6 Ways Skill-Based Hiring Can Create an Effective Hybrid Team

Owen Baker
Published 04/24/2023
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6 ways to skill based hiring create effective hybrid teamsSkills-based hiring is becoming increasingly popular in the post-pandemic labor landscape. With unemployment rates reaching new heights around the world, companies are being forced to take a different approach to the way they select new recruits.

Workplace hybridization is another symptom of post-pandemic innovation that we have seen gain popularity in the past two to three years. But when you combine the pragmatism of skills-based hiring with the flexibility of hybrid teams, you get something special.

In today’s post, we’ll take a closer look at what skills-based hiring means and several major ways in which it can propel hybridized teams forward.

What Is Skills-Based Hiring?

At first glance, the term “skills-based hiring” seems almost nugatory. After all, don’t companies usually hire people based on the skills they offer? Well, not really.

Throughout the early and mid-2000s, a business trend called “degree inflation” rose in popularity. Degree inflation describes the heightened demand for degrees during that time period, which drove a wedge between job-seekers of different class backgrounds. Jobs that never required more than one or two degrees suddenly became accessible only to those with three or four.



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Skills-based hiring is the opposite of degree inflation. Instead of looking at a candidate’s degree tally, companies are now focusing on the practical experience and learned skills a potential hire can offer.

In a hybrid workforce (some employees work remotely, some from the office, and others interchangeably), skills-based hiring is the more adaptable option. By using a hiring approach that evaluates candidates based on their holistic skill sets, you can fill the most in-demand positions with the best talent available, no matter how many degrees they have.

6 Ways Skills-Based Hiring Can Strengthen Your Hybrid Team

Regarding new recruitments in the current workplace environment, there are many advantages to prioritizing skills and experience over degrees. While navigating the still-early days of workplace hybridization, your team needs to be resourceful, level-headed, and collaborative.

While degrees are still useful and impressive, lived-through skills and experience denote a real passion for the job. Additionally, learned tenacity can be extremely beneficial for hybrid teams, many of which are still in the sapling phase of development.

Here are 6 ways skills-based hiring can benefit your team:

1. Access a wider talent pool

When your recruitment team shifts its hire requirements, the talent pool becomes much wider. Instead of being open to just one demographic of professionals, your business can access a wider variety of potential hires that may do the job just as well.

Having options is important for any business going through the recruitment process. The more options you have, the easier it will be to find the best candidate for the role.

2. Reduced training and upskilling costs

Skills-based hiring is all about hiring people based on their practical experience and ability to execute their job well⁠—regardless of educational background or other demographic factors. And one of the advantages that come with it is that you won’t need to spend funds on re-training or upskilling.

Many people with the right degrees for a job may be out of touch with recent developments. Or, they may lack the lived-in experience of handling work in a pressurized environment. But when you hire someone based on their skills, there’s a much lower chance that they’ll need training to perform well.

3. Create a more diverse team

Studies show that diverse teams are more creative, motivated, and better at problem-solving. All of these traits are needed in a hybrid workplace environment.

When you select employees using a skills-based approach, you are more likely to find someone from a diverse background. Some of the most skillful candidates won’t have a degree due to lacking resources, financial constraints, or minimal previous growth opportunities. But they have years, if not decades, of dedicated experience.

4. Improved retention

Another practical way that skills-based hiring can improve efficiency is the higher retention rate that often follows suit. When employees feel recognized for the value they bring to the table rather than the credentials on their resume, it can motivate them to remain in their position and stay loyal to the company.

5. Boosts project execution

A major part of what skills-based hiring is all about is work execution. When someone has gathered enough practical experience in their field, they naturally develop a stronger ability to execute tasks more efficiently and productively.

In the world of workplace hybridization, time constraints can be an issue. But when you hire people that have years of experience under their belts, you can rely on them to execute projects with a higher degree of speed and competence.

6. Fortifies collaboration between employees

Even with easy-to-use communication tools that help everyone stay connected, collaboration can become challenging if team members don’t have an aptitude for doing so in a hybridized environment. But when you hire people based on their skills and experience instead of which degrees they hold, you are far more likely to hire someone with better collaboration abilities.

This is because there’s no substitute for hard work⁠—and skills-based hires often have more drive and experience in their field. Many of them have had to work harder to prove their worth compared to those with the expected credentials, motivating them to adopt stronger communication and team-friendly characteristics. In a hybrid team, you need people who enjoy working together.

Making The Move Towards Skilled Hybridization Hires

Part of what makes skills-based hiring so powerful is that it doesn’t require special resources or equipment to reap benefits. It is merely a fresher, more innovative method your company can use to make hybrid teams more efficient and improve collaboration.

If your company is transforming its workforce into a more hybridized shape or is planning to at any point in the coming years, swapping out a degree-based hiring approach for a skills-based alternative is one of the most productive and beneficial things you can do.


Disclaimer: The author is completely responsible for the content of this article. The opinions expressed are their own and do not represent IEEE’s position nor that of the Computer Society nor its Leadership.