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Revealed: Top skills-based hiring strategies for recruitment success

The days when CVs and cover letters were the keys to unlocking dream jobs may be over, with both employees and employers now leaning on alternative recruitment methods. 84% of employers in the UK are using skills-based hiring methods in 2024.

Nine in 10 employees believe they are more likely to secure their dream job through a skills-based hiring process, while 94% of employers agree that skills-based hiring is more predictive of on-the-job success than CVs.

This is according to annual skills-based hiring reports: The State of Skills-Based Hiring 2024’*.

The report sets out the hiring landscape for 2024, and shows it is getting tougher for both companies and candidates. Just over half (51%) of employers state that it is harder to find top talent in 2024 compared to 2023, while 50% of employees say it is more difficult to find a job this year.

New hiring methods are helping to tackle these challenges, and the latest TestGorilla report shows how employers can do skills-based hiring better. It explains that employers recruiting through multi-measure testing are seeing enhanced benefits across all metrics. This approach involves combining several skills-based tests and assignments to measure multiple job-relevant skills.

92% of employers who use multi-measure testing stated they are more satisfied with their hires and are seeing improvements in employee retention, diversity and costs to hire:

  • 91% reduced mis-hires
  • 83% reduced cost-to-hire
  • 94% improved diversity
  • 94% improved retention

Talent discovery platforms are increasingly demonstrating their efficacy in pinpointing individuals who possess vital skills such as effective communication, problem-solving, and incisive critical thinking. Such digital tools offer a fresh avenue for talent identification beyond the constraints of traditional hiring processes.

“Testing is definitely important, especially now in this age where the cognitive requirements for most tasks are increasing. That alone warrants an assessment tool measuring cognitive capacity. And then, of course, we need to test for specific skills that can’t be demonstrated in a resume, like coding.“Jonas Atil, Director of Recruitment at NexusHR.

More companies are turning to skills-based hiring

This third annual report* once again shows a growth in the proportion of companies adopting skills-based recruitment methods. More than eight in 10 employers (81%) are leveraging skills-based hiring methods in 2024, up from 73% in 2023 and just 56% in 2022.

Marketing tops the sector list, with 95% of companies using skills-based hiring methods – this is closely followed by construction and scientific/technical services (both at 89%).

Candidates taking advantage of the opportunity to show skills

Another major thread emerging from this year’s study is that candidates are showing a strong preference for skills-based hiring and enjoying greater success when application processes revolve around these recruitment methods.

Indeed, more than eight in 10 (81%) say they have gained new employment opportunities because of skills-based hiring, while 85% of survey respondents said they prefer it because it gives them the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities.

“If you’re applying for a remote job, chances are you’re competing against hundreds, if not thousands, of other candidates for one position. It’s very easy to go unnoticed. But with talent assessments, I know I have a chance to show that I’m a great fit for the role.” – Joan Pelayo, marketing specialist candidate.

Drilling down into the demographics, skills-based hiring methods are most popular among younger cohorts of candidates, with 92% of 25–34-year-olds preferring this avenue of recruitment. Meanwhile, among all age groups, 68% want to see organisations increase their use of skills-based hiring in the future.

Commenting on the changing employment market, TestGorilla CEO and co-founder Wouter Durville, said: We are three years into producing The State of Skills-Based Hiring reports and the trend is undeniably clear – skills-based hiring is becoming the dominant and preferred recruitment method, not just for businesses, but for employees seeking new jobs.

“Degree requirements are not going away yet, with 59% of employers saying it is actually more important for candidates to have degree qualifications. But skills-based hiring methods are complementing and in many cases replacing traditional recruitment, and organisations that don’t give non-degree-holding candidates a chance to demonstrate their skills are in danger of missing out on an untapped pool of talent.”


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