How to Develop a Skills-Based Approach to Hiring

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During the recruiting process, a skills-based recruitment approach looks for opportunities for candidates to demonstrate their true talent. Skills-based recruiting uses tools like skills evaluations, blind hiring procedures, development tools, and more to entice applicants to apply and finish the recruitment process rather than relying just on school credentials.

Create job descriptions that are competency-based.

Reviewing each job ad and job description is the first step in a skills-based strategy to determine the competencies needed for each function. Consider carefully whether roles may be filled with competencies, such as hard and soft skills acquired through experience or unconventional ways, as opposed to those that genuinely call for four-year degrees. Here, the technology areas are a perfect illustration.

Of course, there are some occupations that call for a particular ability that can only be learned in a classroom. The talents possessed by doctors and attorneys should be recognized with a four-year degree. But for some professions, like the food sector, a college degree generally isn’t required.

What kinds of competencies may you list in your job description? The knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes that support both individual and organizational success are referred to as competencies. For ideas on how to describe your next available position, look through some of our example job descriptions.

Determine which middle-skill jobs contribute to the issue.

According to Harvard Business School, middle-skill professions are those that demand more education and training than a high school diploma but not as much training as a bachelor’s degree.

One of the main causes of degree inflation is employment in middle-skill positions. Some patterns have emerged throughout time to define these jobs:

They still remain challenging to fill.

According to Harvard Business School, the majority of firms recruit medium-skilled individuals and struggle to fill these positions. They are challenging to fill in part because businesses have resorted to utilizing college degrees as a stand-in for certain talents rather than asking for specific qualifications. This could also apply to your company.

Businesses need to identify the positions that are essential to their ability to function, especially those middle-skill positions that keep them competitive. The impact of degree inflation on those crucial middle-skill occupations may then be examined, which can assist a business in determining how it stacks up against its competitors in terms of luring top talent.

Determine which of your roles have the longest time to recruit, are most crucial to the success of your business, or require a certain middle-skill set for which education has become a heuristic through a skills gap analysis or other evaluation. This can direct the process of putting skill-based recruiting policies into place.

Integrate skill evaluations

Without utilizing schooling as a stand-in, skills-based evaluations are a quick and simple approach to determine if a person is qualified to take on the task. Hard talents and soft abilities may both be tested through skill evaluations.

A good skills exam will have questions that can be answered by someone who is actually performing the job, and that can measure important performance indicators with accuracy. Additionally, inquiries should be designed to expressly address the duties of an available post. Many skills assessments use immersive elements, such as coding tasks or work simulations, to simulate how a candidate might behave in a real-world situation.

Try employing blindly

Blind hiring is hiding recognizable traits from a candidate’s application that are unrelated to their experience and success-related qualities, such as their educational background. Blind hiring may be done in a variety of ways, but the end result is that employers can determine if an applicant is a good match for a position without being influenced by unconscious prejudices.

Increase your reach

Consider using new job boards in your recruitment approach to promoting skills-based hiring. By utilizing a workforce that is currently readily available, skill shortages may be filled. Think about this Sixty percent of American employees over the age of 25 lack a four-year degree.


Great employees are out there; you simply need to develop a recruitment strategy that motivates them to apply. Organizations may save costs, access a talent pool with a high level of knowledge, and gain a competitive edge in the labor market through skill-based recruiting. One of the most effective tools hiring managers have to increase recruiting outcomes, such as diversity hiring, is skills-based hiring.