One of the main benefits of skills-based hiring is that it expands candidate pools by creating new opportunities for people without traditional educational backgrounds. These workers, also referred to as STARs (Skilled Through Alternative Routes), have skills and experience, but lack a four-year degree. Opening doors for these individuals improves workplace diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), reduces time-to-fill and increases the likelihood of making a successful hire.
This shift in talent management strategy also prompts the need for a career pathing makeover.
In implementing skills-based hiring, employers go through the process of carefully defining the skills needed to perform a role. This brings clarity to career progression by enabling all employees — degreed and STAR employees alike — to understand the skills required for advancement.
While this is a good start, defining the skills required for advancement is only the first step. Employees need to know how to gain these skills – they need a concrete path to career mobility. More than a third (39.5%) of U.S. workers state that one of the top reasons for leaving a company is lack of career advancement opportunities, and more than half of employers don’t offer advancement tracks.
So, what’s missing? Take your list of skills and identify education programs that will teach those skills, so that your employees know not only what skills they need for advancement, but also how to attain them.
Making the link between career pathing and skills-based hiring
If your organization is moving towards skills-based hiring, it’s critical to understand how this shift in hiring strategy influences career pathing. Opening the door to a wider talent pool is a great start, but you have to have career paths and education opportunities in place to ensure that these hires are set up for success.
Here are the two essential phases for making this connection.
Phase 1: Define the skills
As an initial step, every company planning to implement skills-based hiring should establish a common language and framework for skills within the company.
- Aligning internally on a skills taxonomy to use across job families
- Analyzing job descriptions and interviewing internal subject matter experts to establish the skills required for key positions, especially those you’re targeting for degree removal
- Establishing if there are specific skills employees at various levels of the organization should possess across job families. For example, you may want all employees at the director level to have coaching skills, regardless of whether they work on the marketing or finance team.
As mentioned, however, simply telling employees what skills they need is not enough.
Phase 2: Identify education programs that help develop the skills
Education is the connecting link that allows employees to gain these skills and move from one milestone to the next. When you have education programs that teach the skills required for career advancement, then you have created a career path.
It’s a win-win. Employees are empowered to take charge of their own careers and seek out internal positions that align with their skills and interests. At the same time, companies build a talent pipeline from within to address key staffing needs, promote higher employee engagement and enhance their employer brand by showcasing their investment in continuous development to job-seekers.
See it in action: Medtronic & InStride
InStride recently partnered with Medtronic to remove degree requirements for more than 60 roles across 15 job families, including operations and supply chain and IT roles. Together, the companies designed career paths to provide employees with a glimpse into a day-in-the-life of roles within targeted job families, an overview of the skills required to perform them and educational programs they could access through InStride for free to develop the required skills.
Hire for skills, advance with education
Leaders are looking for talent management solutions that connect companies and their employees’ career goals so they can innovate, adapt and succeed as one. Integrating skills-based hiring, career pathing and education is a proven, effective solution.
Hiring candidates based on skills and providing them with tangible career paths supported by relevant education opportunities builds an adaptable workforce that’s primed for growth. This approach supports talent mobility, reduces turnover and boosts employer brand, while ensuring that the right people are in the right roles to propel your company forward.
Learn more about InStride's solutions that enable skills-based hiring and custom career pathing that meet the needs of both your business and employees. Get in touch today.