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Unlocking the Power of True Skills-Based Hiring: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to implementing skills-based hiring, there’s a clear gap between promise and practice. Although pre-employment skills assessments have proven to be a revolutionary approach to recruiting top talent, on closer inspection, not many companies have actually adopted it. Safe to say, true skills-based hiring might not be as popular as you think.

Truthfully, this practice is vital for ensuring effective recruitment, but it can be a challenge to execute without adequate guidance. So, tag along as we explore the importance of true skills-based hiring and explain how you can apply it to modern recruitment.

The Illusion of Change in Skill-Based Hiring

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Given the effectiveness of skill-based hiring in modern recruitment, it’s easy to think that every company must have adopted it by now. However, this isn’t the case. In fact, many companies today claim to use skill-based hiring but still focus on degrees and unproven experience over skill in their recruitment processes.

According to a 2017 study by Harvard Business School, Accenture, and Grad of Life, employers prioritized degrees due to their search for higher talent quality. Ultimately, the study found that this prioritization caused degree inflation as most of the applicants didn’t meet the degree requirements. So, although they had the necessary skills for the post, the lack of a degree put the candidates at a disadvantage.

Not to mention, with only 4 out of 10 Americans aged 25 and above having a degree, experience-based hiring can be a gamble. Fortunately, true skill-based hiring can provide a solution to both the companies and their candidates.

Focusing on skill over experience or degrees in recruitment eradicates the risk of low performance. It also empowers you to make hiring decisions based on what candidates can do rather than what they “should” be able to do, thus taking the guesswork out of hiring.

Although skill-based recruitment is beneficial, you can only harness its potential if you put it into practice. This means you must measure candidates’ skills using skill-based assessments and online and physical skill screening tools. And if the role demands a degree or some form of experience, you can add that as a secondary requirement.

The Importance of Skill Validation

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It can be tempting to hire a candidate solely based on their “impressive” resume. However, with how easily candidates can lie on their resumes, basing your hiring decision on it might do more harm than good. Plus, there’s no accessible evidence of their skills or experience, so you’d hire based on inferred skills and intuition. Unfortunately, inferred skills don’t prove a candidate’s fit for a role and, as such, are quite risky.

Skill validation removes the need for intuition when hiring and replaces it with proof of capacity. This means you can see how skilled the candidate is and assess whether their skills match the role. You can also test for time management, problem-solving, communication, and job-specific skills—all of which a resume can’t guarantee.

Below are some reasons why skill validation is important during hiring:

  • It ensures competency
  • It prevents you from spending extra due to bad hires
  • It provides a fair basis for hiring
  • It encourages diversity and inclusion in the workplace, thus breeding innovation
  • It saves time since you don’t have to screen hundreds of resumes

Best Practices for True Skills-Based Hiring in Modern Recruitment

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A common misconception is that dropping degree requirements equates to adopting a skill-based hiring model. While this is a step in the right direction, removing degree or experience requirements isn’t enough. You must also adopt some skill-based hiring practices that make the process streamlined and reliable. 

To this end, here are some best practices for implementing true skill-based hiring:

1. Utilize skill assessments

Evidently, skill assessments are a core part of skill-based hiring. These tests evaluate candidates’ skills using role-relevant questions and real-world scenarios to measure how they’d perform in a role.

Skill assessments are classified into various groups depending on the type of skills they assess. For example, technical assessments evaluate skills specific to the role, such as data analyst skills tests for data analysts. Other tests evaluate hard skills like risk management, basic computer skills, and soft skills like communication.

To ensure your tests are more effective and valid, you should invest in a skill-testing platform like Vervoe. This platform has an extensive library of skill tests. Consequently, you can combine tests to build pre-employment assessments and harness all the platform’s features to optimize your hiring.

2. Keep up with skill-based hiring trends

Over time, new business recruitment needs arise. But along with these problems come new ways to solve them. This causes increased hiring efficiency, accuracy, and, ultimately, success. To this effect, it is paramount that you keep up with pre-employment screening trends as they evolve.

Staying updated with these trends ensures you’re always informed about newer, more effective hiring methods. This means you can align your business with new screening laws, tools, and technologies for skill-based hiring, which in turn improves the quality of your recruitment efforts.

3. Prioritize diversity and inclusion in your recruitment

Now, more than ever, there is a rising demand for innovation and creativity among companies. Diversity hiring achieves this and also helps build company culture, which, in turn, makes room for employee retention. 

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace essentially mean having a company structure comprising employees of different races, backgrounds, and personalities. An inclusive work environment allows your company to have varying perspectives and ideas, leading to better decision-making.

