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Skills-based hiring | 13 minute read

Recapping our skills-based organization strategy webinar 

June 11, 2024

Missed our webinar on skills-based organization strategy? We’ve recapped the main points in this blog post. Michael Beygelman, EVP of Product at WilsonHCG, and Stacia Garr, Co-founder of RedThread Research, a human capital research advisory analyst firm, presented our webinar entitled “Skills-based organization strategy: Latest fad or real transformation?”  

The aim was to explore whether skills-based hiring is a coming-and-going trend or whether it’s here to stay. And, if so, how to implement using practical steps and data along the way.



Why skills-based hiring now? 

94% of companies are thinking about skills, but 43% of companies lack a skills strategy. 
Source: RedThread Research

Skills-based hiring isn’t a new conversation — in fact, it’s been around for quite a few years. However, as discussed, we can now track and understand skills in a way that we didn’t before. Technological developments have created a new solution to an old problem from a technical capability that adds value to not only the conversation around implementation, but the vision and purpose behind it. 

Additionally, in this more agile, adaptive working world, when it comes to new projects, referencing a skills map is much easier to assemble a capable team rather than looking at the rigidity from a job title-based approach. It’s especially helpful to have a skills model through volatile conditions as well, as there’s more of a rationale for identifying key skills you want to keep within the organization in the long term. 

Workforce empowerment empowers workforces 

Focusing more on skills has the potential to foster a greater workforce. If you can understand someone’s capabilities and the skills that they bring to the job, or skills they could more easily develop, it creates more hiring and promotion opportunities. By properly assessing someone’s skills, it helps organizational morale and ethos, while hiring faster and increasing quality-of-hire as well. 

From a practical perspective, you garner much more organizational interest when it’s around skills. That’s because the optics of a skills-based strategy for organizational development create more of a feel-good element when compared to a post-industrial, hierarchical organization chart and model. Case in point — people feel more invested when there’s a path to grow. 

There’s value for companies prioritizing skills-based hiring 

It’s proven organizations with a skills strategy outperform others. By focusing on skills-based hiring, organizations can better foster alignment and make more informed decisions about talent. On both sides, it also brings transparency to job descriptions. This is dependent, of course, on a clear vision and strategy for implementation.  

With a clear strategy in mind, employees are, according to RedThread Research: 

  • 3.4x likely to give a positive NPS score. 
  • 2x more likely to report their company as innovative. 
  • 1.7x more likely to report their company met its 2023 business goals. 

An evolution, not a revolution 

Many different people in an organization are required to successfully implement skills-based hiring. Thankfully, now there’s a wealth of information on how to approach it in the best way for your organization. The main takeaway — find a place and get started, since it builds momentum.  

This working model is much more an evolution rather than a revolution. Positioning it that way will potentially get more buy-in as a gradual process rather than a huge overhaul. It also helps to reference skills-based strategy this way as a new working model, and not something totally alien that will require considerable ramping up time.  

Tips on getting started: 

  • Start weaving skills in and using it where it’s useful, and over time, it will build. 
  • Document it and talk about it with others – especially if you have influence and sway. You can start incorporating a skills-based approach in ways that are productive and not completely disruptive or revolutionary to day-to-day processes. 
  • Focus on answering high-level questions and business problems first – and finding business leaders this is a problem they want to solve with resources that can support it. 

AI’s role in a skills-based approach 

Whether you use artificial intelligence or augmented intelligence, it has a major role to play in the skills-based conversation. Being in the era of hyper personalization, AI can play a critical role in tailoring training for employees.  

Skills adjacencies was also discussed, where AI will change the landscape and scope of how jobs are performed. As a programmer who only knows one language, for example, generative AI may be used as a support to code in different languages. So the skill itself might be critical thinking, and you may be a great programmer without the requirement of knowing a coding language’s syntax anymore.  

Additional applications of AI in skills include: 

  • Learning management systems (LMS) that use skills (learning styles and hyper personalization). 
  • Implementing a skills taxonomy – analyze text data to distinguish between similar sounding skills and grouping them appropriately into a structure.
  • Enhanced talent intelligence, data-visualization platforms improve the accuracy and relevancy of skills taxonomies.

Interested in learning more about a skills-based working model? Feel free to watch the on-demand webinar for the full hour's worth of content we didn't cover here and check out our report.

Watch the webinar for more
Check out the recording to get a deeper dive into actionable skills-based hiring strategies for your organization.
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About WilsonHCG

WilsonHCG is an award-winning, global leader in total talent solutions. Operating as a strategic partner, it helps some of the world’s most admired brands build comprehensive talent functions. With a global presence spanning more than 65 countries and six continents, WilsonHCG provides a full suite of configurable talent services including recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), executive search, contingent workforce solutions, talent consulting and talent intelligence.