TestGorilla is partnering with Opportunity@Work on a campaign that promises to Tear the Paper Ceiling

TestGorilla and Opportunity at Work partnership announcement
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TestGorilla Announces Support of the New ‘Tear the Paper Ceiling’ Campaign to Create Equitable Hiring Practices for Majority of U.S. Workers

The Ad Council, Opportunity@Work, and nearly 50 employers, training providers, and nonprofits join forces to support workers Skilled Through Alternative Routes (STARs), rather than through a bachelor’s degree

13 July 2023 –  Today, TestGorilla has officially agreed to join a coalition led by nonprofit organizations the Ad Council and Opportunity@Work in support of Tear the Paper Ceiling. The national public service advertising (PSA) campaign calls on businesses and decision-makers to remove the barriers blocking 50% of workers in the U.S. from accessing equitable job opportunities. 

The multiyear PSA campaign – supported by nearly 50 national organizations and developed by world-renowned creative agency Ogilvy – aims to create opportunities for upward mobility for the more than 70 million workers in the U.S. who are Skilled Through Alternative Routes (STARs). These paths can include community college, workforce training, bootcamps, certificate programs, military service, or on-the-job learning rather than a bachelor’s degree. Today, STARs face a “paper ceiling” – the invisible barrier that comes at every turn for workers without a bachelor’s degree. The Tear the Paper Ceiling campaign highlights both the historic challenges facing STARs in the labor market and the skills and experience they bring to their careers.

“We believe resumes represent an outdated, biased, and ineffective system for hiring. One that judges talent based on a narrow view of their experience, education, and connections rather than the full range of skills and capabilities they bring to the table,” said TestGorilla chief executive Wouter Durville. 

“By showing employers the value of skills-based hiring, we want to push for a real revolution in the way organizations hire and, in the process, give undervalued candidates like STARs a chance to access job opportunities that match their skills, ambition, and passions. In partnering with Opportunity@Work on the Tear the Paper Ceiling campaign, we are lending our voice to a historic initiative that has the potential to redress systemic imbalances that have impacted the job market for decades”

Since 2000, STARs have lost access to 7.4 million higher-wage jobs, even though they have demonstrated the skills to succeed in those roles. Over the last 40 years, the wage gap between STARs and workers with bachelor’s degrees has doubled, and adjusted for inflation, STARs now actually earn less on average than they did in 1976. These losses come despite the fact that according to insights from Opportunity@Work there are 4 million STARs already in high-wage roles, while 32 million more STARs have the skills for significantly higher-wage work (72% higher on average) based on their current roles.

“At TestGorilla, we practice what we preach. Our own hiring process is built on multi-measure skills-based assessments. Instead of resumes or cover letters, we use these tools as the first step in the recruitment funnel to evaluate candidates on their cognitive ability, soft skills, and role-specific skills. 

This skills-first approach has helped us build an amazing team of 100+ employees from across the world. Many of these team members are STARs who have come into their roles without any prior industry experience and were hired purely on the strength of their skills and abilities. The diversity and perspectives they bring to the company have played a critical role in making TestGorilla the company it is today.” - Wouter Durville, chief executive officer at TestGorilla

The Tear the Paper Ceiling PSAs feature STARs in various industries and stages in their career, sharing their stories, journeys, and experiences to raise awareness of the skills and potential of workers without bachelor’s degrees. The campaign also provides resources for businesses, talent developers, policymakers, and STARs at www.TearThePaperCeiling.org – including a playbook to create skills-based hiring practices and develop more equitable talent strategies. 

The integrated campaign will appear nationwide, in placements donated by media partners, across all advertising formats: TV, radio, digital, social media, out-of-home, and print. 

Along with TestGorilla, Tear the Paper Ceiling is supported by nearly 50 national organizations ranging from employers to philanthropies and workforce development organizations. Together, this coalition will broaden the impact and reach of the multiyear campaign, and includes:

  • Accenture 

  • Chevron

  • Cognizant Foundation

  • Comcast NBCUniversal

  • Gap Foundation

  • Grads of Life

  • Generation USA

  • Google

  • IBM

  • IDEO

  • James Irvine Foundation

  • JFF

  • Lightcast

  • LinkedIn

  • Merit America

  • National Fund for Workforce Solutions

  • National Skills Coalition

  • Northern Virginia Community Colleges

  • NPower

  • Per Scholas

  • SkillUp Coalition

  • Strada Education Network

  • Walmart

  • Workday

  • WorkingNation

  • Year Up

Tearing the paper ceiling and developing new strategies to recruit, hire, and support STARs will also play a crucial role in supporting employers’ Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) efforts. Biases against STARs – which include erroneously identifying them as low-skill – have negatively impacted diversity in the workforce for years, as 61% of Black workers, 55% of Hispanic workers, and 66% of rural workers of all races are STARs. By intentionally screening in STARs during the hiring process, employers can take steps toward building a more inclusive workforce while also addressing talent gaps.

Today’s news follows the June 2022 announcement from Opportunity@Work and the Ad Council about the campaign and initial coalition partners. Organizations, employers, STARs, and other individuals can join the movement by visiting TearThePaperCeiling.org to share their stories, sign a pledge to support STARs, and learn more about how to adopt and promote skills-based hiring practices. 

About TestGorilla

TestGorilla is a data-driven talent assessment platform that offers customers over 300 pre-employment screening tests. These tests are developed via a scientific approach that ensures they are always valid, reliable, and fair

TestGorilla’s test library hosts tests for role-specific skills, soft skills, languages, cognitive abilities, and culture add.. Its easy-to-use UI enables employers to create multi-measure assessments based on their hiring needs, invite candidates to take various tests, and progress them based on data-validated evidence of their abilities. As a result, they can confidently identify the best job applicants and make hiring decisions that are faster, less costly, and bias-free.

As a pioneer in the skills-based hiring arena, TestGorilla is committed to abolishing resumes once and for all and placing 1 billion people in their dream jobs with skills-based hiring. The company’s global remote team serves HR professionals and hiring teams on every continent.  

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