With this in mind, you must encourage workplace diversity and inclusion through your hiring practices. One way to do this is by applying pre-employment assessments that don’t discriminate based on race or background. Another way of achieving this diversity is by implementing compliance regulations that ensure fair recruitment, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulations.

In doing so, you ensure your recruitment processes are candidate-friendly, bias-free, and reliable.

How to Implement True Skills-Based Hiring in Your Recruitment

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True skills-based hiring doesn’t stop at changing your job description. In fact, that’s only the beginning. In reality, skill-based hiring includes comprehensive skill assessments, skill-based interviews, and much more. 

Let’s explore how to implement true skill-based hiring in your recruitment process. 

Step 1: Identify the skills required for the role

The first step after deciding to hire a new employee is to identify the skills required for the role. This is crucial before writing your job description because it sets the blueprint for your entire recruitment process. Identifying the skills required for the role lets you know which skills to test and makes it easier to locate the perfect candidate.

To begin, conduct a job analysis and weigh the responsibilities of the role. You can also consult with employees in similar roles and review industry standards for the role.

Step 2: Develop a skill-based job description

Once you’ve outlined the skills required for the open role, you can proceed to write your job description. While doing this, focus on the skills you’ve outlined from the job analysis.

If the role requires some extra technical knowledge certified by a degree, you can add it as an application requirement. Additionally, always ensure your job description is straightforward, easy to understand, and informative.

Step 3: Administer a skill assessment

Once you’ve developed and posted your job description, applications will roll in. At this point, you should administer a skill assessment. Administering a pre-employment screening test lets you focus on further screening the candidates that meet your company’s requirements. This prevents you from spending time screening numerous resumes.

However, before administering your skill assessment, you should consider the assessment platform and type you use. To this end, using a reliable and efficient testing platform such as Vervoe is always advisable. To a large extent, this determines how successful your screening process will be.

Vervoe uses AI-powered skills testing to help companies make excellent hiring decisions.

Our comprehensive tests and screening tools empower you to hire right each time by evaluating candidates using a skills-based approach. By combining the results of your job analysis with Vervoe, you can say goodbye to bad hires and hello to fast and efficient recruitment.

Step 4: Implement skill-based structured interviews

Interviews are a core part of skill-based hiring, and they are used to familiarize the HR manager with the candidate. During interviews, you can evaluate the candidate’s communication skills, personality, and professionalism. As a result, you can accurately picture them in the open role and predict how they’d handle it.

Implementing structured interviews in your skill-based hiring demands that you prepare before the process. So, you must outline all the skills you want to assess during the interviews and then curate questions under each skill. This ensures you make optimum use of the interview duration to assess the candidate without interruption.

Furthermore, if you’re conducting video interviews, always ensure your office is set up before getting on the call with the candidate. Ensure that lighting, sound, and the internet are set for the interview. Also, make sure you have a backup plan to handle any technical hiccups immediately. For example, you can have an additional Wi-Fi device or an external microphone on standby during the interview.

Step 5: Compare the results and make your decision

Once you’ve assessed all the candidates for the open role, you must compile and compare their screening results. Doing this lets you find candidates who meet your company’s standards and possess all the necessary skills.

Pre-employment assessment platforms like Vervoe can simplify this task by helping you rank candidates according to their performance. This platform notes each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses and presents them to you through analytics. As such, it provides you with all the data you need to make an informed hiring decision. Once you’ve decided, you can send the job offers and onboard the new hires.

Transform Your Recruitment With Skill-Based Hiring

At its core, skill-based hiring evaluates candidates’ skills. This focus on skill validation makes it a more accurate recruitment method than resume screening. Skill-based hiring ensures workplace productivity, creativity, and efficiency, which are crucial to company success.

So, are you eager to hop on the train of true skill-based hiring today? Schedule a demo with Vervoe, and let’s show you how to uncover the true potential of your candidates!

Raji Oluwaniyi

Raji Oluwaniyi

Raji Oluwaniyi is a seasoned Technical Content Writer at Vervoe with a rich background of over five years in the intersection of HR technology, consumer data protection, and SaaS. He has garnered significant recognition and has worked with industry stalwarts like TestGorilla, Brightlio, MakeUseOf, and Careerkarma. Oluwaniyi has a continuous drive to evolve and keep himself up to trend with the latest technology trends and best practices in writing. Beyond his professional pursuits, he is a genuine soccer fan and profoundly values his quality time with his close friends.

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