Nearly 80 Business Roundtable member companies are participating in the Multiple Pathways Initiative, a multi-year targeted effort to reform companies’ hiring and talent management practices to emphasize the value of skills, rather than just degrees, and to improve equity, diversity and workplace culture. The corporate initiative supports efforts to address inequity in employment practices, including how people are hired and how they advance; and it will work toward eliminating unintentional bias that may prove to be a barrier to hiring and advancement.


Leaders including chief human resource officers of some of America’s largest employers have been working together with experts to catalogue best practices and develop resources for companies focused on core components of skills-based talent strategies—innovation, talent acquisition, internal mobility and measurement. Explore this work:

Company Success Stories


The Multiple Pathways Initiative Talent Acquisition Working Group focused on identifying best practices and supporting companies in implementing skills-based hiring practices.

Four models of action emerged:

1. Loosening Requirements

Cast a wide net, increase your talent pool consideration:

  • Start by rethinking your job descriptions
  • Focus on the results you’d like to see, rather than the type of qualifications that you think could deliver them
  • Highlight the desired skills — the candidate’s ability to perform certain tasks — gets to the same results without creating an unnecessary barrier to entry, like a requirement for a four-year degree

2. Assessing Skills and Structuring Interviews

Stay focused on skills — and the assessments that can measure them:

  • Hard skill evaluations like coding tests
  • Innovative soft skill assessments
  • Case studies
  • Asking structured interview questions based on skills and competencies can level the playing field for each candidate

3. Hiring from Additional Talent Pools

Expand your talent pools to include untapped talent who have valuable skills, gained by nonlinear educational backgrounds or career paths:

  • This may mean someone who is just kickstarting their corporate career—whether straight from a technical training program or the Military—or someone who has professional experience but took a break from the workforce due to life circumstances

4. Establishing a Skills Marketplace

Activate an internal talent marketplace:

  • Create a culture that fosters talent and career mobility while encouraging employees to seek new experiences outside of their team or department
  • Engage managers as champions
  • Encourage “boomerang employees” and embrace unconventional career pathways that deviate from traditional hierarchical career progressions

Consider artificial intelligence for skills matching paired with human calibration and assessment

Company Success Stories

Companies are implementing new recruitment and assessment strategies to better recognize and evaluate skills of all job seekers, identifying upward career paths for employees who acquire new skills along their career journey, and developing training programs to help employees gain different skills needed to advance. Explore how companies are engaging in this work:

We use cookies to give you the best experience when using our website. You can click “Accept” if you agree to allow us to place cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie Notice.