Partner Card, our customers can monitor SkillSmart’s compliance & reporting information alongside the critical building data in BIM 360 for a holistic view of their projects.”

Customers can simply add the SkillSmart Partner Card to their BIM 360 Project Home dashboard by following these steps.

SkillSmart, with its comprehensive solution, is helping project owners, developers, and general contractors across the country collect, monitor, and report data in a new way to move beyond just compliance.  Businesses and the people who employ them are the cornerstones of healthy communities. Skillsmart’s InSight platform is the new platform for compliance tracking of subcontractors, data reports to local governments, and employee tracking during construction projects to ensure local and diverse resources participate in economic development.

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SkillSmart Launches Comprehensive Construction Platform for Workforce and Business Compliance

InSight®, SkillSmart’s second major technology offering, allows projects of any size to dynamically capture and report on all workforce and business data in a single product – reducing costs, increasing reliability and improving outcomes.

SkillSmart, a growing software-as-a-service (SaaS) construction tech company, has introduced InSight®, an innovative platform that employs a dynamic, scalable, cloud-based solution for capturing both workforce and business data for construction and government projects. This is the first product on the market that allows general contractors and developers to capture workforce and business data on the same platform – reducing the cost of multiple platforms, removing time consuming duplication of data entry and increasing the reliability of the data.

The ability to capture all workforce and business data is critical to the compliance process. To date projects have had to rely on acquiring multiple software products and increasing labor costs to keep up – often creating unreliable data sets that impact project outcomes and reporting requirements resulting in fines and project delays.

Insight provides a scalable solution with a single, intuitive user interface and dashboards to track subcontractors and projects, regardless of size or scale. Further, InSight is customizable to adapt to different requirements in a market. In particular, new reports can be generated quickly to meet the reporting requirements of any project in days instead of weeks and months.

“We know that Owners, Developers and General Contractors want to demonstrate the positive economic impact their projects have on the communities in which they are working,” said Mike Knapp, CEO and co-founder of SkillSmart, “but current software products don’t allow for that to happen in real time and in a reliable manner. It is imperative to obtain data directly, quickly and accurately to use that data to better manage critical outcomes of the project.”

InSight is already being used on more than 20 projects nationally and by 7 of the top 20 ENR Top 400 Construction firms, including three of the largest economic development projects in the U.S.



About SkillSmart
SkillSmart is a growing technology company that is transforming the markets in which we work by creating tools and services to build strong communities and clear paths to economic success. We support an array of projects, including some of the most significant economic development and construction projects in the U.S. with Fortune 500 clients. Our nimble technology can be easily deployed on projects in any community to identify, track and report vital information. It provides the data that allows communities and projects to improve outcomes and achieve their objectives. We have built a team with decades of experience working with projects and communities across the country. Together we have the experience and resources to help communities break new ground and reach new heights.
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Hudson Yards Powers New Neighborhood with First-of-its-Kind Hiring Initiative

Public-Private Partnership Already Responsible for Hundreds of Job Placements with Hundreds More Expected in the Coming Months

Hudson Yards announced details about the creation of the Hudson Yards Hiring Network, an innovative public-private collaboration designed to identify and recruit talent from New York’s most in-need populations. The initiative has already placed hundreds of New Yorkers in new jobs and expects hundreds of more jobs to be filled over the next few months. Companies and buildings in Related Cos. and Oxford Properties Group’s 28-acre development will bring more than 55,000 jobs to the west side neighborhood, and developers, along with their public partners will continue to recruit applicants from The New York City Housing Authority, as well as veterans, formerly incarcerated and homeless individuals, and people with disabilities.


Jay Kriegel, Senior Advisor of Related, who joined Fred Knapp, Executive Director of Hudson Yards Manager, to bring this network to fruition, praised the unprecedented partnership, “We are grateful to our 22 public and private partners for joining us in the initiative, the Hudson Yards Hiring Network. Together, we have developed a customized screening system for all job applicants which instantly matches them to available jobs. We are especially grateful to SBS/Workforce1, which is providing a single intake and screening for all job applicants; to SEIU 32BJ, which will provide most of these new workers with high quality benefits, training, support services and representation; and to our private sector partners, SkillSmart, Canon, G4S, ThinkFood Group and Guardian.”

