Why A Skills-Based Approach to Hiring and Developing Talent Is Important

by Angela Griffiths

The pandemic broke a lot of old ways and accelerated other movements. Among the traditions broken during the pandemic was requiring degrees for every position in the workplace, especially in tech companies. A trend that revved was skills-based hiring or pooling of talents.

For several years, degree requirements have been part of job hiring and personnel selection. The degree wheel broadly screens out skilled applicants, expands the opportunity gap, and makes upward mobility, promotion, growth unattainable.

A skills-based hiring and talent development is highly crucial to one’s success amidst reskilling, upskilling, and massive changes in the workplace. Indeed, changing to a skills-focused method is a feasible resolution to an evolving workforce problem.

Employees and employers do not understand that one job’s skills are transferable to another. For example, the food servers got laid off due to the CoViD-19 pandemic. Over 70% of these workers have the skills needed for customer service, which is one of the most in-demand jobs now on LinkedIn. One can always look up the most popular LinkedIn skills online.

Assessing the newly hired personnel based on their skill sets instead of work history helps businesses appreciate their talent pool. It also makes the talent reservoir extra diverse, making the hiring process more effective.

Importance of A Skill-Based Approach

Developing Talent Is Important

Last 2020, LinkedIn in the United States has increased by 21% in job postings that advertise responsibilities and skills needed for a job instead of qualifications and requirements. Moreover, the number of positions that do not need a degree increased by 40%.

Companies are beginning to hire for future potential, not an individual’s history. However, traditional recruiting procedures are still relevant in personal referrals, experience, and education that might lead to homogeneity in the workplace.

Thus, organizations must start reconsidering their job descriptions. Employers are recommended to focus on the results they would like to see rather than the qualifications. Highlighting desired skills or the ability to perform tasks leads to the same hiring results without an unnecessary hindrance to entry into the workplace (e.g., four-year degree requirement, postgraduate diploma, etc.).

Prepare assessments that can effectively measure a person’s skill sets, such as job auditions, soft skill tests, coding quizzes, and the like. There are many ways to gauge the ability to perform without depending on experience or educational background. Also, employers can ask random interview questions to let you see how they solve problems in real-time. It is also never too early to deliberate education commitments during interviews; it may make you more credible and striking as an employer since you will likely appear to be concerned with the growth of your staff.

Different Ways to Nurture Skills-Based Approach

Different Ways to Nurture Skills-Based Approach

Here are the ways employers can nurture a skills-based approach in hiring new workers and re skill and upskill their workforce:

  • Give Personnel Learning Rewards and Time

In a June 2020 survey spearheaded by a human resources software company named Glint, which LinkedIn owns, 97% of employees want to expand or continue their learning. Opportunities to grow and learn emerged as the chief vital driver of work civilization.

Executives and managers should consider how ongoing training and education helps personal career growth and that these can be done inside company time or working hours. It would benefit if you learned how to motivate employees to block out calendar time for learning every month or week since it fosters a learning culture. Furthermore, workers are more likely to devote learning time if supervisors also do so.

It can be stressful to balance learning with scary deadlines or client needs. Remind yourself and the team that the investment in acquiring knowledge will pay off in careers and the entire organization. Learning can also provide direction to growth plans. An employee can allot the end-of-quarter deliverable to spend four hours monthly on learning courses, then discuss learnings during annual reviews.

Some businesses support their learning programs with incentives, contests, and rewards, promoting worker participation. Supervisor involvement is vital since they must guide by example.

Furthermore, companies are encouraged to support new career paths for employees. Large enterprises across the globe have been acknowledging the need to upskill current talents. They are investing millions up to billions in “future-proofing” employees — equipping them with skills to improve their adaptability with the ever-changing demands of work.

JPMorgan Chase increased $350 million to their previous $250 million upskill projects. Amazon funds over $700 million for upskilling its employees. PwC is spending $3 billion to upskill its 275,000 employees for the next 3 to 4 years; their slogan is “New World, New Skills.” The worldwide health crisis revved this need for companies, and many quickly retooled their employees to fulfill the ever-changing business prerogatives.

If your corporation can’t sustain a structured learning program, let managers find out what other business areas the employees are interested in. It will allow them to participate in cross-functional projects and meetings. Permit them to use 10% of work time on such cross-functional assignments.

Create and support learning programs as it shows you’re invested in employees’ future. It will also help open, diverse pathways for growth internally and may even help them evolve new career paths. The pathways program of Northrop Grumman lets workers do three 12-month stints in various roles before deciding the direction they’d like to pursue.

Do not wait for the next pandemic to start reskilling employees for crucial roles. Staff who see good possibilities to grow and learn are 2.9 times more likely to show commitment in a workplace. Devising internal programs that identify and manage skill gaps aids prepare for future troubles and supports your most vital and dedicated employees to feel secure.

  • Achieve Competitive Edge with More Profitable Business

Concentrating on skills-based practices can increase the size of talent pools, allowing you to pinpoint excellent applicants for hard-to-fill roles. It is paramount to maintain employees and the company ready to adjust to the changing industry by breeding a culture of constant learning, which includes educating the workforce.

Companies may combine degree completion with current learning programs. Career education paths are effective when aligned with particular roles, without financial obstacles, and help workers avoid expensive mistakes that eventually help their careers (picking the wrong certificate or degree program).

The desire to learn exists. 97% of employees express interest in continuing their time consumed for learning. Moreover, chances for cultivating new skills and career progression via workforce education emerged as trustworthy skill management drivers to produce future-ready institutions.

