Why every company should consider skill-based hiring

Sofia Lindman Talent acquisition

Being in the midst of a fast-evolving labor market has put talent attraction to its toes. Due to this, skill-based hiring has slowly but surely gained more and more traction and has become an effective method to beat the talent shortage and reach a wider range of candidates. According to an article in Applied, companies using a skill-based method tend to get 3x as many suitable candidates. 

Companies are starting to reconsider their hiring requirements to reach candidates that are perfectly suited, but might not have the network or degree. In this article, we’ll dive into why skill-based hiring can benefit you and how to get started.  

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According to the LinkedIn Talent Blog, employees without a 4 year degree tend to stay 34 percent longer than employees with a degree. Is a certain degree more important than a person’s ambition, demonstrated skills and competencies? If your answer is no, then adapting a skill-based hiring approach might be suitable for your company. As soon as we start thinking beyond our traditional requirements, previous experiences and education - we open the door for a whole new pool of candidates out there. When done correctly, skill-based hiring can therefore help companies make better hiring decisions and speed up their recruitment process. 

How a skill-based hiring approach can benefit you

Every single company has different needs to take into consideration, and skill-based hiring might not be for everyone as some specific roles do still require a degree. Nonetheless, the correlation between someone's abilities and experiences/education isn’t as strong as you might think. Adapting a skill-based approach is one of most effectives methods out there to widen your talent pool and make your hiring process more objective and fair. 

One of the greatest benefits skill-based hiring can offer is the fact that it gives previously overlooked workers (also known as "hidden workers") a chance to prove their demonstrated skills and not be overlooked by traditional measurements. Embracing skill-based hiring can therefore contribute to a more equal and inclusive labor market and in the long run, create more diverse workplaces. 

How skill-based hiring works

How do we achieve skill-based hiring? One way is to use skills assessment tests. If a tech company is hiring a developer, they can evaluate their hard skills by asking them to perform a coding test. Skill tests offer an unbiased and validated assessment of a candidate's ability to perform in the upcoming role. This can also be combined with personality or logic reasoning tests to further evaluate if the candidate is a right fit for your team. 

Inviting the candidate to a job audition can also be a way to let them show their skills in real-time. Or why not give candidates a chance to stand out from the crowd early in the process, by adding the possibility to submit a short video of themselves in their application? Through a video testimonial, candidates can better showcase their presentation skills, personality and creativity and give a job pitch. 

If you're ready to embrace a skill-based hiring method but not sure where to start, here are some concrete steps to begin with:

  • Picture what kind of person you need on your team. List your “nice to have” and your “must have” qualities. Try to challenge yourselves and only list the qualities that are needed for the role.
  • Rethink your job description and how it’s written. According to LinkedIn Talent Blog, job descriptions that highlight “responsibilities” instead of “requirements” get 14 % more applications per view. 
  • After figuring out your “must-haves” and “nice to haves”, consider changing your application process. For example, include a few customized screening questions rather than requiring a resume or personal letter.

But, let’s take it back to where it all begins - your job ad. Make sure to keep your job descriptions where they belong: in the HR department. Since you are looking to attract a wider talent pool, adopt a job advertisement mindset. A job ad shouldn’t be an endless list of duties, responsibilities, and requirements. Instead, its purpose is to inform, excite, and inspire potential candidates to click on the “apply” button. The more you enhance and use this space to make a candidate excited about the role, the easier it'll be to attract a wider range of candidates. 


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Sofia Lindman

I'm Sofia! A peanut butter brownie lover, +4 years traveling digital nomad, and the Content & Brand Marketing manager at Jobylon. With an underlying passion to elevate from the industrial age thinking, I love to inspire companies to create a modern, more autonomous workspace that resonates with the future workforce and create a new narrivate around what it means to work.

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