As businesses implement plans to reopen and re-hire, skills-based hiring may prove to be the best strategy for recovery. Here are 5 reasons why.

When March’s jobs report recorded three percent unemployment, skills-based hiring was viewed as a great opportunity to narrow down the right talent in a small candidate pool. Now, with record unemployment, Orlando’s candidate pool has grown exponentially.

So, what is skills-based hiring? It requires a shift in approach when evaluating candidates – one that encourages you to evaluate an individual’s skills and abilities, instead of their background, and rethink job description requirements. If implemented, skills-based hiring can help fill jobs quickly, retain talent, and diversify an organization’s talent pipeline.

As businesses implement plans to reopen and re-hire, skills-based hiring may prove to be the best strategy for recovery. Here are 5 reasons why:

1. The first hires are critical.

In tough economic times, investment decisions are exceedingly important. As businesses reopen and re-energize, every hire will impact the bottom line. Skills-based hiring practices encourage leaders to identify candidates with the skillsets necessary to help a business quickly and successfully reopen and manage the challenges that come with growth in this new economy.

2. A diverse talent pool is essential.

By focusing on a candidate’s skills rather than their background, opportunities are created for talent that are generally overlooked by traditional hiring methods. COVID-19 has widened Orlando’s talent pool, offering individuals and employers the ability to think differently about transitional skills and the development of internal career pathways. Injecting different backgrounds and thought processes into an organization brings unique viewpoints that can help the organization tackle nuanced problems and achieve optimal results. This is especially important for organizations focused on innovation.

3. Skills in demand today are different than what they were before the pandemic.

Now, more than ever, organizations need to build a talent strategy that responds directly to their business strategy. Skills-based hiring encourages an organization to evaluate the skills needed for business success and to match their talent strategy with the skillsets that can adapt to new capacities that arise out of future growth. For example, customer service has become even more critical to the success of all businesses throughout the Orlando region. Layoffs in the leisure and hospitality industries have resulted in a large pool of talent with highly refined customer service skills. These candidates can successfully reinforce in any customer-facing role with little training necessary.

4. It identifies the most vulnerable aspects of your talent strategy.

COVID-19 has accelerated the threat of automation to Orlando’s workforce. Understanding the need to reskill, upskill and take advantage of existing skillsets is essential for both employees and employers to maintain competitiveness as technological advances continue to disrupt markets and workforces. The ability to better understand what emerging skill sets are needed to succeed is essential to recovery and growth in the new COVID economy.

5. Orlando has the skills.

As the hospitality and leisure capital of the world, soft skills are in Orlando’s DNA. Skills-based hiring encourages you to think creatively about skill transfer and think creatively about an individual’s potential for upskilling. When leaders understand the value of current skills and know exactly what skills their employees need to develop to help keep the company competitive, employee retention improves and the organization succeeds.

Learn more about how to implement skills-based hiring.

Watch this conversation with Trevor Pruitt, Manager of Employer Initiatives at Skillful. Skillful helps employers address this challenge by accelerating the adoption of skills-based practices to support talent acquisition and retention essential to economic success and business growth.