Demand for talent has impacted a shift in hiring trends that no longer views a college degree as a minimum qualification to be considered for an open position within many industries and roles. A 2017 study by Accenture and Harvard Business School concluded that organizations who limit their hiring to a pool of candidates who only possess certain college degrees eliminates the potential to hire high-performers who may not have access to costly higher education, or who have acquired skills in other ways, such as on-the-job training.
Skills based hiring is amongst the fastest hiring trends as the competition to recruit and retain workforce talent has increased. It involves screening job candidates based on whether or not they possess the necessary skills to accomplish job requirements. With a skills-based hiring focus, a candidate’s skills are prioritized over education, such as a degree from a four-year college, previous work experience, or minimum years of experience.
The skills-based hiring process, first, requires managers and business owners to identify the specific skills that a job requires for success. It is also key to verify the candidate’s skills and that there is a method in place to do so. For example, if the position requires a lot of copywriting, ask candidates to complete a writing assignment. This will help validate the skills that are imperative to the candidate’s success in the organization and ensure the requisite tasks required to perform the job are capable of being met. A consensus amongst HR managers is that skill assessments are just as, or even more, relevant than any other hiring criteria.
Job performance is impacted by several key factors beyond simply possessing the skills to execute job duties. Other key factors include personality fit, individual vales and strengths, motivation, and commitment. Hiring managers are wise to go beyond identifying skills needed to perform the job and include interview questions and assessments, such as Gallup Strengths or DISC, to help identify if the candidate will perform the job well, as well as conduct background screenings and verify references.
A skills-based approach to filling an open position may also include promoting from within the organization. Internal applicants should also participate in the same skills analysis that an external candidate would complete. Major benefits from recruiting from within include knowledge of the candidate’s work ethic, work history, management reviews and quality of work. Furthermore, elevating a member of your current workforce also eliminates the assimilation period as existing employees already have an understanding of the organization’s culture, mission, purpose and goals.
Incorporating a skills-based hiring process for your organization will ultimately remove barriers for candidates, improve application volume and broaden the recruitment process.
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*Southland Data Processing, Inc. (“SDP”) is not a law firm. This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon in reaching a conclusion in a particular area of law. Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. Receipt of this or any other SDP materials does not create an attorney-client relationship. SDP is not responsible for any inadvertent errors that may occur in the publishing process.