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The 10/80/10 Principle: Grow Your Business with 20% of Work

Maria Petit

There’s a new way of looking at hiring that is shaking up the world of recruiting. It’s called skills-based hiring, focusing on finding candidates who have verified skills rather than simply looking at their resumes. Why is such a significant trend? 

This approach is gaining popularity because it allows employers to make better-informed hiring decisions and to fill positions with candidates who have the right mix of skills and experience. In this blog post, we’ll explore skills-based hiring and how you can use it to transform your business. So read on to learn everything you need to know about skills-based hiring!

Why do we affirm that skills-based hiring is shaking up the world? Easy! It’s because skills-based hiring is pushing away the notion that the best hire is someone who has a certain degree or years of experience in a specific field. We are in no way saying credentials are not important, however as a manager, have you ever dismissed someone because they did not have a diploma hanging on their wall? 

Skills-based hiring considers both soft skills and hard skills to screen in candidates, eliminating pre-conceived ideas about experience or job history

Most probably! But skills-based hiring, sometimes referred to as competency-based hiring, eliminates the bias of traditional credentials and instead focuses on skills, knowledge, and focus. It does this by validating skills through assessments and interviews. Thus, skills-based hiring can help you find the right candidate for the job regardless of their work experience and academic credentials.

The skills-based approach is also beneficial for Human Resources (HR) professionals, as it allows them to create talent pools from which they can pick the perfect candidate. Let’s review the benefits of this approach in depth!

The Value Behind Skills-Based Hiring

There must be something good with this hiring approach if big tech companies such as Google, Apple, and IBM are using skills-based strategies. Well, here are some of the advantages skills-based hiring offers:

Access to a Wider Talent Pool

This could be regarded as one of the most important aspects of skills-based hiring. Skills-based hiring enables Human Resources managers to expand their recruitment efforts beyond the traditional pool of candidates and open up multiple opportunities for experienced talent. 

By dropping degree requirements from job descriptions, HR professionals are presented with an increased chance of finding skill sets that match the organization’s job postings, enabling them to capture a more diverse talent pool. Closing skill gaps through skills-based recruitment benefits organizations by increasing their chances of obtaining the right skill set for the job, leading to improved employee performance and better career outcomes for hiring managers.

Hires that Stay Longer 

One of the biggest challenges companies face is keeping their employees happy and engaged in the long run. However, skills-based hiring seems to work wonders as according to LinkedIn, employees without a four-year degree remain in their positions 34% longer than those with such credentials.

Why? Sometimes, employees can be misplaced and you can end up with someone with the credential, but not actually the skill to fulfill the role. It also helps companies to create better retention strategies as skills-based recruiting allows them to focus on skills that are hard to come by and more valuable in the longer run. This will make it difficult for employees to switch jobs, helping your business retain its top talent. 

Cost Savings

As a manager or a business owner you must be aware of how much it costs to hire, then have to re-hire because it didn’t work the first time, and the associated costs of training the new employee. Unfortunately, skills-based hiring can’t kiss away these expenses but it can reduce them.

By creating skills-based job postings that focus on skills, knowledge, and experience – rather than traditional credentials – organizations are more likely to hire someone who is the perfect fit for the role. This ensures that the employee has a better chance of succeeding in their position and staying there for a longer period. Higher retention equals money savings!

Higher Diverse Workplace

Recent data from the Pew Research Center shows that close to 40% of adults aged 25 and older in America possess a bachelor’s degree. This translates to more than 50% of American adults don’t have traditional academic credentials. But what if they have the skills to do it?

A survey by HackerRank in 2018 found that 73% of developers knew JavaScript, one of the most popular programming languages. Despite this, most university computer science programs do not teach this language in the classroom.

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Computer professionals need to learn how to code in programming, otherwise, they could be out of the job market. Therefore, if skills not taught at school are being demanded in job positions. Why not hire someone self-taught? 

Skills-based recruiting allows companies to capture talent from non-traditional backgrounds and create a more diverse workplace by employing people regardless of their education level or age!

Steps to Transform Your Business with Skill-Based Hiring Strategies

Now, what’s the roadmap to set skills-based hiring strategies in place? Let’s check it out!

Establish the Roles that Don’t Need Degrees

Skill-based hiring strategies are essential for transforming the recruitment process and building a strong workforce for any business. The first step to implementing skills-based hiring is to identify which roles within the business don’t require degree qualifications and focus on skills that they can acquire through experience or other means. 

Defining those roles on paper and listing down the skills needed is crucial before recruiting anyone. Doing so will enable your recruiting team to understand exactly what skills are necessary to fill the role, making it easier to assess if their skillset aligns with the position without relying too heavily on academic qualifications.

Trust in Digital Certifications

We are living in a time where people are learning through the internet and online educational platforms. And yes, you must be wondering: are these certifications trustworthy? 

