A lot has changed in the labor market in recent years. As the Harvard Business Review reports, degree requirements are decreasing for workers in a variety of industries as a new focus on skills has emerged. But why are employers switching to a skills-based hiring?
Now more than ever, employers are realizing that degrees and even work experience aren’t everything. Holding a senior position in a company or working for a well-known brand does not necessarily mean that an employee has the critical skills needed to fulfill their role in a new job. And the lack of a degree in a relevant field or prior experience in the exact role a candidate is applying for does not mean he or she lacks the skills needed to succeed.
For 2022 employers looking to improve their organization across the board, competency-based hiring is the way to go. Selecting employees based on their skills drives business growth, allows for easier alignment with business linchpins, creates equal opportunities in the job market, and helps employers meet their hiring needs much faster.
Drive business growth
Unlike qualification-based or even experience-based hiring, competency-based hiring can provide organizations with employees who are certain to have the skills the organization needs to advance to the next level. As companies expand, selecting employees based on their skills rather than their previous titles will allow companies to close their team’s skills gaps faster with less training. This time and cost saving supports company growth and increases sales, especially through the additional know-how of new, qualified employees.
While technical skills can certainly help a business grow in required areas, a last report from the DeBruce Foundation and Urban Education Resource Center has identified a number of critical soft skills required for growth in all aspects of a business:
- Critical thinking.
- Interpersonal skills.
- executive function.
Although these skills can be learned through a variety of educational, workplace, personal, or other experiences, DeBruce’s report affirms that “essential skills are largely acquired outside of the high school and college environment.” In order for companies to acquire and use these skills to drive growth, the hiring process should focus on the candidate’s skills and not on a college degree or previous job.
Consider business linchpins
Another reason employers are turning to competency-based hiring is that employees with skills rather than titles can offer an advantage in aligning with business linchpins. Employees who do not have a degree or experience from a reputable company may exhibit a more robust set of skills than an individual with a title in a single specialty. By hiring the candidate with the skills, not the title, for the job, companies can ensure they are prepared for future pivots.
In addition, knowing that they have been selected for their skills and not their experience or degree, employees will understand that they may need some flexibility in applying their skills in the new work environment. By emphasizing the importance of skills in the hiring process, employees can more easily see how and where they can add value and be less tied to a title that may change as the company adapts.
Offer market capital
Like skills-based hiring, diversity, equal opportunity and inclusion have received increased attention as workplace trends of 2022. Selecting employees based on their skills can help companies embrace this trend by improving the level playing field in the marketplace. Skills-based hiring removes educational barriers for skilled workers who otherwise would not have the opportunity to be considered for specific positions.
just last year LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky shared an update on how LinkedIn has supported and driven the transition to a skills-based hiring approach by offering various programs that highlight members’ skills and encourage them to pursue more. “An approach like this means job seekers with no advanced degree — or no degree at all — now have a fairer chance of being hired.” As skill-based hiring continues to increase, both employers and employees will have better access to the resources that you need.
meet job requirements
Perhaps the best reason to choose a skills-based hiring over a degree or an experience-based hiring is that it is much easier for companies to fill positions. And with a nationwide labor shortage, those positions are likely to remain unfilled otherwise.
what’s more HRForecast.com notes that skill-based hiring also enables vacancies to be filled much faster by accessing a broader talent pool and seeking required skills earlier in the hiring process. Corresponding recruitment.com, skills-based hiring also improves employee retention, which saves money by preventing the need to hire and train new employees. To successfully hire qualified employees quickly and retain them effectively, organizations should transition to a skills-based hiring approach.
As employers select employees based on their skills and not their qualifications, business growth will increase, business fulcrums will become easier, job opportunities will become more equal and employers will be better able to meet their hiring needs. As you search for new hires in 2022, stick with a competency-based system to get the most out of your hiring process.
Peter Ord is the founder of GuideCXa customer implementation and onboarding project platform based in Lehi, Utah.