What Is Skills Based Hiring? (Challenges & Ways To Adopt)


Skills based hiring is a very common and growing trend across the world. And, there are good reasons! Firms sometimes invest billions of dollars into “future-proofing” their candidates by helping them in re-skilling and upskilling as well. This is the reason why more and more firms value the depth of skill in their workforce rather than years of experience. Employers’ opinions are shifting on what qualifies as a potential candidate. In this complete blog, I will be teaching you all the aspects of skills based hiring. Also, you will learn about the challenges faced by firms while searching for top skilled candidates. Also, the possible ways that you should adopt in order to achieve skills based hiring.

Skills Based Hiring: An Introduction

Skills based hiring refers to the process in order to sourcing and screening candidates. This process is based on the combination of particularly soft and hard skill needs that fit a specific job role, rather than formal education, many years of experience, or formal education. This process focuses on what the candidate has done and what they know about the specific department.

In the skills based hiring process, the emphasis has been shifted from credentials to knowledge, verifiable skills, and outcomes achieved by the individual. The job description is written with a different focus, the ATS filters for skills based parameters. Now candidates are being selected for interviews that are based on what they can do.

What Are The Challenges Of Skills Based Hiring?

Of course, candidate screening comes with some challenges. Here are some considerations to take into account if you are looking to adopt top candidates via skills based hiring.

  • Need a fundamental shift in candidate screening. This process includes recruiting leaders, HR (human resource) managers, leadership, and individual team members thinking about what constitutes a qualified candidate. This process might be time-consuming and need to expose the benefits of skills based hiring instead of hiring. 
  • It may push back your firm. There are chances that there will be an old guard and new guard mentality at your firm. In these cases, you may have employees and leaders who value traditional credentials in order to determine potential and merit. Therefore, you will need to work out to find the best way in order to navigate internal dynamics at your company.
  • You need to be 100% sure about the skills you are screening for. Skills based hiring refers to the fact that you are able to identify and define the skills needed for every single role you are promoting. This will need closer alignment between recruiting leaders, HR (human resource) managers, and teams to ensure that the accurate screening credentials are focused on.
  • You need to adopt the best skills testing methods. If you are adopting skills based hiring, you need the best, most reliable, and scalable way to test those skills. If you do not do that before, this is an extra that you have to add to your process. In addition, it will need you to test screening options and enhance your hiring process.

We know that nothing comes easily. Now that we have discussed the introduction and challenges of skills based hiring, this is the time to look at some of the effective steps to know how to implement it.

Effective Ways To Adopt Skills Based Hiring In Your Company

In this section, we are going to discuss some of the most effective skills based hiring practices you need to follow in order to enhance the overall process. Following are the skills based hiring tips we recommend.

Tip 1: Focus On The Job Description

First of all, just forget about the job requirements and possible credentials. You need to think about the duties and outcomes for the specific roles that you are promoting. In the job description, clearly mention the kind of performance you are looking for from the chosen candidates. Also, mention the skills they will be using on a daily basis. This is the most important part of skills based hiring. By doing so, candidates will be able to figure out if their skills match what is required from the role.

Tip 2: Test Skills Early In The Hiring Process

As you are building skills above all other screening parameters, make sure that you are able to test, or at least verify, a specific skill before the hiring process (as in before interviewing a candidate). By doing so, you may easily leverage digital credentials in order to verify whether or not candidates have specific skills for a specific job role. This, however, is not necessarily scalable across all job roles.

Tip 3: Focus On Skills During The Interview

HR managers and all the passionate teammates are basically the best people in order to figure out if the particular candidate has the specifically required skill set for the job or not. Therefore, it is important in skills based hiring to encourage interviewers to find out more information about the applicant’s skills and past performance as well. You should use well-structured, relevant interview questions in order to prove the candidate’s knowledge in the specific department.

Tip 4: Use Job Auditions

After interviewing a particular candidate, it would be a good idea to ask a candidate to do a practical task that exposes their skill set to the firm. Job auditions are a very important part of skills based hiring. This part refers to the final round in order to screen a candidate. This process helps to ensure that the specific candidate has the skills you need. This may include tests for hard skills such as writing, coding, data analysis, etc. And as soft skills such as communication, presentations, collaboration, etc., or it can be a combination of the two.

Final Words

Skills based hiring does not need a huge investment in your precious time or resources as well. In fact, skills testing can actually help recruiters or HR managers in order to save money, effort, and, most importantly, their time. Skills based hiring is the easiest way to fill skill gaps in the most competitive hiring market. Also, it helps enable candidates who may not have a specific traditional background to shine. Skills based hiring allows HR managers to find the right candidates with a combination of hard and soft skills to fill every open position. For more info, you may visit E Global Soft Solutions to get the best consultation in this regard.

Many established tech firms now prefer skills based hiring as it expands the talent pool in the firm and allows them to identify quality candidates for difficult-to-fill job roles while saving money, time, and energy as well.

Following are the best skills based hiring practices you need to implement to level up your business:

  • Articulate the skills required for each open job
  • Focus on job descriptions 
  • Get the job description in front of good talent pools
  • Leverage technology to rank based on skills
  • Conduct skills based assessments
  • Quantify your interview feedback process

Following are the five most effective benefits of skills based hiring:

  • Larger candidate pool
  • Better competency assessment
  • Higher retention
  • Faster time to hire
  • Greater diversity

Interviews in skills based hiring are conducted when an employer knows what he is actually looking for in an ideal job candidate and has a list of qualifications or skills that the particular candidate must meet. All the interview questions are structured to figure out if the candidate actually fits the description or not.

Following are the top most common interview questions about your abilities that are asked in skills based hiring:

  • How do you handle stress and pressure?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Describe a time when your workload was heavy and how you handled it.
  • How would you describe the pace at which you work?
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • Sell me this pen.