How a Skills-Based Recruitment Strategy Can Help You Navigate the Skills Shortage

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk:

Since 2018, American businesses have been hampered by a skills deficit. 7 million jobs were available as of December 2018, according to SHRM, while only 6.3 million individuals were seeking for employment. 75% of HR professionals surveyed who reported having trouble hiring indicated there was a dearth of qualified applicants for available positions.

This dynamic has only gotten worse after the outbreak. There is a sizable candidate pool looking for jobs, with more than 140 million individuals out of work globally. However, firms are still having trouble filling their available positions, notably in manufacturing and logistics.

The existence of skills gaps across industries is caused by several factors. However, conventional recruiting procedures that view education and degrees as indicators of success are making it even more challenging for businesses to find top personnel.

Implementing a skills-based recruiting strategy might be the answer for your business if it’s trying to solve the problems caused by a candidate shortage in terms of discovering eligible applicants and enhancing hiring.

How the employment market has been influenced by inflation.

The increased need for a four-year college degree for positions that formerly did not require one is referred to as “degree inflation.” The phrase was first used in a report that Manjari Raman, the project director for managing the future of work at Harvard Business School, co-authored. According to this study, businesses that engage in degree inflation limit their access to the labor pool and exacerbate the skill gap in a number of ways.

First and foremost, the bachelor’s degree requirement eliminates any applicants who might have the necessary abilities but lack a four-year degree. Candidates can gain new skills through experience, formal training online, mentorship, or other means.

Additionally, organizations lose out on prospective talent streams that can expand the pool of competent candidates. Due to the demand for a degree, diverse talent is sometimes overlooked. According to the BBC, populations that are less likely to complete a four-year college program have a major influence as a result of degree inflation. Only 11% and 14% of Bachelor’s degrees awarded annually in the US go to Black and Latinx students, respectively. By using a degree-based hiring method, businesses trying to cultivate a broad talent pool unintentionally reject these atypical applicants.

Additionally, the requirement for educational credentials makes a lot of firms fight for the same little area of the labor market. Employers are vying for the same people by increasing the academic demand, which drives up salaries and increases wage pressure. According to Raman’s research, college graduates earned significantly more ($1,156 per week) than all other workers aged 25 and over, those with associate’s degrees ($819), and those with some college but no degree ($756).

Not only that, but degree-based recruiting can also throw a hiring process off course. Education or a degree will frequently be used as a stand-in for talent by an ATS or other hiring software looking for keywords. For occupations, though, where a typical degree is a square peg in a round hole, this can be problematic.

Consider positions in software development. In 2018, according to a Hackerrank study, 73% of developers claimed to be familiar with JavaScript, making it the most well-known language of the year. However, because JavaScript is rarely included in university computer science curricula, most student developers aren’t studying it. Therefore, degree inflation ultimately renders useless expensive tools designed to make it simpler for hiring managers to find qualified candidates.

A universe of applicants is available when hiring based on skills.

Fortunately, firms seeking to recruit new workers have a world of opportunity thanks to skills-based hiring.

The technique of selecting and employing new workers based on their skills and talents, as opposed to their educational background, is known as skills-based hiring. Instead of rejecting qualified individuals because they don’t have the necessary background, skills-based recruiting takes both hard and soft talents into account when screening applications.

Updating your job descriptions to remove the necessity for a college degree is only one aspect of skills-based hiring procedures. Instead, businesses that use skills-based recruiting look for innovative ways to verify candidates’ qualifications and experience during the hiring process. This strategy prioritizes skills over academic degrees.

Why? Because practically all company executives struggle with hiring prejudice. All recruiting procedures that take education into account obstruct the greatest candidates from joining your organization. Unconscious prejudice, known as affinity bias, might emerge when a recruiter notices that a prospect attended their alma school. As a consequence, the recruiter could offer that applicant special consideration during the application process. The result can be the same as if your job description said that you needed a college degree.

Steps for objectively evaluating both soft skills and technical skills are necessary for skills-based recruiting. And it is effective for both employers and job prospects.