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IT recruitment

Why skills-based hiring is the way of the future

IT recruitment

8.5 trillion dollars. Yes, you read that correctly. That is the estimate that global management consultancy, Korn Ferry, predicts will be lost in worldwide revenue by 2030, due to a lack of human talent to fill global job roles. I think we can all agree that is a lot of money.

Turns out, machines taking all of our jobs is not the problem. The problem is finding humans with the skills to be able to fill the roles that are being created every day. However, there is a solution. Introduce skills-based hiring to plug gaps in knowledge, so humans can keep up with the machines.

This article will discuss the benefits of skills-based hiring, how it can be easily implemented into any organization, and why monitoring job performance is the key to adapting to the ever-changing, modern world.

What is skills-based hiring?

So what is skills-based hiring? How does it differ from the hiring process you already have?

Put simply, skills-based hiring is finding quality candidates, either externally or internally, and identifying them based on their possession of certain skills that are integral to the role.

Isn’t this what you already do when recruiting? Well, no, usually it’s not. What most organizations around the world do, is focus on the experience of the candidate and their success in past projects. Including discussing their college degree, and previous job descriptions.

Where skills-based hiring differs, is that past experience and a college degree become less important than the candidate’s ability to demonstrate their prowess through skills assessments, tailored to each job role. Sure, a degree from Harvard business school looks good, but a college degree doesn’t actually prove that the candidate knows how to do the job you are offering. Whereas a skills-based approach does, as it uses skills assessments to actually test the candidate in what they claim to be able to do in their CV.

Looking at recruitment in this way allows hiring managers to focus job postings on the specific skills required and evaluate qualified candidates, not on their ability to perform well in an interview, but on the possession of those necessary skills as decided objectively by a skills management platform.

This takes a lot of pressure off hr teams. Many previously subjective decisions recruiters are expected to make, based on opinions formed in one or two meetings, can now be made based on objective data.

Skills-based hiring practices are made possible by skills management platforms —databases of skills data that can be used to quickly identify the requirements of every job role or project. As well as the stage of skills-learning each employee is at currently.

The benefits of skills-based hiring

Breaking job roles down into sets of skills, and mapping out which employees in your company possess those skills, allows organizations to easily transition employees from one role to another, or from one task to another.

Better job fit

A system of skills-based hiring, allows organizations to select the right people for each project. Roles are broken down into skill sets, and teams of workers can be quickly assembled for any project based on the possession of those skills. If no one possesses the skills required, then it is very easy to identify the person with skills most similar to those in-demand skills and train them to fill in the gaps in their knowledge.

Increased internal mobility

In turn, shifting to focusing on skills, allows for increased job mobility. You can begin to select candidates already within your company and retrain them for a role more suited to their skills and interests. It means you don’t overlook those already within the company when it comes to promotions, and you offer current employees a new lease of life in their jobs. Up-to-date skills data increases the probability of workers being assigned to projects in which they have some interest. A stable workforce is vital for maintaining company values year-after-year and boosting the morale of your team. The more workers feel their development needs are being catered for, the more they will feel there is potential to grow within your organization.

Less-biased decision making

With skills-based hiring, the onus is no longer on a hiring manager to be able to identify a great candidate from a pile of CVs. Skills assessments allow hiring managers to plug skills gaps and identify the right talent based on the candidate’s ability to perform during a skills assessment. Meaning, the best candidates will always be the ones plucked from the talent pool. There can be no bias—intentional or otherwise—if the decision to promote or hire, comes down to cold, objective skills possession.

More diversity

Your organization will no longer need to worry about issues like a lack of diversity in the talent pool, or in your team. According to Recruiting Daily, skills-based learning can lead to a, “91% increase in hiring diversity.” A clearly defined skills map can be used to identify which workers are the best suited for a project, regardless of any other factors.

