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Skill Assessments For Recruitment of Blue Collar Vs White Collar Job Roles

Skills
Author:
Pratisrutee Mishra
December 29, 2023

The terms blue collar worker or white collar worker are often used to describe different types of jobs and workers in the labor market. The question is, what exactly do they mean, and how do they differ? In this blog, we will explore the origin, meaning, and characteristics of these two categories of jobs, as well as some of the challenges recruiters face while hiring for the respective job roles.

We will also discuss the ultimate solution to hiring candidates mindfully in the form of white collar skill-based assessment and visual-based blue collar worker assessment for you to hire objectively and make informed decisions.

Blue-Collar Job Role vs. White-Collar Role: An Overview

Blue collar workers refers to those who perform manual or physical labor, such as in manufacturing, construction, maintenance, mining, or agriculture. These blue collar jobs typically have uniforms or protective clothing that is often blue in color, hence the name. Blue collar workers usually have less formal education and training than white collar workers, and their wages are often lower. 

According to a report by Indeed, there are more than 170 million blue collar workers in India who contribute to the growth and development of the economy. However, there is a shortage of skilled blue collar workers in many sectors, such as logistics, hospitality, retail, and healthcare.

In contrast, white collar workers perform non-manual or mental labor, such as office work, management, sales, or professional services. A white collar worker typically wear suits or formal clothing that is often white in color, hence the name. 

White collar workers usually have more formal education and training than blue-collar workers, and their wages are often higher. There is also a high demand for white collar workers in industries such as tech, accounting, marketing, and consulting. However, there is a mismatch between the skills required by employers and the skills possessed by white collar and blue collar candidates.

As per the context above, there are two main concerns about hiring in the respective categories: 

Shortage of skilled candidates: 

In recruiting, a shortage of skilled candidates means there aren't many people with the right abilities and experience for the job openings. It can be frustrating when you exactly know what you are looking for, but there are not many options available. 

Skill mismatch:

Think of skill mismatches like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. It happens when the skills of job seekers don't quite match what the job requires. Recruiters face this challenge when they have candidates who may have talents but don't quite fit the specific needs of the job. In this case, you are just stuck with ‘almost' the right fit. 

Why Are Jobs Defined by Collar Color?

The origin of the terms blue-collar and white-collar can be traced back to the early 20th century, when industrialization and urbanization transformed the economy and society. As more people moved from rural areas to urban areas to work in factories or offices, they adopted different styles of clothing that reflected their occupations.

Workers who performed manual labor wore durable and practical clothing that could withstand dirt and wear. These garments were often made of denim or cotton fabrics that were dyed blue to hide stains. Workers who performed non-manual labor wore formal and elegant clothing that could convey professionalism and authority. These garments were often made of silk or wool fabrics that were bleached white to show cleanliness.

Over time, these clothing styles became symbols of social class and status that differentiated the working class from the middle class. The terms blue collar workers in blue uniforms and white-collar workers were coined to describe these two groups of workers based on their collar colors.

What's the Difference Between Blue- and White-Collar Jobs?

There are many differences between blue- and white-collar jobs in terms of skills, responsibilities, benefits, and career prospects. Some of the main differences are:

Skill Requirements for a Blue Collar Jobs 

As mentioned earlier, the skills required for blue collar job profiles are related to manual functions. It also requires patience and consistency through the daily activities in order to be able to efficiently meet the deadlines. Below are some particular blue collar skills that recruiters generally assess:

  • Empathetic Outlook: This is the ability of blue collar workers to understand and share the feelings and perspectives of others. It means being sensitive to the emotions, needs, and concerns of different people and groups. An empathetic outlook helps to build trust, rapport, and collaboration with others. It also enables blue collar workers to respond appropriately and compassionately to various situations and challenges.
  • Self-management: This is the ability of blue collar workers to regulate one's own emotions, impulses, and behaviors. It means being able to control one's impulses, adapt to changing circumstances, and cope with stress and frustration in blue collar jobs. Self-management helps to maintain focus, motivation, and resilience. It also enables one to act ethically and responsibly in different contexts.
  • Achievement Orientation: This is the ability of blue collar workers to strive for excellence and set challenging goals. It means being able to pursue one's objectives with determination, optimism, and creativity. Achievement orientation helps to improve one's performance, learn from feedback, and overcome obstacles in blue collar jobs. It also enables one to contribute to the success of the organization and society.
  • Accountability: This is the ability of blue collar workers to take responsibility for one's actions and outcomes. It means being able to acknowledge one's mistakes, learn from them, and make amends. Accountability helps to build credibility, trust, and respect for others. It also enables workers in blue collar job roles to align one's actions with the values and expectations of the organization and society.

Core Competencies in White-Collar Jobs

White collar jobs tend to demand target orientation as they have higher career prospects than blue collar jobs. The hiring process for a white collar job role is based upon an assessment of cognitive abilities, industry knowledge, and personality compatibility. You can explore more about white collar jobs on our previous blog. Here are a few must-assess competencies for white collar worker:

  • Analytical Skills: Professionals in white-collar job roles often deal with data analysis, financial modeling, or market research. Analytical skills are essential to interpret data and make informed decisions.
  • Communication: Effective communication is paramount, as white-collar workers interact with colleagues, clients, and stakeholders regularly. Clear and persuasive communication is vital for conveying ideas and information.
  • Adaptability: The rapidly evolving business landscape necessitates adaptability. White-collar workers must stay abreast of industry trends, technological advancements, and changing regulations.
  • Leadership: Many white-collar positions involve leadership and managerial responsibilities. The ability to lead teams, set strategic goals, and inspire others is a valued skill.

