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Why Organizations are Hiring for Skills Over Experience

In a new report, McKinsey & Co. delves into how organizations can better bridge the gap between talent demand and supply through skills-based matching, which assesses candidates based on their holistic skill set rather than just industry experience or educational credentials. Veteran search professionals from Right Executive Search, Shelli Herman and Associates, CIO Partners, ZRG, and Alexander Hughes International weigh in. It is a Friday exclusive!

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COVID-19 has forced companies to rapidly adapt to changing talent needs. More than 70 million U.S. workers filed for unemployment insurance from March through December last year. Now, more organizations are converting what were furloughs early in the pandemic to permanent job losses, according to a new report by McKinsey & Company. “While many companies have parted ways with workers, others—from E-commerce firms to grocery stores—are looking to bring more on,” the report said. “Many are struggling to fill open roles. This should spark organizations to rethink how they bridge the gap between talent demand and supply,” the report concluded.

Enter skills-based matching, an approach that assesses candidates based on their holistic skill set (including adjacent skills across industries), rather than just industry experience or certain educational credentials. According to McKinsey, assessing candidates based on skills, instead of their last job title, can help fill critical roles with the best talent.

The benefits of skills-based hiring include:

1.) Accessing new talent sources by thinking beyond educational requirements. Too often, educational requirements create an unnecessary barrier to in-demand jobs. According to recent McKinsey research, nearly 90 percent of postings in growing industries like technology, healthcare and business management require a bachelor’s degree, even though many of these jobs can and should be viable options for those without advanced education. Skills-based matching significantly expands the available talent pool for open roles.

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