  • Boosts Employee Retention and Engagement

A skills-based approach to hiring helps enhance employee engagement and retention. However, that won’t ensure that employees stay with the employer long.

Organizations should go the extra mile and implement the best workforce education programs that entitle employees (both without and with degrees) to seek continuing education and skills growth. LinkedIn’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report showed that 94% of employees said they would stay longer if companies invested in their careers. Besides, employees who see good chances to learn and grow are 2.9 times more likely to be engaged and committed to staying.

  • Access to a More Diverse Talent Pool and Promotes an Unbiased Workplace

A hiring process that focuses on education or experience can result in a homogenous workforce. Remember that individuals from underrepresented parties often lack access to quality education. Removing the usual requirements in job applications by evaluating new hires based on skill sets can remove bias — empowering enterprises to tap into a diverse pool of competent talents.

Nonetheless, just enticing diverse talent is not adequate. Companies need to guarantee an inclusive culture that fosters learning and the commitment to ongoing career growth for its employees. Workforce education programs are essential if you want employees to advance.

  • Better Retention

LinkedIn research reiterated that candidates without four-year college degrees stay 34% longer than those with degrees. One contributing factor to a higher retention rate for the latter group is the readiness and engagement to pay it back.

  • Fewer Costs

A degree does not permanently guarantee candidates to obtain skills-based education and competencies to get their job done. By managing the skills offhand, employers can save in training and employee onboarding costs in the long run.

Deciding to Transfer to a Skills-Based Talent Strategy

Changing to a skills-based method counts on the interplay of three drivers: the extent to which work is organized into tasks or projects, the need for organizational agility, and how fast skills are changing.

As work is more organized on tasks or projects for better operational flexibility or new requirements, assigning work based on someone’s job or role is harder. Instead, personal skills and experience become the more integral factor.

Employees doing additional work beyond their defined job description might not be rewarded or recognized for this. Invaluable skills data are dispersed, discouraging insights on skills gaps, and forming blind spots on sunrise and sunset skills.

Companies transitioning to project-based systems and fully agile operating models enable staff to understand the skills requirements when pitching for inclusion on a task and allow project leaders to select team members more efficiently.

The decision is more complicated in other firms and may need to be taken at the divisional level.

Rethinking Job Descriptions

Hiring that aims to screen for skills begins with job descriptions.

The foremost thing you can do to create job posts that are more skills-based is remove the job requirements. Instead of listing a long list of requirements, concentrate on the responsibilities of the role or position to be filled, what type or level of performance you expect to see, and what skills they’ll use in their day-to-day employment.

New LinkedIn data shows that U.S. job placements that noted responsibilities without saying requirements obtained 14% more applications based on views than job postings that cited requirements but not responsibilities.

The Best Skills-Based Hiring Strategies

It can be daunting to shift the hiring and recruiting processes to support skills-based hiring. Luckily, several techniques are available that can help. Here are the best skills-based hiring best practices to get you on the correct path to more efficient and effective hiring.

  • Communicate the Skills Needed for Every Open Position

Begin with a discussion with the hiring manager to determine the skills needed for the job. Separate the skills required and those that can be acquired during employment. Do not forget soft skills, such as teamwork, communication, empathy, and work ethics.

Once you define the desired and required skills, consider proving the skill through testing or certifications. Skills must be assessable, measurable, and observable.

  • Write Job Descriptions Focusing on Competencies

Now you have determined what you are looking for in a prospect, write your job posting. Many job description examples are available on job sites like Indeed. Ensure you list the skills required and desired for the job.

  • Formulate the Job Description Out of Excellent Talent Pools

It is critical to reach the most diverse talent pool for your job. Posting it to your website and on free job sites is inadequate. There are hundreds of niche sites and job boards available. The most effortless way to access job boards is by using an Application Tracking System (ATS) with built-in posting services.

  • Use Technology to Pre-screen and Rank Applicants Based on Skills

You need not worry about receiving an overwhelming number of applications since the ATS is at your service! Create application processes ingrained with skills-related inquiries. You can also use the ATS to evaluate the resume and application based on skills, licenses, or certifications.

  • Conduct Skills-Based Appraisals

After narrowing down your prospects via automated pre-screening, perform a thorough review of qualifications and skills. You will not be alone in doing this; nearly 25% of businesses now conduct examinations. Do this early in the process, and avoid time wasted on unproductive interviews. These skill assessments are needed — even for degreed candidates. Only 10% of business leaders agree that college graduates are ready for the workplace.

  • Quantify the Interview Feedback Process

Structure your interview feedback process in a way that it can gauge feedback. You would want to hire the best candidate for your organization, and the feedback needs to be gathered to make your choice clearer. Specify the feedback criteria and use the ATS to collect them to allow all participants to review and agree. Do not let a loose interview process become a hindrance to nontraditional hopefuls.

Final Thoughts

A skills-based method to the hiring process allows titles and diplomas to sit alongside endorsements, certifications, assessments, and other procedures to define a candidate’s capability for a job position.

Indeed, employers can increase the size of talent pools by concentrating on skills to pinpoint quality applicants for hard-to-fill roles. After hiring applicants, keep them engaged and ensure that your company is ready to adapt to the changing demands of the workplace by creating a learning culture. Institutions need not select between degrees-based or skills-based practices. You can achieve more impact and get closer to your business goals by combining those above. You hire based on skills and capabilities using a modern talent-based environment, then train your individuals through a strategic workforce instruction program.

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