Hudson Yards estimates that, over the next six months, upwards of 600 new jobs will be filled to provide essential services at the development, plus hundreds of additional jobs at restaurants and other campus businesses. Recruits from the hiring network, referred by the 22 agencies participating in the Hiring Network, are being given priority in filling these new jobs, most of whom will be represented by SEIU 32BJ, one of the City’s leading unions.

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Overcoming the Challenges of Maryland’s General Contractor Liability for Unpaid Wages Act

Last year, Maryland’s General Contractor Liability for Unpaid Wages Act took effect providing an employee with the right to sue both their employer and the general contractor for the job on which they’re working for up to three times the wages owed to the employee, plus attorneys’ fees and costs. Perhaps even more significant is that this new law permits an employee to take such action as early as 2 weeks after the date on which the wage in question was to have been paid.

Failure to comply with Maryland’s prevailing wage and hour laws now exposes general contractors and subcontractors to significantly greater liability than before.

Now, more than ever, it is vitally important for both GCs and Subs to have the ability to track, validate and report, in real time, that each employee working on a project is being paid the appropriate wage.

Email and Excel spreadsheets are no longer sufficient. They do not provide the timely safeguards you need to preserve project margins from unnecessary risk and litigation.

At SkillSmart, we understand the difficulty in tracking the data necessary to prove compliance with this new law. We also recognize the need for a simple and cost-effective solution.

Working with contractors on large and small projects across the country,  we developed the InSight platform to allow subcontractors to submit their own payroll information and, in one-click, see if there are any compliance issues that require follow-up, and the audit trail to back it up. This provides everyone working on a job with a single, secure location to input employee and payroll data, ensuring data is being provided at the source and all parties are working on the same page.

SkillSmart InSight helps you focus on the project at hand by providing a simple, cost-effective solution to help you better manage potential liabilities in real-time and making it easier to stay compliant.

Learn more about how InSight can help you simplify your compliance efforts.

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To Survive a Digital Future, Guide Employees to Own Their Learning

Learning in the digital future

First published by HR Dive, December 04, 2018. 

The market will leave behind those who think continuous learning is anything but a necessity, various experts say.

In elementary school, students are told what they need to learn. In high school, they receive some choices with electives. In college, students take full ownership of their learning and choose the path to their career. In today’s continuously changing work landscape, employees need to retake ownership of learning to advance (or even retain) their careers — and employers have to enable them.

The market will leave behind those who think continuous learning is an option rather than a necessity. For businesses that don’t stress the need for upskilling, and employees who don’t heed that warning, current projections show that almost every type of job could be replaced by the digital revolution. Getting employees to take ownership of their own learning and growth is critical to future-proof them and their employers.

The growing gap
A recent survey by Udemy, the 2018 Skills Gap Report, outlines the problem. Of over 1,000 workers, 84% said they believe there is a skills gap and 39% report to feeling its effects. In turn, workers are beginning to make demands; 51% said they would quit a job that didn’t provide needed training. Udemy’s head of L&D, Shelley Osborne told HR Dive that the challenge for business is not just giving workers a reason not to leave — they have to give them a reason to stay.

“People are more motivated to upskill on their own when there are learning opportunities that fit in their own time and at their own pace,” Osborne said in an email. Today’s learning tech supports can help provide a flexible, low-pressure environment. She recommended organizations integrate online courses into their L&D to create these opportunities for staff.

“When employees, particularly the millennial and Gen Z cohorts, better understand potential career pathways and the necessary steps for advancement, they can take more ownership for their learning,” Mike Knapp, CEO and co-founder of SkillSmart, told HR Dive in an email. He said he believes employers should take a more skills-based approach to talent development, with transparency that allows employers to better clarify the skills for each job type, as well as make opportunities for learning and development more accessible. Clarifying what is needed keeps employers and staff from wasting time and resources that won’t provide the skills needed to advance.

Employees want a return on their investment; when training makes their job easier, or puts advancement closer in reach, they’re motivated to own their continuous learning. Learning that isn’t demonstrably relevant can discourage and demotivate, wasting time and stifling growth.

