Many organizations are transitioning from competency-based to skills-based job descriptions. You Need a Skills-Based Approach to Hire and Developing Talent (hbr.org) One of the primary reasons for this growing shift is that while competencies are broad-based requirements, like innovation and team building, and are more qualitative in nature, skills are more easily quantifiable. Skills are requirements like knowing how to perform pivot tables in excel or having demonstrated the ability to lead a culturally diverse team across multiple global locations effectively. You either possess the skill, or you do not. The Future of Work 2022 | Accenture. Recruiters and search firms are finding this approach to yield better results and candidates from different backgrounds than they would have typically approached.
While this shift sounds easy in concept, creating the job descriptions to transition from a competency-based approach to a skill-based one is an arduous and lengthy initiative that could span multiple years. Not only does each job need to be broken down into granular task requirements, but for the job descriptions to be most helpful, they must be able to vet both external and internal candidates. Employees need to be able to review the job description for a position they would like to have and see clearly why they are or are not qualified. There needs to be a skills repository on your HCM to assist managers in choosing the necessary skills for each position. Likewise, employees have to complete personal profiles listing all the skills they believe they have so that a gap analysis can be automatically conducted between the requirements and the employee’s current skill set. Then comes the conundrum of being able to vet the skills. Just because someone says they have the talent to install a garbage disposal and can talk you through the steps does not necessarily mean they can complete this task in real life. Who is responsible for the vetting? L&D? Talent Acquisition? Hiring managers? How Recruiters Evaluate Candidates With a Skills-Based Lens
One of the benefits of using skills-based job descriptions is that you no longer need to depend on job titles. It opens up your positions to people from various backgrounds, positions, and titles who may far exceed the capabilities of someone from only one title. Your application flow is improved, as is the quality of your candidates. This approach also ends employees’ perception of favoritism when awarding promotions to new assignments. Both managers and HR can quickly point to the reason(s) that one employee was ready for promotion and one not quite ready.
For employees with a gap in their skills to reach the next level, HR must be prepared in their LMS to have courses, content, books, and other learnings tied to the required skills. The most frustrating scenario for an employee is being told they lack certain skills but do not have a clear path laid out in order to obtain those missing skills. Skills Development Training: Must-Have LMS Features (elearningindustry.com)
Thanks to the new approach of skills-based job descriptions, companies can attract and hire the best talent for their job openings. Job titles and degrees are not always the best indicators of a candidate’s abilities, and focusing on skills can lead to better outcomes for both the company and the employee.