How Covid-19 Changed the Recruitment Process through Skill-Based Hiring

Covid-19 has brought about a major change in every industry. The pandemic has changed the way companies work and go on about their routine processes. Covid-19 proved to be a fatal experience for all the companies and they had to rethink their entire way of working.

Covid-19 has also changed the way companies carry out their recruitment process and has made a shift towards a skill-based economy.

How did the pandemic change the Recruitment Process?

Traditionally the process was Phone Screen, Small tasks and Assignment, On-site interviews, and making a final decision. But the pandemic gave rise to new problems

  • Can no longer invite individuals to the office for an interview
  • A lot of candidates moved to different locations. Hence remote hiring became the norm
  • Had to find alternatives to pen & paper tests
  • Multiple Interviews still unable to make hiring decisions with conviction
  • More focus on employer brand, candidate experience rather than just filling up the position

In this context, many organizations organically moved towards skill-based hiring. This transition was aided by numerous skill-based testing platforms

So what is Skill-Based Hiring

Skill based hiring refers to the practice of hiring people for their skills instead of just their degrees or professional qualifications.

The mindset behind skill-based hiring is that people should be given a chance if they are skilled enough to do a job regardless of their qualifications.

How does Skill-Based Hiring Work?

In a world where there is an abundance of people looking out for jobs, it’s ironic how most companies struggle to find skilled and talented people for their companies. It was noted that it takes about 45 days to fill a position for a finance role in the US. This clearly shows the skill gap exists all over the world.

Instead of going for the traditional hiring techniques which focus on a four-year degree more than the skills of an individual, companies have started opting for skill-based hiring.

Skill-based hiring focuses on data and objectifies everything before, thereby helping in making a scientifically sound decision.

There are a variety of platforms that allows companies to assess the skills of a candidate in the form of pre-employment assessment tests and allows them to view everything in the form of data. This helps in quantifying the skills of the candidates and eases the hiring decision for the employers.

Role of Covid-19 in Boosting up the Skill-Based Hiring

Covid-19 had a fatal economic impact on all the companies. A lot of people were laid off across different industries and everyone suffered economically. However, people with very specific and unique skill sets were able to secure their positions or land jobs really easily. This gave the rise to skill-based hiring.

The pandemic made companies think that skill is the most necessary thing to look for in candidates apart from their professional degrees or qualifications.

People with proper skills set were able to land jobs easily enough as compared to people without any particular skill set.

Covid-19 shifted everything to a digital workspace and it allowed companies to screen candidates solely based on their skills. Ultimately it all came down to identifying the most critical skills for a job and looking for those skills in the candidates. This is not just the case with technical skills but for all the transferable skills as well.

Since the world was changing and evolving faster than ever now, it was necessary to keep upskilling yourself and keep adapting according to the market requirements.

Due to the complete shift towards remote working, and the rise of automation and AI in the tech sector, people had no other option other than reskilling themselves and adapting to this modern changing world.

It is the time of focussing on skills and building new business models using these skills, as it will help them to function smoothly and protect them from any future disruptions as well.

Along with the employees, the pandemic was also a learning curve for the companies and it taught them that it is possible to conduct an entire business virtually. Every company had to adopt the remote work business model and it made them realize that you don’t need some professional degrees or qualifications to do a job, but you need a proper skill set necessary for that job. Those skills can be hard skills or soft skills as it allows the companies to yield great benefits.

Linkedin also recently launched a skill-based initiative called the skill paths. Hari Srinivasan, VP of product, Linkedin says that the skill-based initiative is to help both the job seekers as well as the employers by allowing the employers to connect with skilled individuals.

It was noted that even after the availability of a lot of opportunities, companies were unable to hire people that matched their demands. On the other hand, there were many skilled professionals who were unable to find jobs. This platform allows both job seekers and employers to meet on a common platform and assess their needs.

Covid-19 shifted everything in a digital format including the recruitment process. However, in this remote working format, it became more important than ever to assess the skills of the candidate and make hiring decisions accordingly.

It can be said that the pandemic fast-forwarded the entire world and the trends which were maybe 10 years away are here now and they are here to stay.

Amrit Acharya
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