Prioritizing learning
Businesses that stress the need for upskilling will need to walk the walk and the talk the talk. Companies must not only determine what skills are needed but also provide time and space. Osborne said she believes businesses should regard learning as part of their employees’ regular workload, the same way they expect people to be able to balance meetings, off-sites, and other team activities with individual responsibilities and deliverables.

“No one knows better than employees themselves what skills they need to learn right now in order to do their jobs better,” she said, “and they should be given free rein to pursue those topics.”

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Gallup: How to Reduce Bias and Hire the Best Candidate

A Gallup publication. Find the original here.

According to Gallup, companies fail to choose the candidate with the right talent for management positions 82% of the time. That means organizations hire the best managers fewer than two out of 10 times.

Business experience and the data agree: Picking the right person for a job is far more difficult than people realize.

The solution is to use a selection process that is fair and objective and that identifies true job-related talent — not just good interviewing skills.

Using talent-based assessments for hiring not only helps minimize hiring bias, it also improves business performance:

1. Talented employees outperform others by a wide margin. Gallup has found that when organizations systematically select high-talent managers and individual contributors, they can see up to 33% higher revenue per employee.

2. When people do what they are good at, they find work enjoyable, engaging and rewarding — which leads to even higher productivity.

3. Hiring the best people for the job can improve nearly every measure of business health. When companies select the top 20% of candidates based on a scientific assessment, they realize 41% less absenteeism, 70% fewer safety incidents, 59% less turnover, 10% higher customer metrics, 17% higher productivity and 21% higher profitability.

But more importantly, scientifically valid hiring assessments remove subjective bias by narrowing your candidate pool to those who are objectively qualified for the role.

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Learn how SkillSmart is helping companies across the US remove bias and hire strictly on skills matching.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Detroit Pistons Partnership Aims to Increase Workforce Participation on Construction of Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center

Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center

SkillSmart technology helps match candidates with positions; Detroit At Work to help prospective workers gain the skillset needed for future employment

The Detroit Pistons, The Platform and Christman-Brinker today launched a new partnership with SkillSmart to create a workforce development system for the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center, helping not only connect Detroit residents with good-paying jobs, but also giving them valuable work skills.

Utilizing SkillSmart technology, Detroiters will have direct access to workforce opportunities created around construction of the new state-of-the art practice facility and team headquarters located in the New Center area. And, for Detroiters requiring additional training and skill development, the City of Detroit’s Workforce Development arm, Detroit At Work, will provide Detroiters free job skills training.

“Our goal is to increase construction workforce opportunities for Detroit residents now and in the future,” said Pistons Vice Chairman Arn Tellem. “Using SkillSmart will not only align Detroit job seekers with available positions at the new performance center site, but create a more qualified pipeline of potential employees that will be mutually beneficial for job seekers and employers throughout the coming years as additional construction projects begin throughout the city of Detroit.”

The SkillSmart system is available at and will serve as a valuable resource for both job seekers and employers. The site categorizes available positions by using necessary skills and prerequisites, while inviting job seekers to build an individual profile based on their work experience, training and education, and other life experiences. The tool will then provide them with a score for each available position showing how well their skill set and qualifications align with the job, while also suggesting resources – such as the free training programs through Detroit At Work – that help potential employees become stronger candidates for available positions through additional training opportunities.

The Detroit Pistons partnership with Detroit At Work is already supporting Detroit’s future workforce as the organization has contributed $100,000 to the Randolph Career Technical Center through the Detroit Employment Solutions Corp.   “We are grateful for the Detroit Pistons’ commitment to help build a construction skill trades pipeline for both students and adults at Randolph Career Tech Center,” said Jeff Donofrio, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Workforce Development Team.

Job seekers at any stage of their search will benefit from the SkillSmart platform whether they’re searching for a job that matches their current skill set; looking to expand their qualifications; or simply starting their search and learning about the types of positions that will be available and how to begin preparing for future opportunities. By building a SkillSmart profile, prospective employees will learn how to become better-prepared for future opportunities and take a step toward developing a stronger and more prepared workforce that will benefit the entire city of Detroit.

