How to adopt a skills-based hiring strategy for your business

Like many industries the finance sector is experiencing challenges when it comes to attracting and retaining key skills and expertise. New technology, shifting consumer expectations and an increasing desire from candidates for employers who value their learning and development have left finance and financial services businesses struggling to access the digital, analytical, operational and leadership skills they need to remain competitive and sustain growth in a crowded market. One possible solution to address this widening skill gap, is to adopt a skills-based approach to recruitment.

Skills based hiring encompasses a wide range of HR strategies designed to identify, evaluate, and prioritise candidates based on their specific skills, competencies, and qualifications, rather than solely relying on traditional factors such as education, experience, or job titles.

Benefits of Skills-Based Hiring For Your Business

Skills based hiring is on the rise with 76% of employers using some form of skills based hiring in their recruitment processes and a skills-based approach to recruitment can have many benefits for both businesses and candidates. For employee’s opportunities to showcase their abilities and potential and demonstrate their true value. Engaged employees are also more productive performers and less likely to leave to pursue other opportunities.

For employers adopting a skills-based hiring strategy empowers them to make more informed hiring decisions, build a high-performing team, and drive long-term success in the finance industry alongside:

  • Improving candidate selection based on relevant skills and qualifications
  • Enhancing diversity and inclusion
  • A more cost-effective hiring process with reduced turnover rates
  • Increasing productivity and performance of the finance team
  • Aligning the workforce with the changing demands of the industry

How to Implement a Skills-Based Approach to Hiring

For employers looking to make their recruitment processes more effective at accessing business critical skills, here are five key strategies for implementing a skills-based hiring approach:

 1. Identifying Required Skills

Identifying required skills is the crucial first step in establishing a skills-based hiring strategy. Conducting a thorough job analysis allows hiring managers to gain a comprehensive understanding of the specific skills and competencies necessary for success in finance roles. This should involves establishing the tasks, responsibilities, and objectives of the position to determine the core skills required.

Any analysis should also involve input from existing finance team members. Their first-hand experience and expertise can provide insights into the skills that have proven essential for effectively performing the job.

Hiring teams should also stay updated on evolving industry expectations and standards through regular market research and role benchmarking to gain valuable insights into high demand skills so they can adjust their hiring strategy accordingly.

 2. Designing Skills-Based Job Descriptions and Ads

To facilitate a more targeted and inclusive skills-based hiring process it’s important to tailor your job postings, providing detailed descriptions of expected skill sets and experiences. Not only does this help candidates to understand the specific requirements of the role, but it also helps to filter out candidates who may not possess the necessary expertise, ensuring a more targeted applicant pool.

Avoid using technical terms or industry-specific language that may not be universally understood. Clear and straightforward language will prevent potential candidates who possess the required skills but are not familiar with the jargon from passing over your job role. Instead provide detailed descriptions of expected skill sets and experiences in such a way that avoids ambiguity.


 3. Conducting Skills-Based Interviews and Assessments

Once you have several potential candidates it’s important to conduct interviews designed to thoroughly assess their skills and abilities. Competency-based interview questions target specific skills and require candidates to provide real-life examples of how they have applied those skills in relevant situations. Practical exercises that simulate real work scenarios enable candidates to showcase their skills in action and allows hiring managers to gauge candidates' proficiency and problem-solving abilities directly.

When conducting skills-based competency interviews its important maintain consistency when evaluating candidates' skills across the hiring process. Standardised scoring criteria allows you to be objective when evaluating skill levels while maintaining fairness.

 4. Developing Skills Training and Upskilling Programmes

A holistic skills-based approach must include the development of upskilling programmes. With competition for key skills so high, skill training is invaluable to ensure your existing teams can adapt to industry changes, drive innovation, and provide a long-term expertise.

Identifying skills gaps in your current finance team, and then creating training and development opportunities that bridge those gaps ensures that existing team members have the chance to develop and acquire necessary skills. Demonstrating a commitment to employee growth and development also helps retain valuable talent, as employees feel valued and supported in their career progression.


 5. Building Partnerships and Engaging with Skill-Centric Networks

Finally, incorporating collaborative partnerships with universities, educational institutions, industry associations and other professional organisations can provide access to pools of talent with necessary skills and help you foster relationships with talented individuals whether they are actively seeking career opportunities, or not.

Doing so can help you to source talent more effectively and keep potential candidates warm for future opportunities. It also helps to raise your visibility as an employer, position you as an employer of choice in the industry and establish your reputation amongst potential candidates.

By using these strategies to implement a skills-based hiring approach, finance industry leaders can unlock the full potential of their teams, foster individual career growth, and drive the overall success of their business. Embrace the power of skills to create a workforce that thrives in the rapidly changing landscape of finance.

As the go-to recruitment consultants for finance, tech, and compliance roles, FinTop can help you develop a skills-based hiring strategy designed to attract high calibre candidates with the skills and expertise your business needs.

Our consultants work to build an understanding of your unique HR needs which when combined with our specialised industry knowledge becomes a powerful tool to attract and retain exceptional talent.

Don’t waste time with the wrong candidates. Connect with your perfect match today.