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Diving Deeper: Embracing Skills-Based Hiring Strategies

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Can you imagine a world without resumes? We could soon be living in one.

Seven in ten (71%) hiring managers expect text-based resumes to become obsolete in the next five years, according to a recent report from Canva. According to Laura Mazzullo, owner of staffing company East Side Staffing, it's no wonder why.

"We noticed in the hiring community how often candidates were screened out for reasons that had nothing to do with their core competencies. People would just look at a resume and say, 'I don't like the format. I don't like the font.' is too wordy,'" she said.

There are a number of unconscious biases that cause recruiters and hiring managers to screen out a candidate's resume, Mazzullo said, adding that talent professionals should "educate, guide and, in many cases, push back" on hiring managers so that they don't really hire based on the resume alone “great candidates are overlooked”.

Mazzullo and Steve Knox, VP of Global Talent Acquisition at HCM software company Dayforce, spoke to IceHrm about how focusing on skills rather than resumes can help hiring managers find top talent.

Interview refresher. Mazzullo suggested that hiring managers revise their interview techniques so that they ask both behavioral and situational questions.

Behavioral questions, says Mazzullo, citing a Northwestern University study, include questions that target the applicant's experiences, such as: "Tell me about a time when you had to work under pressure." Situational questions, on the other hand, aim to understand how an applicant might deal with a situation, e.g. "What would you do if you made a strong recommendation in a meeting but your colleagues decided against it?"

Situational questions can help hiring managers assess an applicant's skills and potential, Mazzullo says.

"For the last thirty years, hiring has been about hiring someone who is ready to go, who has done this job before, ideally in the exact same industry, in the exact same type of company, at a competitor," she said . "That's why resumes have become so important, to show that... [but to] really give applicants a chance to try something new, we don't just rely on a document that references previous experience."

Emphasis on skills. Knox recommended rethinking recruiting from a skills perspective.

He told IceHrm that talent professionals should ask themselves: What are the core skills and competencies our company will need in five to 10 years? What are the most important qualities our teams need to be successful?

Then they should revise their job descriptions and replace requirements like degrees and years of experience with those skills.

"What does it really mean when someone says, 'I need 10 years of customer service experience'? That's meaningless," Knox said. "What exactly are the qualities that the applicant must demonstrate in order to be successful in this position?"

Shift towards skills-based hiring for better talent acquisition. IceHrm provides insights for modern recruitment strategies.

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