Skill-Based Hiring: The New Normal

HireQuotient's CEO explains why it’s the way forward for the job economy of the future
The recruitment world is changing - the number of degrees a candidate has earned is hardly the be-all, end-all measure of job suitability. Organizations have begun to look beyond educational qualifications, and are recognizing the value of actual skills and competency as the new currency for future recruitment success. HireQuotient's CEO Smarthveer Sidana explains this shift in human resource standards and why skill-based hiring has become the norm for companies across the globe.

One of the catalysts behind this change is a recent and obvious one: the COVID-19 pandemic. Apart from shaking up the business world and forcing organizations to adopt work-from-home and hybrid work styles, they’ve also had to go back to the drawing board with their growth strategies. Businesses both big and small responded by pivoting to new models that are more resilient and sustainable, in lieu of the unpredictability of the post-pandemic market. Many underwent rigorous transitions, some forced and some voluntarily, to build sturdier work structures. This included equipping themselves with the necessary skills to weather any curveballs in the future. It’s clear that the vagaries of the pandemic have had a domino effect in practically every field, and human resource departments are no exception.

Recent trends show that within the next five years, an estimated 1.4 million jobs could become available to workers even without the necessity of a college diploma. A study conducted by Harvard Business Review based on nearly 50 million job announcements revealed some startling evidence: companies from around the world are adopting skill-based hiring, while slowly but surely moving away from just degree-based requirements. The pandemic has also prompted many professionals to step back and rethink their career trajectories. This has in turn led to many individuals pivoting their careers to a new path, requiring upskilling or reskilling.

But this isn’t entirely a new trend: it actually kicked off after the Great Recession of 2008-2009, and only cemented itself during the pandemic era as the predominant hiring methodology. While organizations began demanding higher levels of educational qualification from the early 2000s, the economic crisis alerted governments and corporations alike to reduce the emphasis on college degrees and focus more on skills. That’s why, even today, more and more organizations are prioritizing practical skill sets over fancy, embellished resumes and cover letters.

What does skill-based hiring imply? It means basing your hiring requirements on certain cognitive, technical, physical, or soft skills over just educational qualifications and achievements on paper. Organizations that hire based on skill want to make sure that their employees can actually execute the jobs they apply for and perform well on a daily basis, regardless of their background.

To put it another way: traditional notions of meritocracy are out, and skills-based hiring is now firmly in the driver's seat. This shift signals a sea of changes not just for hiring departments, but also for aspiring professionals who find themselves with new opportunities to hone and cash in on their talents. Widening your search to include candidates who may not have the ‘right’ degrees only expands the pool of potential talent, and benefits the organization.

All these developments in the recruitment world set the ideal stage for HireQuotient to come in. Their aim is to provide an efficient and effective way of finding the perfect match between those seeking jobs and hiring departments with open roles to fill. HireQuotient’s part in this process is to step in and make sure that candidates have the relevant, demonstrable skills for every job opportunity.

An alumnus of Boston Consulting Group and now the CEO of HireQuotient, Smarthveer Sidana wants to revolutionize the HR and recruitment industry with a reliable, unbiased skills assessment solution. He believes that eliminating prejudice and human error in the hiring process will make human resources more humane. Lately, traditional hiring strategies are plagued by umpteen limitations, in no small part due to the pandemic. HireQuotient as a platform helps modern recruiters to look beyond impressive-looking resumes and cherry-pick top candidates by evaluating their applicant’s true skill-based merits. This also makes it so they can contribute meaningful value to the business and impact it positively in the long run.

HireQuotient is striving to make a lasting impression in the recruiting industry with its mission: closing skill gaps and introducing greater efficiency when hiring for non-coding positions. The company offers an innovative solution: letting employers measure candidates' skills objectively – through unbiased skill assessment tests. These tests are specially designed to enrich diversity and inclusion within the hiring process by facilitating quality hires regardless of applicants’ socioeconomic background or level of experience.

Mishires could prove costly for an organization, and cause setbacks for overall growth. HireQuotient's comprehensive skill-based hiring solution will minimize mis-hires that could hinder the organization in the long run, and helps spot top talent right from the first rounds of the recruitment process. The key to securing productive employees is to catch them early, and that’s what HireQuotient does. Harnessing the power of cutting-edge technology, HireQuotient is helping companies move away from traditional hiring methods like interview-based hires, which hiring professionals run the risk of letting personal prejudices and biases color their hiring decisions.

With meticulously designed assessments, HireQuotient reorients companies towards data-driven decisions instead of vague ‘gut feelings’ and achievements on paper. It is a SaaS platform that makes hiring easy and impartial for enterprises, while helping them save time and improving efficiency. Smarthveer truly trusts that HireQuotient and its technology will streamline tedious HR tasks, processes, and procedures through well-built solutions that leverage the benefits of automation.

Smarthveer insists that a business economy built on the power of solid skills and true talent is crucial for success in the future. Investing in employees to help them cultivate specialized abilities is now considered a crucial step for businesses that aim to remain competitive. He firmly believes that utilizing an online skill assessment tool will greatly expedite the recruitment and onboarding processes while also reducing overall costs. These solutions don’t just solve the issues of wasted time and resources; they enable companies to assemble suitably matched and highly productive teams. A tailored and unbiased test will ensure each member has a specialized skill set that will drive growth and efficiency for the organization.

Smarthveer is of the opinion that this is an era of unprecedented advancement in the hiring sphere, and the right time for companies to take full advantage of the opportunity to appreciate individual talent. over glitzy achievements. It's no longer necessary nor beneficial to make judgements about candidates based on just their educational degrees or professional titles. As the world progresses and broadens horizons, organizations should also adjust. It's time we acknowledge and value each person for who they are: a talented, competent individual full of unique potential and hidden skill sets just waiting to be unlocked.

Drawing on the combined power of data and technology, HireQuotient is redefining how employers make vital hiring decisions. Tailored to suit each organization's particular needs, the hiring tool sifts through swathes of applications to find potential candidates who possess not just the necessary qualifications for a position, but specific strengths that could benefit each company in their own way. With this approach, companies are able to invest their resources and efforts into finding individuals with novel and interesting perspectives and skill sets which will help them add real value to the organization. This enables both employees and employers to take one step closer to success while ensuring that HR hiring processes are people-oriented and not strictly task-oriented.

With the job market shifting loyalties away from resumes and towards skills, educational institutions are making the shift as well. Curriculum in schools and colleges is being restructured so as to nurture a variety of technical talents and interpersonal skills, not just academics. Both are seen as necessary to equip students with the foundational knowledge they need for their future career paths. This is clearly illustrated in the way students and freshers from the younger generations are choosing to take tech-heavy courses or even non-tech courses that have a technology component or angle to them. This tells us that raw talents in fields like coding must also be shaped to build specialized expertise, to increase the chances of securing desired positions across different industries. This results in a net positive effect, since it doesn’t just foster fresh talent and contributions but also creates continuity between current markets and new job sectors entering our space every single day.

Despite being a very young startup, HireQuotient has experienced exponential growth since its inception in 2022. The company has successfully expanded across APAC and the US with a strong and skilled team of 40 members. Their clientele comprises prominent F500 companies, and two major consulting firms among many others. Their relentless efforts and emphasis on disrupting the hiring market has propelled them to great heights on their journey towards conquering the vast market that is the US.