The Rise of Skills-Based Hiring: A Game-Changer for Employers and Job Seekers

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Marlaina Lanese
May 28, 2024
Three employees are sitting at their computers in a communal workspace.

Back in the day, having a college degree almost guaranteed that you would get a job in your field of study. As soon as you chose your major, your career path was laid out in front of you. Depending on what you studied, it often seemed like you were limited to certain jobs and career paths within that field since there weren’t as many opportunities to try something new or make a career change. 

However, the times have changed drastically, and so have the needs of businesses. Today, qualified candidates are hired for a job based on a combination of their formal educational background, their experience in the industry, and the skills that they’ve learned along the way. Because of this, we’ve started to see an upward trend of skills-based hiring within the job market, and it’s changing the way employers and candidates think about hiring and skill development.

What is Skills-Based Hiring?

Quickly growing in popularity, skills-based hiring focuses on identifying and evaluating the skills required for a certain role, rather than the candidate’s educational background or previous job titles. 

For example, someone who’s a self-taught freelance graphic designer who didn’t go to college could potentially be more skilled than someone who completed a formal graphic design degree. In this case, skills-based hiring would level out the playing field by only assessing the skills needed for the role. Focusing on demonstrable skills allows companies to tap into a wider talent pool and find candidates who are genuinely qualified to excel in the position. 

A female job candidate is sitting and smiling at two interviewers.

How Has Skills-Based Hiring Changed Recruitment for Employers and Job Seekers?

Skills-based hiring offers multiple benefits to both employers and candidates in finding the right fit. Here are some ways the skills-based hiring approach has proved to be a game-changer in modern-day hiring and job searching:

It Makes Talent Acquisition Easier

The talent acquisition and management teams benefit the most when potential candidates are chosen based on a skills-based hiring approach. Not only does it widen the talent pool, but it also makes it easier to target candidates with the specific skills needed for the role. This results in a more efficient screening process since recruiters can focus on the necessary skills rather than sifting through resumes filled with irrelevant experience. With education and traditional career paths becoming less of a barrier, companies can discover hidden gems that have the necessary skills to succeed, even if they learned them in non-traditional ways.

It Enhances Team Productivity

A skills-based hiring approach helps recruiters pick more experienced candidates based on the required skills for the role. This means that the time spent on training a new hire is drastically reduced, ultimately reducing costs and increasing efficiency. Team members with the right skills can hit the ground running, allowing them to make meaningful contributions sooner and boosting overall team output. On top of that, skilled new hires are better equipped to collaborate effectively, solve problems creatively, and minimize errors, fostering a more confident team environment. 

By creating a talent pool of teams that are skilled, resourceful, and experienced, employers can benefit from enhanced productivity and a more collaborative team environment. 

Two male coworkers are laughing together in an office.

It Increases Employee Engagement and Retention

Employees tend to feel valued and have a sense of purpose when their skills are properly utilized in their roles. When employees are given tasks that don’t let them reach their full potential, they may start to lose interest in the role. Eventually, these employees will leave for roles where they feel challenged and their skills are valued. Using a skills-based hiring approach can help improve employee engagement and retention by ensuring that chosen candidates aren’t overqualified or underqualified. It can help both hiring managers and candidates determine if the role is a good fit. 

Moreover, employees who are hired based on their skills can eventually forge a path for themselves within the company by upskilling and getting promoted, which further improves employee retention

It Fosters a Culture of Continuous Learning

When your employees see that you, as an employer or a hiring manager, believe in a skill-based hiring approach, they are motivated to continue upskilling and reskilling themselves to stay relevant for current and future roles. Having employees with a growth mindset encourages a culture of continuous improvement. As employees learn new skills, the company benefits from a more versatile and adaptable workforce. 

This helps the business prosper and helps the employees take on more responsibilities, become more knowledgeable, and upskill themselves in the process.

A training session with six employees is taking place in an office boardroom.

Final Thoughts

The rise of skills-based hiring is a win-win for both employers and candidates. Companies gain access to a wider talent pool filled with applicants who possess the exact skills needed to excel. Candidates, meanwhile, have a fairer chance of landing their dream role based on their demonstrable abilities, regardless of traditional career paths or formal education. As the workforce continues to evolve, skills-based hiring has the potential to become the new standard, fostering a more dynamic and adaptable work environment for all.

Looking to level-up your hiring? Push is an all-in-one people management software that streamlines everything from hiring and onboarding to scheduling and payroll. Book a demo with us to learn more about how we can help you hire the best!

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May 2024


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