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The Skills-Based Hiring Approach

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Have you ever been in a situation where you applied for a job because you knew you were the right fit, only to be rejected because you did not have a college degree? Most probably, the person in charge of hiring used traditional role-based hiring practices. In this approach, the focus is on experience, credentials, and education. A relevant degree and years of work experience have more weight than job-specific competencies.

It has been proven that this traditional approach to hiring can become an obstacle when trying to recruit top relent. The reason is it can eliminate candidates who do not look like the perfect fit on paper but have the necessary skills for the job.

Why Is the Traditional Hiring Approach Misleading?

It may happen that candidates embellish their resumes, or even lie about a qualification, to get a job. On the other hand, having a degree does not necessarily mean that the candidate has the skills that the job requires.

Making a decision based on qualifications and experience alone means that the recruiter may eliminate qualified candidates because they do not see a degree on the resume. Besides, this leads to discrimination against less traditional candidates and to a widening of the skills gap.

The Skills-Based Hiring Approach

The skills-based hiring approach focuses on a candidate’s skills rather than their education or work experience. This screening process assesses a candidate’s competencies, talents, and capabilities, which ensures that candidates with the right skills and potential to succeed are chosen for entry-level and mid-career positions. Besides, this recruiting method reduces the chances of making a bad hire and the financial costs it entails (between $25,000 and $50,000, according to Hirehive).

Both soft skills, like leadership, and hard skills, like specific technical training, are considered during the screening process. Some companies implement job simulations instead of job interviews to test the suitability of potential hires. A job simulation mimics the actual duties and tasks involved in a position. Applicants go through a realistic day on the job to see if their hard and soft skills align with the requirements and with the company culture. This allows recruiters to figure out if the candidate has the required skills and provides a deeper insight into the applicant’s potential than a resume. Also, it gives the candidate a realistic preview of the position.

Benefits of Skills-Based Hiring

As recruiters focus on skills rather than qualifications, skill-based hiring can help overcome unconscious bias and help create a more diverse workforce, as well as tapping into a more diverse talent pool.

As already mentioned, this approach helps avoid the financial costs of mis-hires by ensuring that the right candidate is found the first time round. In addition, it increases the quality of candidates because it results in an expanded talent pool.

Skills-based hiring is fast and efficient because recruiters can rank applicants based on their skills, which reduces both times to hire and hiring costs.

It boosts employee retention. Candidates who are a good fit are excited to take on new responsibilities and show their skills. Organizations can also boost internal mobility by identifying skills gaps and devising a learning and development plan, which will also boost retention.

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