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Skills-based hiring: a solution to talent shortages?

Skills-based recruitment can be particularly useful for companies facing talent shortages. What is skills-based recruitment and which industries can benefit from it most? An overview of this little revolution in the field of recruitment.



What is skills-based hiring?



En quoi le recrutement par les compétences se distingue-t-il d’un recrutement « classique » ?


Skill-based vs. job-based recruitment


Skill-based recruitment and job-based recruitment are two complementary approaches. Hiring for a particular job, which we can now call “conventional” recruitment, involves selecting an applicant on the basis of his/her diplomas and professional experience, matched to the position to be filled.


On the other hand, skill-based recruitment – as the name suggests – focuses on the applicant’s skills. The process evaluates the knowledge, know-how and professional skills that he or she possesses, including those that are not usually associated with a particular job.


Related : Transfer of skills: what’s the best approach?



The various types of skills


To carry out their day-to-day tasks, employees use a multitude of skills. These fall into two broad categories: technical and non-technical skills.


Technical skills, also known as hard skills, are generally linked to know-how. These are learned and transmitted operational skills, which can be easily identified by a degree or previous work experience.


Soft skills refer to personal qualities, such as creativity or complex problem solving, and interpersonal abilities, such as negotiation and emotional intelligence.


When to rely on skills-based hiring



Although skill-based recruitment can be relevant for any type of appointment, it’s particularly appropriate for “difficult” hires. This is often the case when a company needs new staff but faces a lack of qualified applicants. Some lines of business are especially affected by these shortages:


  • Industries where the sustained growth in demand requires a similar increase in staffing levels, such as personal assistance services


  • Professions that are experiencing difficulties in attracting the younger generations and in recruiting, such as construction and the hotel and catering industries


  • Occupations that require advanced and evolving technological knowledge, such as new communication technologies, digital tech and manufacturing.



In industries experiencing a shortage of talent, skills-based hiring can be an effective way to recruit. Indeed, in the absence of an applicant that’s a perfect match for a particular job, an employer may choose to focus on the candidates’ skills rather than their background. This method not only breathes new life into the recruitment process, but also promotes diversity in the profiles recruited.



The importance of skills repositories



To recruit based on skills, you must identify the skills needed to fill each vacancy. To this end, a skills repository is a particularly effective tool to recruit a new employee with the assurance that he or she has the right skills for the job.


 What’s a skills repository?


A skills repository takes the form of a table. It classifies the various skills that are characteristic of the jobs in an organization. A list of technical and non-technical (personal and interpersonal) skills is associated with each job, providing a detailed view of what’s needed to perform it.


Using a skills repository for recruitment


The repository is particularly useful for skill-based recruitment. It highlights all the skills required for each vacant position and matches them with those of potential candidates. This makes it easier to identify suitable profiles beyond the expected, “conventional” background for the job.


Related: What’s a jobs & skills repository? How does it relate to skill mapping?


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Illustration credits: https://www.istockphoto.com/fr/portfolio/attostock