Slowly but steadily, employers have begun to embrace skills-first hiring, LinkedIn reports.
The practice of valuing a candidate’s skills over “more superficial signals like an impressive alma mater or previous employer” has been talked about for some time but recently has approached the mainstream.
“Scrappy, self-taught types won’t have shiny brand names on their resume,” argues Clyde Seepersad, Senior Vice President of Training and Certification at The Linux Foundation, a nonprofit technology consortium in which developers and organizations code, manage, and scale open technology projects and ecosystems.
Since 2019, the share of recruiter searches on LinkedIn that include a skills filter has grown by 25%, according to a new global report from the company. Today, recruiters are 50% more likely to search by skills than they are to search by years of experience.
“How do we get better at filtering in, not filtering out?” asks Jennifer Paylor, Head of Global Talent Innovation & Skills Transformation at Capgemini. “Recruiters have been trained to copy and paste a job description so they can hire really fast. They’re not looking at what the work requires and what skills are needed.”
However, “That’s starting to change,” she says.
In 2023, skills-first hiring is “poised to be the way of the future,” LinkedIn asserts, noting that three-fourths of recruiting pros say it’ll be a priority at their company.
“Whether you look back at recent trends or look forward to future priorities, the skills-first hiring practice is on the rise and will be regarded as the gold standard,” posits Greg Lewis, Content Marketing Manager at LinkedIn.
According to LinkedIn’s report, “The Future of Recruiting 2023,” skills have become “a critical currency,” and companies will need greater visibility into what they do and don’t have. Forward-thinking employers should map the skills of their workers as well as the skills needed for specific positions, the tech org says.
“Part of having a skills-first strategy is going beyond just hiring to ensure you’re looking at the larger picture,” explains Jennifer Shappley, Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition at LinkedIn. “First, you need to understand the skills that your business needs. Then understand what skills your employees have, or that they can develop, and what skills you need to hire for so that you build your talent strategies accordingly.”
Beyond skills-based hiring, firms also need to cultivate skill-building internally.
A shaky economy is already forcing companies to look within more frequently when filling positions—75% of recruiting pros say internal recruiting will be an important factor shaping recruiting over the next five years—but promoting internal mobility provides big payoffs regardless of market conditions, according to the report: data shows employees stay at companies twice as long if the employer is “highly committed to internal hiring.”
If I join your company, will you continuously help me develop new skills? Will you offer me a clear path to advancement?
Will you help me grow—even if I only stay at your company for a couple years?
“These are the kinds of questions candidates are asking and they will only get louder in the future,” LinkedIn predicts.