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The Intersection of DEI and Skills-Based Hiring

Why Validating Skills Is Essential for Building Diverse and Inclusive Teams

Author: Nirmala Pitaloka | nirmala@connectingpm.com

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have become critical components of successful businesses today. Companies that prioritize diversity and inclusion are better able to attract and retain top talent, foster innovation - and drive growth. However, building a diverse and inclusive team requires more than just good intentions. A skills-based hiring approach that emphasizes objective validation of candidates' capabilities is an essential tool for achieving these goals. In this article, we’ll explore the relationship between DEI and skills-based hiring - and provide tips on how to leverage this approach effectively.


Why Validate Skills During Hiring?


Skills-based hiring is an approach that prioritizes a candidate's abilities over their credentials or background. By focusing on skills validation, companies can reduce biases in the hiring process and identify a wider pool of qualified candidates. According to a report by Deloitte, skills-based hiring can increase the diversity of candidates by up to 60%.


Moreover, skills validation is essential for building a high-performing team. When companies hire candidates who possess the skills needed for the job, they reduce turnover rates and increase productivity. According to an article by Harvard Business Review, companies are forecasted to experience a 50-75% faster rate of employee turnover than before the pandemic, which is worsened by the fact that it now takes 18% longer to fill job vacancies than it did prior to the pandemic.


The Intersection of DEI and Skills-Based Hiring


Skills-based hiring is not only an effective tool for identifying a diverse pool of qualified candidates but also for creating a more inclusive workplace. When companies prioritize skills validation, they remove barriers that may have prevented candidates from underrepresented backgrounds from being considered for the job. In doing so, companies can attract a wider range of candidates and build a more diverse and inclusive team.


However, skills-based hiring alone is not enough to create a truly diverse and inclusive workplace. Companies must also prioritize DEI initiatives, such as providing training to hiring managers, creating equitable hiring policies, and fostering a culture of inclusion. By doing so, companies can create an environment where employees feel valued and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives and skills.


Leveraging Skills Validation Effectively


To effectively leverage skills validation in the hiring process, companies should take the following steps:

  • Identify the Skills Required for the Job: Before beginning the hiring process, it is important to identify the skills required for the job. This can be done by analysing the job description, speaking with subject matter experts and any current employees in similar roles.
  • Use Validated Assessments: There are a variety of validated assessments available that can help to measure a candidate's skills. These assessments can provide objective and standardized data to inform hiring decisions. Assessments which present “real-world scenarios” and a present a series of viable actions or outcomes provide the most effective way of achieving validation within an assessment process.
  • Incorporate Behavioural Interviews: Behavioural interviews can be a useful tool in assessing a candidate's skills. By asking candidates to provide specific examples of their skills in action, recruiters can gain a deeper understanding of their capabilities.
  • Provide Opportunities for Skill Development: Once employees are hired, it is important to provide opportunities for skill development. This can include on-the-job training, mentoring, and continuing education programs.

In conclusion, skills-based hiring is an essential tool for building diverse and inclusive teams. By prioritizing skills validation, companies can reduce biases in the hiring process and attract a wider pool of qualified candidates. However, to create a truly diverse and inclusive workplace, companies must also prioritize DEI initiatives and foster a culture of inclusion. By doing so, companies can build high-performing teams that are equipped to thrive in today's rapidly changing business landscape.


Sources:
Deloitte "The Diversity and Inclusion Revolution: Eight Powerful Truths" (2021)
Harvard Business Review “It’s Time to Reimagine Employee Retention” (2022)
LinkedIn, "Global Talent Trends 2021" (2021)