In this way, it really does not matter for new hires whether the candidate is middle class, has a bachelor’s degree in higher education, is over 6 feet tall or whatever screening criteria your company may have previously focused on. Of course, during the recruitment process hiring managers can still look through resumes to get an idea of the candidate, but it is the skills assessment that dictates whether or not the candidate has the skills required and is therefore qualified or not.

How to implement a skills-based hiring approach

The way to implement skills-based hiring is surprisingly simple, provided you have the right tools in place. And robust tools at that.

DevSkiller can help with a skills-based hiring approach, by providing assistance through every step of the hiring process.

Implement robust technical screening

Using DevSkiller’s unique RealLifeTesting™ methodology, recruiters can accurately assess a candidate’s skills. What makes these assessments unique is that they are made to reflect real-world work, and provide an accurate sample of the type of work the candidate would face. Meaning, you can actually see how a candidate will respond to certain specific situations.

What is happening here, is you are focusing on the skills of the candidate. Their experience is not as important, as their ability to pass the assessment.

Implement a skills map

The next stage in the skills-based hiring model of recruitment is to implement a detailed skills map. This will allow you to easily identify which workers are the best suited for certain projects.

By breaking tasks and roles down into sets of skills, it becomes very easy to identify which areas need improvement.

According to a recent report by LinkedIn Learning, “64% of L&D professionals said that reskilling the current workforce to fill skills gaps is a priority now.”

Indeed, in March 2021, LinkedIn announced it would be launching its own skills-based hiring initiative propelled by the idea that skills-oriented work.

 “We believe that by taking a skills-based approach to opportunity we can remove barriers for candidates.” LinkedIn via Forbes

The great advantage offered by skills-based recruitment is that skill gaps can be quickly identified, and the right candidate with a correct skills match, can be quickly brought in. This is an overview that you just don’t get from traditional hiring methods. And it is the creation of the skills map that makes it possible.

A skill gap is the difference between the skills required, and the skills possessed. While the skills roadmap is a detailed ontological framework of all of the skills that make up the everyday work of an organization. Java engineering and the ability to code are skills, but so is being able to communicate well, typing, or using Canva for design. The reality is, modern companies are made up of thousands upon thousands of skills, and attempting to map them all without specific specialized platforms in place, is nigh on impossible.

DevSkiller’s advanced platform is designed for exactly this, however. For mapping the skills of whole companies and arranging them in clear and succinct ways so that they are easy to manage. When it comes to your hiring decisions, therefore, you can simply see what is needed and know instantly what you are looking for in your latest hire.

Adapting your organization to accept the skills-based approach

The success of the skills-based hiring method requires the whole team to get behind the idea. If you are to fully transition your entire company to being skills-focused, then you will need their cooperation. Any resistance to the approach or doubt in its benefits will only slow down the progress.

For these reasons, it is vital that your current and new employees understand exactly why this approach is being used. Explain to them the inadequacies that can come with conventional hiring, and how the skills-oriented framework allows for a wider overview of progress and effective plugging of skills gaps.

It will be worth mentioning also, how the system of promotions within work no longer rests on the whim of the manager. And that specific, strategic goals can be made, and targets set for individual employees to meet.

Lastly, the hiring managers themselves need to trust that the skills-based system of hiring works, and that it is a far quicker and more effective way of finding the right workers for each role.

Final thoughts

Recruitment is changing. To keep up, modern organizations must realize—and soon, that the skills-based hiring process is the most effective way of dealing with the growing demands of modern recruitment. Technology is creating new roles every minute, and with it, old roles are laid to the history books. A college degree is out of date by the time the ink on the certificate has dried. To be able to adapt to this rapid change, workers and their employees need to break work down into a series of skills and start to look at which of these are no longer needed and what can be learned instead.

Employing a similar approach when it comes to hiring, allows not only hiring managers, but also candidates, a chance to think of their work as skills that are valuable, skills that are not, and skills that can be learned in order to reskill candidates into new roles.

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