HomeTalentTalent DevelopmentSecuring talent: a skills-based approach to recruitment and professional development

Securing talent: a skills-based approach to recruitment and professional development

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Talent matters. It is scarce, valuable, and hard to replace. In today’s labour market, competition for skilled workers is high and businesses need to ensure their workplace is a conducive place to build a career

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In today’s labour market, if an employer wants to attract and retain talent it will have to offer more than a competitive compensation package to prospective job seekers and current employees.

The Covid-19 pandemic caused a dramatic shift in the employee-employer relationship. Before the health crisis, employers were not competing against themselves for employees. True there were some areas of the market where there was a skills shortage – data science being one of them – but most businesses were able to hire talent with relative ease.

Fast forward to 2022 and employee mentality is vastly different. The employer used to call all the shots; now, employees are demanding changes to the work-life balance; they want to dictate where they work, and when they work, and will no longer accept traditional compensation packages.

Development opportunities are now crucial; a workplace culture that aligns with employee morals is now a must; and a collaborative diverse set of peers to work alongside is now demanded.

Replacing employees lost through furlough programs, resignations, and redundancies during the pandemic have now become a major challenge for employers. As a result, some have tailored their recruitment and retainment programs to be ‘skills-based’ – a buzzword for HR departments globally right now.

Importance of a skills-based approach

The concept of skills-based recruitment is simple – it is a hiring approach that concentrates on potential candidates’ practical skills and performance rather than formal qualifications.

But this practice is still relatively new. In 2020, LinkedIn launched the Career Explorer tool to help workers who lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic, find possible career transitions based on their skills.

The tool mapped the available candidate’s skills and detected extra skills candidates could learn to switch their occupations. It turned out that workers and employers would not realise their upskilling opportunities.

As a result, HR teams must understand the skills gaps in their workforce, map inefficiencies in their hiring processes, and ensure they are recruiting the right talent for their future business needs.

In addition, there is the opportunity to upskill existing talent. Existing employees are already likely to embody company values and will be familiar with processes used internally. Furthermore, upskilling is a sure way to show you are investing in your existing workforce and will likely result in increased retention rates.

Creating a skills-based strategy

All companies have different needs and will likely take different approaches to fill the vacant positions within their ranks.

Understanding what skills are needed, and where bottlenecks in current recruitment and development strategies is a good place to start. Only then can businesses learn to build out their skills-based approach.

To find out more about skills-based hiring and development strategies, contribute to HRD’s latest research here: Importance of Skills Development Survey 2022

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