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The Surge of Skills-Based Hiring: How to Make the Most of It

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

Is Skills-Based hiring becoming more popular than ever.
Is Skills-Based hiring becoming more popular than ever.

The recruitment process extends beyond quick and efficient vacancy filling, although that aspect holds significant importance. Its true essence lies in identifying the perfect talent, possessing the right skills, and being capable of fostering substantial and lasting business growth.

One of the primary reasons for the rising interest in skills-based hiring among employers is the growing skepticism surrounding the necessity of a four-year degree. Many companies have realized that possessing a bachelor's degree does not automatically guarantee a "high-quality hire."

The Advantages of Skills-Based Hiring

Employers are increasingly recognizing the evident advantages of this approach.

1. Talent acquisition and hiring managers widen the talent pool

Talent acquisition teams and hiring managers often struggle to fill entry-level positions because numerous candidates lack four-year college degrees or relevant work experience.

However, implementing a skills-based hiring program shifts the emphasis from qualifications to abilities, expanding possibilities and attracting a more diverse talent pool.

2. Job candidates prefer being assessed on their skills

It is evident that job candidates, especially younger ones, seek to join businesses that prioritize the value of their skills over solely considering their years of experience and educational background.

According to a TestGorilla report in 2022, 73% of professionals hired through a skills-based hiring process expressed satisfaction with their job and employer.

Skills Based Hiring

In contrast, only 3% of those hired through other means reported feeling dissatisfied. This emphasizes the positive impact of recognizing and valuing candidates' skills during the hiring process on employee happiness and job satisfaction.

3. Degree alone doesn’t guarantee solid hires

In the digital age, having a degree no longer ensures a candidate possesses the essential skills to fulfill the job requirements. However, by adopting and fully embracing a skills-based recruiting approach, employers can achieve long-term cost savings on training and employee onboarding.

As per Forbes, candidates hired based on their skill sets demand minimal training, which significantly reduces the onboarding time and expedites their contribution to productivity. This streamlined onboarding process leads to more efficient and productive team members.

4. Enhanced diversity and inclusion through this approach

According to a recent article by Bain & Company, while skills-based hiring alone may not guarantee diversity, it is a crucial initial step in breaking down potential barriers and fostering a more inclusive organizational culture.

By directing attention towards job seekers who have acquired their skills through alternative routes, commonly known as "STARs," employers can tap into a largely untapped talent pool and actively promote diversity and inclusion within their workplace.

Now, the question is: What steps can your company take to embrace a skills-based hiring process, considering its potential to be a game-changer for your organization?

With that in mind, here are five practical tips to help you transition smoothly.

1. Determine essential skills for each role

Begin the process by thoroughly evaluating the roles within your company and pinpointing the essential skills that align with each job. This can be achieved by conducting comprehensive job documentation reviews, engaging in discussions with experts and hiring managers, and observing employees as they carry out their responsibilities.

Once you have identified the crucial skills, incorporate them into your job descriptions and advertisements to attract candidates with the specific talents and abilities required for each position.

2. Consider investing in ATS software

Using advanced recruiting technology can significantly ease your transition to skills-based hiring. By leveraging cutting-edge tools and platforms, employers can efficiently assess candidates' actual competencies and potential rather than solely relying on their experience or education. This shift towards skills-based hiring opens doors for candidates with diverse backgrounds and experiences, enabling them to showcase their true capabilities.

Moreover, advanced recruiting technology offers various features such as skills assessments and AI-driven candidate matching, allowing organizations to identify the right talent precisely and quickly. Such technologies streamline the hiring process, saving valuable time and resources while ensuring that each candidate's skills align with the job requirements. Additionally, you'll be able to build and maintain relationships with candidates efficiently, all through a single candidate engagement platform, eliminating the need for multiple tools.

3. Train the entire hiring team

Ensure that your hiring team comprehends the advantages of embracing a skills-based hiring approach and knows how to contribute to assessing and engaging top talent actively.

Offer training and resources to aid them in transitioning from traditional hiring practices to a skills-based mindset. Stress the significance of evaluating candidates based on their expertise rather than solely relying on degrees or previous job titles. Encourage them to understand the potential of skills-based hiring to identify the right fit for the organization and drive sustainable growth.

4. Revamp job descriptions

To attract suitable candidates, focus your job descriptions on highlighting the specific skills essential for the role rather than emphasizing degrees or years of experience as strict prerequisites. This approach expands the potential talent pool, promoting a broader spectrum of candidates to consider applying.

Employing such methods will enable you to understand better a candidate's capabilities, including their hard and soft skills, and identify areas where their expertise can address skill gaps within your organization.

By conducting these evaluations, you can gather concrete evidence of a candidate's abilities and competencies, enabling you and the hiring managers to make more informed decisions during the hiring process.


Skills-based hiring is a powerful and effective approach for employers and job seekers. The surge of this hiring process has brought forth numerous advantages, such as increased job satisfaction, a diverse talent pool, and a future-proofed workforce. To make the most of skills-based hiring, companies must take proactive steps, such as defining essential skills for each role, investing in HireTalent software, training their hiring teams, revamping job descriptions, and incorporating candidate skill assessments. By embracing this transformative method, organizations can attract top talent and build a dynamic workforce ready to tackle the challenges of the future. The era of skills-based hiring has arrived, and those who harness its potential will gain a competitive edge in the ever-changing job market.


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