Did you know that 78% of job applicants lie in their resumes? And worse, 66% of hiring managers don’t seem to care! Check the survey here. Nowadays, there are many ways to verify digital credentials. QR codes on certificates confirm the authenticity by providing data about the skillset of a candidate and can be used to validate the skills they have acquired. 

 Accredible is a great way to confirm credentials. As their website states: “Accredible is an industry-leading full-service digital credentialing solution. Certificates, diplomas, badges, blockchain credentials, and digital wallet cards – all in one place.”

After ascertaining that required skills are adequately rewarded, businesses must ensure they are properly leveraging these skills when evaluating potential hires. 

Re-think Job Descriptions

Transforming the traditional job descriptions and focusing on skills-based job postings is a great way to ensure that skills are being evaluated properly. LinkedIn’s data demonstrates that U.S. job postings mentioning only “responsibilities” obtained 14% more applications per view than posts including just “requirements.”

Take the time to identify the skills required in the job post and use skills-based language that will attract qualified applicants. List the skills needed like problem-solving, leadership skills, and creativity, rather than a degree or educational background.

Advantages of Automated Skill Testing

Automated skills testing helps businesses to assess the skills of a candidate quickly and accurately. This is the perfect way to use the skills you have identified in your job description, and create skills tests to measure the skills level of a candidate. These skills tests can range from coding challenges to language proficiency tests, or even personality assessments!

These tests also save time in comparison to manual skills assessments, making them a great way to maximize resources and reduce stress when recruiting new talent. And, when combined with interviews and other screening processes, skills-based hiring strategies are efficient ways to help ensure businesses make smart recruiting decisions while simultaneously helping to reduce turnover rates.

Structured Interviews

Even using automated screening tests, interviews are a must! Conducting structured, skills-based interviews will allow you to thoroughly evaluate each applicant, prompting meaningful discussions about their experiences and skills. 

There are skills-based questions that are designed to measure the skills a candidate has obtained throughout their career, such as:

  • Can you describe a time when you had to solve a complex problem at work?
  • How do you manage your time effectively to meet deadlines?
  • Tell me about a project you led and what the outcome was.
  • Can you give an example of a time when you had to adapt to a new situation at work?
  • How do you approach conflict resolution in the workplace?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to work collaboratively with others to achieve a goal.

This will enable you to make more informed hiring decisions aligned with the skills required for success in the role.

Build a Strong, Ethical Recruiting Team

You must build a strong and ethical recruiting team to guarantee success in the implementation of this strategy. This will help your business avoid the 66% of recruiters who have reported not caring about applicants lying in their resumes. 

Your new skills-based hiring policy should be clearly communicated within your recruiting team and with candidates so everyone has an understanding of it from the onset. Taking these steps can help guide your organization toward finding the perfect fit for all positions within the company. 

Start Small, Progress Accordingly

Transitioning to skills-based hiring strategies doesn’t have to be an overly complex project. Instead, we recommended you start small and progress accordingly. Start by evaluating the job with the highest turnover in your organization, and use skills-based recruitment practices for that particular role. 

  • Your recruiting team should strive to uncover talent based on skills obtained through professional development and technical proficiency as well as qualities such as aptitude and passion.

This can enable you to assess the impact of such a strategy on employee retention rates. If successful, you can use this as a business case for furthering skills-based recruitment strategies across your organization by leveraging support from upper management.

Skills Gap Analysis

To craft an effective skills-based hiring strategy start by reviewing the skills you need to fulfill current and future roles, as well as job descriptions that could include skills-based qualifications. Then look at the skills of existing employees, which can help inform who may be suited for skills training. 

Also, review skills gained from graduates, apprenticeship, and other developmental programs. From there, identify any skills gaps in recruitment pipelines or existing teams, and create initiatives to fill them with talent or skills development opportunities. If needed, run a skills gap analysis if after all these steps you find yourself unable to fill some roles. 

By taking into account the skills required for various positions and being proactive about filling those gaps with experienced hires or employees through skill-building, you’ll be able to build a team that will generate success for your business in the long run.

Skills-Based Hiring is the Future of Work

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a peak in this recruitment strategy as companies were struggling to fill roles during that time. However, it’s not a novelty since Google and IBM have been hiring through skills since 2018. As a New York Times article says: This approach helps us to see people as people, and not as degrees or certificates.

In the end, college is not exactly affordable! Therefore, a skills-based recruiting strategy opens up opportunities for people from a variety of backgrounds to have a chance at success. Success at your company. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.


Yes, we repeat: skills-based recruitment is the way to the future of work! It enables Human Resources professionals to find talent quickly, precisely, and from a wider selection pool than ever before. Moreover, it allows companies to build retention strategies that keep employees engaged for longer periods and save money in the long run.

Yet, skills-based hiring requires a shift in thinking; recruiters must ask relevant questions to evaluate candidates, with emphasis on the transferability of skills rather than degrees and experiences. An effective skills-based recruitment strategy directly impacts the pool of available talent, optimized employee engagement, team performance, and ultimately the success of any business.

If you enjoyed this blog post, explore our blog post archive!

-The Monitask Team

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