3 Tools Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses Can Use to Hire Based on Skills

Tools on a tool bench

A combination of low unemployment rates and high turnover rates has created the perfect storm for employers looking for talent. According to The Wall Street Journal, in 2018, job openings outnumbered the number of unemployed people by 1.06 million.

With the number of available jobs outnumbering the number of people with the skills needed to fill these positions, it is no surprise that the 2018 turnover rate in the U.S hit 19.3%, rising more than 3.5 percentage points since 2014.

How is your business supposed to compete for skilled talent?

Small- and medium-sized businesses struggle to compete for the same traditional talent that large companies are pursuing, because big businesses often offer wages, benefits, and other perks that smaller businesses can’t afford.

Hire for skills

At Skillful, we encourage employers to transition from traditional hiring practices to skills-based hiring practices (SBHP). Unlike traditional hiring practices, which rely heavily on proxies for skills like a candidate’s degree, their past job titles, and the interviewer’s subjective evaluation, SBHP focus on the skills a candidate needs to do a job well. Some of the advantages of transitioning to SBHP include: reducing your time-to-hire by deepening your talent pool, improving retention by attracting candidates with the right skills for the job, and increasing diversity.

SBHP can help your business attract candidates who are often overlooked through traditional hiring practices by focusing on the skills employees need thrive in your business.

Skills-based hiring can help you find skilled talent from untraditional sources: mothers who have left the workforce and want to come back, the 50+ crowd, and people who have been previously incarcerated are just some examples of populations that benefit from skills-based hiring practices.

Businesses also miss out on potentially great talent through traditional hiring practices, which often require a degree from a four-year college or university, automatically eliminating the nearly 70% of Americans without college degree.

Of course, there are certain industries that require certifications and licenses, but they also have a lot to gain from implementing SBHP. If you are hiring a nurse, for instance, writing a skills-based job post can help you isolate what foundational skills (also known as soft skills) you want in that person to ensure they are a good fit.

If you want to transition to SBHP, here are some tools that can help you get started:

  1. The Skillfull Job Posting Generator: One of the first step to transitioning to SBHP is writing a skills-based job posting. This tool simplifies this step by identifying an open job’s required skills and competencies and incorporating them into a job posting quickly and easily. It also eliminates the guesswork out of the process and makes it much easier for employers to efficiently source and retain talent.
  2. Identify Competencies Process Guide: When you use skills and competencies to describe a position to be filled, you identify exactly what you need an employee to have to effectively complete the tasks of a job. This guide helps you define the knowledge, skills, and abilities it takes to do the job you are hiring for.
  3. Skillful's Guide to Skills-Based Hiring for the Public Sector:The public sector has different needs than that of the private sector because of the laws and requirements that states implement. This guide is designed to help state leaders and hiring managers in the public sector transition to SBHP.

These are only a few of the tools that can help facilitate your business’ transition to SBHP. To see Skillful’s full portfolio of employer resources, and to register for upcoming trainings on SBHP, click here