The basic difference between skills-based and degree-based hiring lies in their names. It’s about the method of screening employees – hiring people based on their skills versus hiring them based on the degrees they hold.
Degrees are a prominent piece of information used to determine whether one is qualified and a valuable asset to the company. But as times and trends change, the mindset has shifted, and more employers are now adopting skills-based hiring practices.
Increased Trend of Skills-based Hiring
Skills-based hiring has become more prominent in recent years. Years ago, Google announced they do not care about the candidate’s GPA, and their candidates do not need to hold a degree anymore. Other companies like Apple, Tesla, and Bank of America followed suit – their leaders say that college degrees do not always guarantee a strong skill set, work ethic, and talent.
Even the pandemic created a massive hype of skills-based hiring. Many people lost their jobs and searched for up-skilling themselves to suit a job role. For this reason, LinkedIn launched a Career Explorer tool in 2020, wherein dismissed workers could find viable career options based on their skills. The tool surveyed the employees’ existing skills and detected extra skills they could learn to switch jobs.
Because of this tool, many employers and workers realized the opportunities that upskilling served. A great example of this situation was seen in the food industry. A study showed servers, hostesses, and other workers to have 71% similar skills to customer service specialists.
This was a win-win situation for both – the employer and the employee. The employee could quickly fill positions, saving time and money on training. Hence, a skills-based hiring approach is beneficial. The following section discusses the many benefits of hiring based on the candidate’s skills.
Benefits of Skills-based Hiring
Vast Talent Pool
An Indeed survey suggested that almost 41% of HR managers find it challenging to fill up entry-level vacancies since candidates lack college degrees or relevant working experience. But if you look at it, businesses play themselves when they ask for college degrees. In reality, recent college graduates will ask for higher salaries to cover their education expenses, but they will perform the same compared to people without a college degree.
It makes sense to ditch the traditional hiring method and widen your talent pool with a skill set that matches your requirements and high upskilling potential.
Skills-based hiring helps businesses get a diverse and inclusive workforce like veterans, people with disabilities, or a population that does not have a college degree but possesses the right skills. Having this approach gives you talent from the minorities.
Faster Hiring Process
Did you know that the average time of hiring in Germany is 70 days? The biggest reason for a delayed hiring process is that businesses review skills at a much later stage of screening interviews. They miss out on a vast pool of talent, all because they are too busy looking for high-class college degrees and years of experience instead of focusing on the talent they possess.
It makes sense for a business to lower the entry bar by accepting candidates with no formal education and the right skill sets. This approach will help employers fill the position opening faster and give an added benefit of selecting within the talent pool.
Lower Unemployment Rate
As per an all-India survey conducted in 2017-18, only 10.6% Indian population above 15 years of age have completed a graduate degree. Now can you imagine the rise in the unemployment rate if every business turns to a degree-based hiring approach?
The fewer businesses focus on higher education while hiring talent, the more positions get filled, which helps grow the job market and lower the unemployment rate.
Higher Employee Retention
Companies that recruit candidates with non-higher educational backgrounds see a high retention rate. Why? This happens because businesses that hire candidates based on skills invest more in quality soft skills training and hard skills mentorship to help employees develop the right skillsets for the position and bridge any gaps left in their learning.
Generally, you can see skills-based hiring suited ideally for entry-level and mid-level positions with little to no experience. However, it is always good to do your research before switching your hiring approach.
Suman Agarwal is award-winning image management professional. She has helped students, home-makers, women on sabbatical as well as people seeking second career alternatives to explore Image Management and Soft Skill Training as a vibrant professional choice. She frequently writes blog posts about the urgent need for image consulting professionals and soft skill trainers in the 21st century and loves guiding people in exploring lucrative career options. Write to her at email@example.com to seek advanced career guidance.