What are the obstacles to skills-based hiring?

    A quarterly Jobvite report suggests that as volume hiring slows, 3 in 5 HR pros are prioritizing candidate quality next year. Almost 9 in 10 predict 2023 will be more or as difficult a business climate as 2022. Will investments in retraining workers be as significant when demand shrinks?

    Well, no. But demand doesn’t appear to be shrinking much. Three-quarters of organizations have not reduced hiring plans yet, and 60% expect to hire more. Moreover, the long-term trends are clearer.

    “No one is stopping this train,” Finnigan said.

    Hire for what someone can do now, not some piece of paper from the past. Why does skills-based hiring still need such campaigning if it seems so easy? Why isn’t it the default?

    For one, according to McKinsey research, nearly half of surveyed employers cited a lack of other means of validating skills. Say what you will about an Ivy League education, but it’s a simpler way for employers to pick out high-performers than developing a custom assessment tool.

    That’s where Finnigan’s startup Filtered.ai aims to step in. Job simulation tools are among the offerings they’re building. Years back, Technical.ly shifted to requiring newsroom candidates to produce (paid) freelance journalism before we hire them; By contrast, I’m not even sure I know where most of our reporters went to college, if at all.

    The modern workplace also prioritizes more opaque and harder-to-screen skills. In its 2021 “Essential Skills Report,” the Kansas City-based DeBruce Foundation outlined six competencies that workers need to succeed in the modern economy: communication, collaboration, critical thinking, interpersonal skills, proactivity and executive function (or the ability to work independently and amid ambiguity).

    “If you want to build a different kind of team,” Finnigan said, “you need to hire differently, too.”

    By Christopher Wink