SkillSmart’s technology and programming provides a multi-faceted approach aimed at helping construction of the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center achieve the decades-old challenge of meeting a 51 percent Detroit-based workforce on construction projects.

“For many years, large-scale development projects have fallen short of reaching the city’s 51 percent Detroit-based workforce requirement because there simply hasn’t been enough skilled-trade workers in the city.  And, this benchmark becomes increasingly more difficult to reach today with so many projects currently competing for the same workforce,” said Pat Devlin, Secretary Treasurer of the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council. “The Detroit Pistons are being proactive in their approach to implement a workforce development platform that encourages immediate participation from qualified candidates interested in construction skilled trades apprenticeships, while also enhancing Detroit’s future workforce potential by directing other applicants to additional training programs.”

“Increasing Detroit’s skilled labor force by bringing those who seek to enter the workforce together with employers who are offering jobs is an important goal in our developments,” said Dietrich Knoer, President and CEO of The Platform. “We believe that the new affiliation with SkillSmart will increase The Platform’s impact on work force development in Detroit.”

The Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center will create construction-related jobs in the short-term while increasing city income tax and property tax revenue generated by the organization’s relocation to the city. The building is slated to open next summer. The first phase of construction has begun as foundation work, concrete basement walls and underground utilities have been completed. Structural steel work has commenced on the site with concrete floor pours expected to begin in late September.

“It’s clear the Detroit Pistons, The Platform and Christman-Brinker are committed to using local workforce development as an opportunity to drive regional economic growth,” said SkillSmart co-founder Jason Green. “This project will provide the Detroit community with both the near-term benefits and job creation around construction of the new Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center, as well as the long-term benefits of understanding and building a talent pipeline for the future of the city.”

Last year, The Platform LLC was selected as developer and owner’s representative for the new Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center and Christman-Brinker was selected to be the construction manager for all components of the development. Detroit architecture firm Rossetti is the architect. These Detroit-based businesses have formed a powerful and experienced team to develop this new world-class facility. The development will include a parking garage to be shared with Henry Ford Health System and utilize public spaces to allow for community activities, networking receptions and other team-hosted events.



About SkillSmart
SkillSmart is a for-purpose tech company that is reshaping how employers identify and hire talent. Its employer-driven hiring platform helps growing organizations and industries find the talent they need by matching job seekers to employment opportunities based on skills rather than traditional proxies like a degree. SkillSmart has empowered employers and job seekers to make the right match in states across the country—from constructing the nation’s largest rapid transit train service project and a new arena for an NBA team, to staffing large gaming resorts, growing a state’s cybersecurity industry and building regional talent pipelines. SkillSmart’s strategy is revolutionizing data-driven approaches to hiring—closing skill gaps, increasing diversity, and improving social and economic outcomes for job seekers, employers and communities.
About Detroit Pistons
Since their arrival in 1957, the Detroit Pistons have become one of the most storied franchises in the NBA. With over 2,300 regular-season and playoff victories, the club has celebrated three NBA Championships (1989, 1990, 2004), five NBA Finals appearances (1988, 1989, 1990, 2004, 2005) and 11 Eastern Conference Finals appearances. Last season the club made its historic return to Detroit, playing games at the new state-of-the-art Little Caesars Arena. The club also broke ground on the new Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center located in the New Center area, which will serve as the organization’s practice facility and corporate headquarters. Since its purchase by Michigan native Tom Gores in 2011, the organization has focused on operating as a community asset while promoting a culture of innovation and industry-leading thought.
About The Platform
The Platform launched in February 2016, focused on becoming a driving force in the rebuilding of Detroit. We are committed to inclusive development, working solely within the city of Detroit across neighborhoods from center city to the westside and eastside. Our experienced team has decades of experience and a legacy of successful developments in Detroit. Our vision includes quality residential, commercial, and retail opportunities. We develop in ways that honor and contribute to Detroit’s existing social and physical fabric with the goal of creating places and spaces in Detroit that bring people together. Our mission embraces revitalizing neighborhoods, inspiring the next generation, and using design as a tool to make Detroit a great place to live.
About Christman-Brinker
The Christman Company, a Detroit-Based Business who has an office in the Christman-built Fisher Building, was founded in 1894, and has been building in Detroit for 100 years. L.S. Brinker Company, a certified Detroit Headquartered Business and certified Minority Business Enterprise, was founded in 1993 and specializes in providing construction and management related services. Projects together have included the Little Caesars World Headquarters Campus Expansion, Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business, multiple Detroit Public Schools, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan BLUnite, and the Detroit Cornice and Slate building renovation.
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SkillSmart to Help Fill Pistons Headquarters Construction Jobs with Detroit Residents

