All You Need to Know About Skills Based Hiring |

In the modern job market, gone are the days of arcing back to a degree achieved 20 years ago, and rather a new focus is placed on skills based hiring. Skills based hiring prioritizes competency and a candidate’s ability to do the job at hand, rather than relying on academia or certifications achieved throughout their career.

In placing focus on what candidates can do, skills based hiring has initiated a revolution in talent acquisition movements. Skills based hiring:

  • Offers opportunities to those who, perhaps, can’t afford the same formalized education as others, democratizing opportunities.
  • Broadens the talent pool, by welcoming those who have the skills and not necessarily just the papers.

Skills based hiring tackles the changeable demands of recruiters and the workplace. It’s a focus on guaranteeing that organizational needs are met, without regard to formal background, simply matching skills attained to those needed.

In this blog we explore the nuances of skill-based hiring, discovering how it’s much more than a trend, but rather a corporate requirement, allowing companies to remain competitive.

The essentials of skills-based hiring

Skills over papers! Skills based hiring doesn’t care where you got your skills, it just appreciates that you have them. Skills based hiring embraces a more inclusive approach, a diverse hiring methodology that is adaptable and caters to a modern company’s fluctuating requirements.

In exploring exactly what skills based hiring involves and dictates, we dissect its power in opportunity generation for a diverse spectrum of candidates, from a variety of backgrounds.

Furthermore, skills based hiring limits bias and prejudice, and promotes a better alignment between the requirements of an open position and a candidate's skill set, a mutually beneficial methodology that works in favor of both employers and candidates.

  • Organizations open themselves to a wider talent pool, by not pigeonholing themselves to a short list of candidates with only very specific qualifications.
  • Candidates can feel confident applying for whichever role they feel competent to perform in.

Put simply, skills based hiring is perhaps a long-overdue methodology that acts to transform the process of job application and talent acquisition.

Implementing a skills-based approach in your recruitment process

There are a few steps to consider when adapting your recruitment efforts to a skills based approach. Job advertisements must highlight skills over degrees, masters, and other professional qualifications. This does not necessarily mean that job descriptions should be any less demanding, but rather, not demand where skills are/were attained. This, in turn, nurtures equal opportunity and inclusivity, attracting interest from a broad audience.

Our expertise at Thomas exists in creating transparent, inclusive job advertisements that clearly explain the exact skills required to be successful in a particular role, negating confusion and promoting equality in the recruitment process.

One of the best ways to avoid unfair hiring practices is to use psychometric assessments. The Thomas talent assessment platform can help you to identify skilled candidates, whilst negating bias and other forms of inequity. With over 35 years of experience in predicting job performance, we would be more than happy to discuss what we can do to help your skill-based hiring process. 

We believe that evaluating candidates' skills constructively, through assessment tools and techniques is crucial. Thomas leads the way, through its platform and insightful solutions that offer a profound understanding of candidates' skills and therefore capabilities. Psychometric assessments and competency simulations offer an overall comprehension of candidates' strengths and areas for improvement.

We structure interviews and assessments from a foundation of understanding the practical skills required for the position. Ecologically valid problems are presented throughout the recruitment process to see how a candidate would approach them. In this approach, we can ascertain which candidates would have the potential to excel in a given role. The presentation of real-world scenarios is key. A well-structured tailored approach promises alignment between required skills and those attained by the candidate.

Overcoming challenges in skills-based hiring

We can hardly be blamed for our unconscious, which is why it’s important to put measures in place to limit unconscious bias and promote equality throughout the hiring process.

Take a look at this Thomas blog to learn more about blind recruiting to understand a little more about bias in the recruitment process, which might include;

  • Confirmation bias.
  • Affinity bias.
  • Similarity bias.
  • Projection bias.
  • Halo effect.
  • Pitchfork effect.
  • Nonverbal bias.

Practices such as the below aim to mitigate bias

  • Blind resume screening.
  • Consciously structured interviews.
  • Diverse hiring panels also help counteract biases that may unconsciously influence decision-making.

Additionally, ongoing training for hiring teams is necessary, to act as a consistent reminder of the presence of bias. Through the use of the measures mentioned the recruitment process should be as fair, relevant, and as authentic as possible.

Making sure a candidate’s skills are authentic is paramount to an effective hiring process. We at Thomas advocate a structured verification process that includes:

  • Skills assessments and psychometrics.
  • Real-world scenario-based interview questions, testing a candidate’s approach.
  • Reference checks.

By employing measures such as these, Thomas safeguards against misrepresentation.

Success stories: Transforming hiring with skills-based strategies

In this section, we take a look at a couple of different examples of where the implementation of skills based hiring has improved diversity and efficiency.

One renowned technology company increased the number of female engineers and dramatically improved innovation by focusing on coding skills, as opposed to University qualifications. As a result, there was a 25 percent increase in the number of female engineers, over 5 years, and more innovative solutions to problem solving were implemented. There was also a notable increase in the rate at which new products were released.

A high street fashion brand placed focus on the assessment of customer service skills, and in turn improved operational efficiency, employee and customer satisfaction and ultimately increased profitability, whilst witnessing a 30% decrease in employee turnover.

Success stories, such as these two examples, bolster the efficacy of skills based hiring. Although the recognition of the importance of skills is imperative throughout the hiring stages, it should be noted that continuous evaluation of those skills is essential also. Thomas's commitment to skills based hiring is unwavering and is prevalent in our platform, ethos, and team.

Embracing skills-based hiring for future success

To sum up, skills based hiring presents a paradigm change in talent acquisition by prioritizing know-how over traditional qualifications. This approach promotes inclusivity, reduces bias, and improves operational output, making it the hiring method of choice for companies that yearn for fair and practical recruitment processes.

Transform your talent strategy with skills based hiring today with the help of Thomas. The Thomas Recruitment Platform is designed to assist with all of your recruitment needs, including all the factors included in a shift towards skills based hiring.

For further resources on unfair hiring practices and removing bias explore more Thomas blogs:

Or if you’d prefer to have a chat with one of our experienced team members get in touch with us today. We’re happy to talk.