Remote Work & Culture

How to Adopt Skill-Based Hiring Practices


Hiring capable employees who are willing to learn new skills is the best way to ensure your company’s successful growth in a competitive marketplace. If your reliance on traditional hiring methods is slowing down your recruiters, adopting skills-based hiring practices can help you locate qualified candidates quickly.

Understanding Skill-Based Hiring

When working through the hiring process, it’s easy to get caught up in your holy grail search for the perfect candidate. The reality is that a prospective employee with several years of stable experience in the designated career is difficult to find. What often happens is that the candidate who appears best suited for your role is over-qualified, has high expectations and is capable of finding a more advanced placement.

Another issue is the talent gap in the current market, in which candidates lack the soft skills necessary for success. Instead of looking at traditional markers of an efficient employee, you can find employees suitable for the role’s responsibilities with skill-based hiring methods. For instance, volunteer and intern experience are valid when searching for the skills that will help your company succeed.

Recognizing the difference between hard and soft skills is the most important aspect of skill-based candidate searches.

What Is Skill-Based Hiring?

Skill-based hiring practices involve the employers setting specific skill requirements for a certain job position. Depending on the position you’re looking to fill, skills can be related to technical responsibilities or more general to suit a variety of industries.

Below are the types of required skills to take into consideration:

  • Hard skills: Learned skills related to a specialized role.
  • Cognitive skills: Hard skills based on an academic subject like math or reading.
  • Soft skills: Self-developed skills like customer service and punctuality.
  • Transferable skills: Skills that can transfer to another industry. For example, someone who worked with customers in sales can change positions to customer support, or vice versa.
  • Aptitude: The ability to learn new skills or refine existing skills.
  • A growth mindset: The desire to learn new skills and grow current skills.

The Benefits of Skill-Based Hiring

This method of hiring people is beneficial for companies because it:

  1. Makes the screening process easier: With the required skills clearly identified, you can select employees who are best suited to meet the needs of a job.
  2. Saves time for the recruiter and applicants: Instead of searching for applicants based on their history, the recruiter can search for applicants based on skills they would have gained in other roles and how these skills can translate to what is required.
  3. Saves money on hiring: Skill-based hiring can save the company money in the long run because it becomes easier for recruiters to find applicants who can fill the position quickly.
  4. Expands your talent pool: Adopting skill-based hiring can give you access to untapped talent you might have previously turned away.

Tips for Adopting Skill-Based Hiring Practices

The goal of skill-based hiring is the same as traditional hiring methods, but the practices are designed to find a larger pool of candidates more quickly.

Traditional hiring methods rely more closely on:

  • College degrees: A candidate with a degree is preferred for the position regardless of the candidate’s history. When you assess the graduate, you might determine that soft skills are lacking, and hard skills are less developed than desired.
  • Specific roles: A candidate with a previous role in the same position is often seen as the most ideal choice. However, the role at your company may operate in a different capacity, making it important for the candidate to also be adaptive.

Here are some tips that can help you utilize the best skill-based hiring processes after you have attempted other methods:

  1. Refocus your efforts: Instead of focusing on job requirements or must-have credentials, focus on responsibilities and outcomes for the role you’re promoting.
  2. Look at quality over quantity: Pinpointing a small number of candidates who fit the profile for each position is a better approach than interviewing a large number of candidates with desirable backgrounds.
  3. Make your expectations obvious: Clearly state the kind of performance you expect from the chosen candidates and what skills they’ll be using daily.
  4. Screen candidates for hard skills: When emphasizing skills above other screening parameters, ensure you’re able to test or verify a specific skill early in the hiring process. It is ideal to do this before the interview phase begins.
  5. Rely on your current employees: Hiring managers and potential teammates are typically the best people to determine if a candidate has the adequate skill set for the job.
  6. Vet candidates for past performance: Encourage interviewers to weed out information about the candidate’s skills and past performance to help determine whether they’d be a good fit for the position.
  7. Assess the candidate’s objectives: A candidate’s core values and life goals might fit with the company’s mission. These factors can play a role in determining employee engagement if the candidate is hired and whether or not they’d be happy at the company. Both of these factors are linked to the likelihood of the candidate remaining at the company.

How Instant Teams Can Help

How Instant Teams Can Help

Instant Teams can streamline your company’s hiring process. We focus on connecting important candidates like members of the military spouse community with companies in need of remote team pipelines.

Military spouses, veterans, caregivers and survivors often possess skills and aptitude but might also have job gaps. Frequent moves and related factors can lead to higher than average unemployment for these populations. By focusing on skills rather than traditional factors like continuous employment, specific practical experience, or “job hopping” issues, we help candidates unlock their full potential.

Instant Team’s Hiring Process

We use a tool called Traitify, which validates a candidate’s work style and their aptitude and growth mindset. My Story reinvents the traditional resume by walking talent through a process to build their complete story, including skills, certifications, experience with specific demographics and technology, and more.

Our process is:

  • Fast: We source and vet candidates using tested techniques that deliver results quickly.
  • Efficient: We find candidates for lower than average costs who meet your criteria.
  • Comprehensive: We look for legitimate talent and untapped potential among the pool of candidates.

Find Top Candidates With Instant Teams

Find Top Candidates With Instant Teams

Our hiring process focuses on quantifiable data and achievable results. We allow your company to create and manage a remote team without having to do your own hiring. Viable candidates with U.S. citizenship are located across the globe, spanning all time zones.

Instant Teams searches to fill roles in multiple industries while providing services for customer support, telehealth and operations. Contact us to learn more about our services or request a call to get started with building your team.