Focus on Skills to Hire and Retain Top Talent





Business is booming and it’s time to add a new member to the team. You want someone who has the right experience and wants to grow within your organization. But, traditional ways to source candidates may not be working so well, given today’s tapped-out talent pool and stiff market competition.

The good news is there’s a better way. Changing just one word can shift your entire recruitment strategy, helping you beat the competition and win the best talent. By swapping “experience” for “skill-set,” you’ll open doors to talent you might never have considered before.

The trick is to shift from pedigree-based to skills-based hiring. At Indeed, we have also found that, by improving skill development programs for new hires and current employees, we can attract more quality candidates and entice employees to grow within the firm.

Here are some ways to shift hiring practices and fully embrace unconventional candidates:

  1. Focus on capabilities rather than college degrees or years of experience - Technology employers often take this approach because tech skills are more easily quantifiable, but there is room for improvement in other fields. Shifting the hiring process to include an upfront skills-assessment is one strategy. Free on-line tools can help you make the shift.
  2. Consider candidates from different walks of life - Those re-entering the workforce after a hiatus (stay-at-home mothers, caregivers of ailing parents) can bring a fresh perspective and motivation. Solopreneurs (freelancers, consultants, small-business owners) bring self-starter skills. People looking to change industries are often more motivated to learn and offer hard-to-find skills. Applicants who appear “overqualified” may actually bring strong knowledge, expertise and self-awareness.
  3. Rethink your approach to training - With skill needs changing at a rapid clip, you need to be prepared to train employees in necessary skills to get them up to speed faster. That goes for new hires and current employees alike. By making learning part of your company’s culture, you can increase productivity and employee satisfaction. Check out free and low-cost online platforms such as Skillshare and Degreed.

The best candidates for open positions may already be right in front of you — if you know what you’re looking for. It’s time to trade in experience for expertise and get the benefits of improved retention, reduced hiring costs and greater diversity.



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