SkillSmart helps Detroit PistonsFirst published by Crain’s Detroit Business, September 12, 2018. 

The Detroit Pistons and partners building the team’s new headquarters and practice facility in the city’s New Center area have launched a jobs portal to help meet a hiring quota.

The Platform LLC, the developer, and Christman-Brinker, the construction manager, joined the Pistons in rolling out the hiring system through Skillsmart Inc., a skills-matching website based in Germantown, Md. Officials behind the project hope the workforce development system will help contractors fill more than half of construction jobs with Detroit residents.

Construction of the $65 million Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center is part of an agreement between the city of Detroit and Pistons owner Tom Gores to move the NBA team from Auburn Hills to Little Caesars Arena downtown.

Job seekers can visit the website to build a profile that details their work history and skills, where they can see how their experiences match up to available positions. The site also directs visitors to free job training programs through the city’s Detroit At Work.

Pistons Vice Chairman Arn Tellem said the technology targets Detroiters and would develop a pool of talent.

“Using SkillSmart will not only align Detroit job seekers with available positions at the new performance center site, but create a more qualified pipeline of potential employees that will be mutually beneficial for job seekers and employers throughout the coming years as additional construction projects begin throughout the city of Detroit,” he said in a news release.

As part of the Pistons’ 10-point community benefits agreement with the city, the team also donated $100,000 to the Detroit Employment Solutions Corp. to improve skilled trades training at Randolph Career Technical center, a trade school within the Detroit Public Schools Community District.

It is not clear how many construction jobs would be created through the Henry Ford-Detroit Pistons project. A project manager with Christman-Brinker could not be immediately reached for more details Wednesday.

Construction of the 175,000-square-foot facility began in October and foundation work, concrete basement walls and underground utilities have been built, the release said. The facility is expected to open next summer.

The Skillsmart system will offer jobs throughout the construction process and is open to non-Detroit residents as well, Pistons spokesman Kevin Grigg said.

Some large-scale development projects in Detroit have failed to meet the city’s requirement that 51 percent of construction jobs be filled by Detroit residents. Contractors have blamed a low supply of qualified Detroiters with skilled-trades training, which Pat Devlin of the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council said is difficult as numerous projects compete for a limited pool of workers.

Earlier this year, the city fined contractors more than $5 million following the construction of the $863 million Little Caesars Arena for failure to employ enough Detroiters. Detroit residents made up just one-quarter of work hours in construction of the stadium.

“[T]his benchmark becomes increasingly more difficult to reach today with so many projects currently competing for the same workforce,” Devlin, secretary treasurer of the MBCTC, said in the release. “The Detroit Pistons are being proactive in their approach to implement a workforce development platform” to hire qualified candidates and promote training programs.”


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Should employers care about GPA anymore?

skills based hiringFirst published by HR Dive, July 26, 2018. 

In 2013, Laszlo Bock, then senior vice president of people operations at Google, revealed to The New York Times in an interview something most businesses probably already knew: GPAs were “worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless — no correlation at all except for brand-new college grads, where there’s a slight correlation.”

Five years later, many employers still rely on GPA to forecast success in the workplace.

A recent study by Kingsley Leadership Academy suggests only 12% of those surveyed at the C-suite level think grades are an important consideration when hiring new employees. But for new grads, GPA is overwhelmingly highlighted on the CV or resume. With few other selling points to offer, the inclusion can be demonstrative of their work ethic and commitment. And in some areas, like academia or finance, the data may be significant.

