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[Shaping Your Workforce] Why you should recruit for skills not experience,

Temps de lecture : 4 minutes.

As businesses find themselves in a state of constant and rapid evolution, they require a workforce that can evolve alongside them. Skills-based recruiting allows businesses to shape a workforce that is better poised for long-term success.

Businesses are experiencing seismic shifts, racing to keep pace with advancing technology, digitalization, automation and increased globalization. And the covid-19 pandemic has accelerated this advancement. So, it’s time for a seismic shift as well in the way businesses handle recruitment, actively shaping the workforce needed to ensure long-term success. 

Turning your sights to the future

Your company can’t move forward if your recruitment strategy is looking backwards. Traditional recruitment centers around replacing the workforce, filling vacancies with people similar to those who came before them. This leads to a stagnant workforce lacking the competencies to address the company’s long-term needs. A recent study conducted by Gartner Research found that only 29% of new hires are highly prepared with the skills needed for their current role, and only 23% had the skills needed for the future. More worryingly, only 16% of new hires possessed both. 

The solution? Stop hiring to fill positions and start hiring to fill skills shortages. To do this, you need to assess what competencies are required to fulfill your current and future business goals. Try to take a wholistic approach, considering both hard and soft skills. Once you have assessed what competencies your business is lacking, you can then recruit candidates that possess those skillsets.

Our white paper will tell you how!

recruter des compétences, pas de l'expérience

Focus on potential... not past experience

Shaping your workforce means hiring candidates based on their potential to succeed as opposed to evaluating them based on past experience that may not necessarily predict future success. 

Traditional recruitment focuses heavily on finding candidates with ‘related work experience’, looking for experience within a similar position, often even in the same industry. When trying to shape a workforce that is both talented and dynamic, recruiters should broaden their scope by looking beyond directly related experience to find candidates with transferable skills that might be a better fit for the company’s short- and long-term needs. These skills may come from experience in a different industry, from school or personal projects, or seemingly unrelated employment positions that involve similar hard or soft skills to those required in the position.  

Hard skills are easily taught; however, soft skills such as time management, self-assessment, leadership qualities, stress management, ability to multi-task are what will likely determine a candidate’s success in a given role. These soft skills can be more difficult to develop on the job, so it’s valuable to weigh them heavily when deciding which candidates to move forward with. The right mix of hard and soft skills can be the key to hiring a candidate that is flexible and adaptable, able to grow with your business.  

Many companies are uncertain about how to assess a candidate’s potential. A CV speaks to their past experience, but what tools can be used to predict future performance? At Academic Work, we use competency-based interviewing techniques to give us a better understanding of a candidate’s capabilities.

How to find (and retain) top talent

Finding talented candidates can be difficult, retaining them is even harder. This is especially true in high-demand fields like IT and Tech. Understanding a candidate’s soft skills gives you a valuable window into their personalities, allowing you to assess if they are a fit for your company culture and – just as importantly – if your company culture and EVPs match their desires and expectations. Ensuring that a candidate is the right fit with your company culture is key in creating employee engagement and shaping a workforce that is in it for the long haul.   

However, desired EVPs are constantly evolving, especially among young professionals. Employers now find themselves in a buyer’s market. Our annual Young Professionals Attraction Index (YPAI) has consistently shown that talented candidates scrutinize potential employment opportunities not just in terms of salary or job requirements, but company culture, CSR and development potential as well. Shaping your workforce means staying on top of the workplace expectations of young professionals through tools like YPAI, constantly monitoring feedback from both candidates and current employees. 

Download the YPAI here!

aller plus loin que les méthodes traditionnelles de recrutement

Looking beyond the traditional talent pool

Hiring for transferable and soft skills often requires an expansion of your existing talent pool. Job fairs at learning institutions have long been the go-to place to find up-and-coming talents; however, by limiting your search to this market, you miss potential candidates that may have gained the required skillset through real-life experience, online courses or self-tuition. At Academic Work, we know where to cast our nets in order to access the total skills market for a desired candidate profile, which saves you time and money, while ensuring you have access to a pool of candidates who are the right match for your business needs. 

Another benefit of hiring for skills needed as opposed to positions to be filled is that it allows companies greater access to alternative hiring models. At Academic Work, we often find that to address a company’s skills shortage, short-term staffing might be a better option than permanent recruitment. By offering both staffing and recruitment, we are able to tailor the recruitment process to allow our clients maximum flexibility with minimum expenditure. 

The shift in mindset from replacing a workforce to shaping a workforce will reverberate across your business, creating a seismic shift with the power to propel you further towards your business goals. But, more importantly, it enables your company to remain agile in order to continuously thrive in this ever-changing world.

Ways to shape your workforce:

  • Assess your businesses for competencies needed to reach both short- and long-term goals and create candidate profiles based on these skills. 

  • Hire based on a candidate’s potential (transferrable skills and soft skills) not only their related work experience. 

  • Make sure a candidate is the right fit for your company’s culture and that your company’s culture and EVPs meet their expectations. 

  • Expand your talent pool to get access to the total skills market that might not be found in traditional recruitment settings.  

  • Consider whether alternative employment models (short-term staffing, part-time employment, etc.) are appropriate for filling your skills shortages.

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