Skills Based Hiring – Everything You Need to Know


What is skills-based hiring?

Skills-based hiring is an approach that focuses on evaluating and selecting candidates based on the specific skills, competencies, and attributes required for a role, rather than solely considering traditional credentials like education or years of experience. This method aims to identify individuals who possess the right mix of technical abilities, soft skills, and potential to succeed in the position, regardless of their background or career path.


What are the benefits of skills-based hiring over more traditional methods?

Skills based hiring ensures that the right candidates are selected based on their abilities and potential for growth in a role. It also emphasises soft attributes such as adaptability, creativity, and analytical skills, thereby creating more future-proof workforces. Moreover, skills-based hiring promotes diversity by eliminating potential biases and expanding the talent pool that firms can tap into.


Why is skills-based hiring more important now than ever before?

In recent years, there has been a significant shift in the skills required by our workforces and the attributes that employers value the most in their staff. With the rise of remote and hybrid working, skills such as self-management, time management, and virtual communication abilities have become increasingly important. Employers have also realised the importance of thinking ‘outside the box’ when it comes to skills identification. The Great Resignation of 2022, which reshaped many workforces, has further highlighted the need for evolving skills requirements.  

When there is a shortage of candidates who meet all the traditional job requirements, it becomes necessary to change those requirements. Furthermore, with the rapid evolution in AI (Artificial Intelligence) and technology, which both create and eliminate jobs, the need for skills-based hiring has become even more apparent. In fact, a recent study found that in the next five years, 23% of global jobs will change due to industry transformation, including through AI and other text, image and voice processing technologies (World Economic Forum 2024)


Top tips for implementing skills-based hiring

Transitioning to skills-based resourcing is not an overnight process. It requires a change in processes and mindsets. While the specifics may vary from one organisation to another, there are several tips that can help ease the transition:

  1. Start with the basics: To successfully implement skills-based resourcing, it is essential to define and agree on the most critical skills for the present and near future, as well as the attributes of the current workforce.
  2. Don’t skip the ‘build’ stage: The saying, ‘buy, borrow, build, or bot,’ applies here. To develop the skills you need, you can either acquire them externally, borrow them from current resources or contingent teams, invest in employee development, or leverage technology and automation. In times of high demand and limited supply of skills, it’s easy to focus on acquiring skills quickly, but investing in the ‘build’ stage is crucial for long-term planning.
  3. Utilise technology: As talent pools evolve and business needs change, it becomes challenging for humans alone to discover and track skills effectively. The right technology should be in place to support skills-based resourcing. While technology should not replace human decision-making entirely, it should empower informed resourcing and skills development decisions.
  4. Embrace flexibility: Skills-based resourcing requires constant adaptation and flexibility. It cannot be approached as a fixed solution with consistent results. As the past few years have proven, today’s skills may not be the ones needed tomorrow. Embracing the fluid nature of skills-based resourcing will enable the creation of more adaptable and resilient workforces.
  5. Gain support from the entire organisation: It’s crucial to ensure that the entire organisation supports and understands the implications of this shift. Hiring managers, for instance, may need to upskill themselves to adapt their interview or screening styles to align with the new approach. Tools like our Omni Resourcing Effectiveness Assessment (REA) can be valuable in identifying gaps or areas for improvement in the hiring process that will affect skills-based resourcing.

In today’s dynamic work environment, the flexibility of the workforce is more important than ever. The jobs of 2024 may look quite different from those in 2026 and beyond. Therefore, organisations should focus on soft skills that add value to their operations and consider the attributes of applicants and employees that make them highly valuable assets, rather than solely relying on outdated criteria developed a decade ago.

By implementing skills-based hiring strategies, organisations can enhance their resourcing efforts, adapt to changing skill demands, and build a more diverse and future-facing workforce.

Contact us to find out how we can help in developing your skills-based hiring and learn more about our Omni client partner services.

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