But in many cases, GPA may be a false indicator of potential success as well as a potential risk for discrimination. “Proxies — like degree credentials or minimum GPA’s — ineffectively evaluate talent and artificially cull the candidate pool,” Mike Knapp, CEO at SkillSmart, told HR Dive in an email. “Skills-based hiring is more efficient, less risky, and better suited to today’s skills economy than job boards or traditional resumes.”

As more workers pursue self-guided learning and online courses, the skills-based model will become even more relevant, and GPAs less so, he said.

New and recent grads

“We are still seeing candidates placing GPA on resumes,” Bill Kushner, manager, Administrative and Human Resources Direct Hire Division at the Addison Group, told HR Dive in an email. “That said, it is more prevalent in candidates with under 10 years of experience and with individuals that carry higher GPAs.”

How long candidates leave it on a resume depends entirely on your GPA, Kushner says. Candidates that had a GPA under 3.5 would likely not put it on a resume, while those with GPAs above 3.5 are more often recommended to keep it on the resume. Companies primarily within the financial services and professional services space place more emphasis on GPA than other industries, Kushner said.

“Skills acquired through hands-on projects, volunteerism, extracurricular activities, or internships/work experience are far more valuable indicators of the skills they would bring to the workplace — and not reflected in a GPA score,” Knapp said.

What are you doing with the data?

In the absence of other real indicators of an applicant’s skills and abilities, hiring managers often use the GPA as a proxy for the work skills they hope an applicant has acquired, Knapp said.

“Unfortunately, using the GPA as a screening method often takes qualified, skilled applicants out of the candidate pool,” Knapp added. “When employers rely on traditional — and often unnecessary — proxies like degree or GPA requirements, they shut out entire portions of the workforce from opportunity and limit their access to a skilled labor pool.”

He warned that at a time when there are more open jobs in the United States than people to fill them, these types of requirements can arbitrarily reduce the pool of applicants and may have a disproportionate impact on all protected classes.

Kushner suggests using GPA as a portion of the hiring equation, but not as the final determinant. “It is weighed in conjunction with the experience level of the candidate,” Kushner said. “Typically with candidates with only a year or two of experience, their GPA represents what most likely is their largest body of work to date, and as such, will be weighed more heavily than that of individuals with a few years of relevant experience.”

Potential pitfalls

GPA, like so many other “rules” for employment, could put businesses at risk.

“Scored tests have long been used by employers to make employment selection decisions, and have just as long been challenged by job applicants as having a discriminatory impact on protected classifications,” Allison Kahn, labor and employment attorney at Carlton Fields, told HR Dive in an email. “While GPAs are not a traditional scored test, this measure may also be subject to non-discrimination laws if used as selection criterion for a position.”

A claim must show statistical evidence that supports disparate impact, but there are defenses employers can make to protect their hiring policies and practices.”For example, employer proof that the selection procedure, like GPAs, is ‘job-related and consistent with business necessity’ may defeat employer liability, particularly where there is no less discriminatory alternative that would predict job performance,” Kahn said. The responsibility is on the employer to provide evidence that GPA is a business necessity to avoid liability.

Luckily, employers have a few resources available to analyze whether GPAs should be used as a selection criterion for a position. The EEOC has a fact sheet on Employment Tests and Selection procedures with best practices that may be useful for employers considering whether to rely on an applicants’ GPAs as selection criteria. The Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (UGESP) for employers can also help determine if selection procedures are lawful under a disparate impact theory.

Hiring holistically

While companies may not yet be shying away from GPA, more are becoming focused on a holistic approach to a candidate’s background. Recruiters would be wise to consider GPA as only part of the equation, experts said; experience, education, and ability to learn new processes, concepts, and technology should round out the decision making process.

The Kingsley data reveals C-suite level managers defer to other traits in favor of GPA. Work ethic was cited by 60% of respondents, while 45% cited teamwork as the most important skills. Leadership ranked around 55% for professional services and manufacturing companies. And in large firms, grades were relied on only to determine where the candidate’s expertise lies. For leadership roles, the focus is on people management, creativity and cognitive flexibility.

For Kushner, GPA is a data point in a data series. Using only GPA, he says, “eliminates candidates that may have strong related or transferable experience that have the potential to make an immediate positive impact on the business.”

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