What's the Difference Between Blue- and White-Collar Jobs in Terms of Hiring Practices?

As the skill requirements vary in blue-collar jobs and many white collar jobs too, the process of application, assessment, selection, orientation, and further evaluations varies greatly. Some of the main differences are:

Application: 

  • Blue-collar jobs tend to require candidates to submit a resume or an application form that highlights their work experience and skills. 
  • White-collar jobs usually require candidates to submit a resume or a CV that showcases their education and qualifications.

Assessment: 

  • Blue-collar jobs usually use practical tests or visual blue-collar assessments to evaluate candidates' abilities to perform on-the-job roles and deliver efficiently. 
  • White-collar jobs usually use skill-based assessments, cognitive tests, personality assessments, and cultural fitment assessments to measure candidates' aptitude and fitment for a specific job role.

Interview: 

  • Blue-collar jobs usually conduct structured interviews to verify candidates' information and assess their communication skills.
  • White-collar jobs usually conduct multiple rounds of behavioral interviews to assess candidates' knowledge and competencies.

Selection: 

  • Blue-collar jobs usually select candidates based on their performance in tests or assessments and their availability to start work. 
  • White collar jobs usually select candidates based on their overall fit with the company's culture and values.

PMaps Assessment: Tools to Assess Blue Collar and White Collars

Talent shortage and skill mismatch are two prominent statements of problem in this scenario. They can have negative impacts on the productivity, performance, and profitability of an organization. Therefore, it is essential to conduct an in-depth analysis of the candidate profiles to identify their strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. 

This can help HR professionals arrange appropriate and effective training for new hires and employees of blue collar jobs and white collar jobs. It will also help them make informed hiring decisions. 

Some PMaps Assessment Tools for Blue Collar and White Collar Job roles include:

Visual Blue Collar Assessment: 

The PMaps Blue Collar Assessment is a language-agnostic and visual-based assessment that measures the empathetic outlook, emotional management, achievement orientation, and accountability for blue collar work. These are the skills that are very essential for performing various tasks in most blue collar jobs. 

This assessment can help HR professionals screen and select candidates who have the potential to excel in blue collar job roles, as well as identify their training needs.

Skill Based Assessments:

PMaps Assessments offers varied domain-specific assessments that measure the technical skills and knowledge of blue and white collar workers required to excel at work. It covers a wide range of topics and domains, such as sales, customer service, programming, accounting, etc. 

It evaluates the candidates' proficiency and expertise in their respective fields, as well as their ability to apply their skills in real-world scenarios. This assessment can help HR professionals assess the skill level and competency of candidates for different blue collar positions and white collar job roles, as well as design and deliver relevant training programs.

To understand which assessments can help you make quicker and more precise hiring decisions, connect with us today!

Culture Fit Assessment: 

PMaps offers a customized assessment solution that evaluates the candidates' fit with the organization's culture based on unique and core company values. It uses a combination of multiple-choice questions, situational judgment tests, and rating scales to measure the candidates' alignment with the organization's culture. 

This assessment can help HR professionals select candidates who share the same vision and values as the organization, as well as provide them with feedback and coaching on how to improve their cultural fit.

Behavioral Assessments and Interview Questions: 

PMaps Behavioral Assessments evaluate the behavioral competencies and personality traits of candidates for various job roles. It uses behavioral questions and scenarios to elicit examples of how candidates have handled situations in the past or how they would handle them in the future. It evaluates the candidates' behavioral attributes, such as rapport-building skills, teamwork skills, leadership skills, adaptability skills, etc., which are crucial for working effectively in an organization. 

These assessments can help HR professionals understand the behavioral and cultural fit of candidates for different blue- and white-collar job roles, as well as provide feedback and coaching.

Conclusion

Blue-collar and white-collar are two broad categories of jobs that differ in many aspects but also share some commonalities. Both types of jobs contribute to the economy and society in valuable ways and require different sets of skills and competencies. However, hiring for both types of jobs may be hindered by several human biases and a lack of objective clarity. 

Finding potentially fit candidates with transferable skills and trainability might serve as the best solution. The PMaps Assessment helps you know your candidates better, be they blue-collar or white-collar. We ensure that you are informed about the areas of improvement, strengths, and weaknesses of your potential candidates as well as of your existing employees. 

To explore more about Blue and White Collar Job Assessments for your organization and to make quicker and more efficient hiring decisions, you can connect with us at (+917709196077), email us at (v.rokade@pmaps.in), or reach out to our experts on a quick demo through our website.

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PMaps Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about PMaps through commonly asked questions:

What are blue collar and white collar job roles, and how do they differ?

Blue collar workers perform manual labor in fields like manufacturing and construction, while white collar workers engage in non-manual work such as management and professional services. They differ in the type of labor performed and the level of education/training required.

What are some examples of blue collar job roles?

Examples include manufacturing workers, construction laborers, electricians, plumbers, and agricultural workers.

What are some examples of white collar job roles?

Examples include office administrators, managers, accountants, lawyers, engineers, and consultants.

How can skill assessments help in the recruitment process for both blue collar and white collar job roles?

Skill assessments objectively evaluate candidates' abilities relevant to the job. Visual-based assessments gauge practical skills for blue collar roles, while skill-based assessments assess analytical and communication skills for white collar roles.

What is the importance of hiring candidates mindfully, especially in blue collar and white collar job roles?

Mindful hiring ensures organizational success and productivity. In blue collar roles, it can enhance workplace efficiency and safety. In white collar roles, it drives innovation and business growth, creating a positive work environment and fostering long-term employee satisfaction and retention.

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