11 Dec 2023
by APSCo OutSource

The Best Practice approach to shifting to Skills-first hiring

Moving to skills-first hiring urgently required, but traditional resourcing practices prevent this

As the UK’s skills crisis continues, with four in five firms still struggling to recruit, traditional resourcing practices need to be adjusted to allow for a skills-first approach to hiring. That’s according to a recent report by APSCo OutSource – the trade association for Recruitment Outsourcing.

In our report, Solving the skills crisis: Challenging the norm and redefining outsourcing in the modern era, the trade association revealed the extent of the skills crisis that continues to plague the UK, highlighting that outdated Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and ancient practices including reliance on CVs and job specifications are all preventing businesses from creating more agile skills solutions.

As part of its OutSource Knowledge Hub – which brings together insight from experts across Adecco UK&I, Allegis Global Solutions, AMS, LinkedIn, Guidant Global, Het Flexhuis, Page Outsourcing, Magnit, Manpower Group and Resource Solutions – APSCo OutSource has outlined the best practice approaches to shifting to skills-first hiring, including:  

  • Start with the foundations: Employers need the processes and software to be able to precisely map the skills of all talent pools, including the potential of certain individuals, what adjacent skills can help fill resourcing gaps and the non-technical attributes that can benefit a business. 
  • Integration and collaboration are necessary: All stakeholders, leaders and division heads need to be on board with a move to a skills-based talent strategy, including hiring managers, suppliers, HR and L&D. It will take a collective effort to agree new approaches and train everyone to identify potential over experience.
  • The onus shouldn’t be placed on one part of the supply chain: The skills crisis is impacting every link in the resourcing supply chain, meaning that ownership of this issue should be shared. Collaboration and compromise – including reframing SLAs to be more appropriate in the current climate – should underpin partnerships, allowing suppliers to deliver their best results with fewer restrictions.  
  • Focus on future-proofing skills: It is impossible to predict future skills needs, however, creating a culture where upskilling, reskilling and identifying for potential are normal practices will be beneficial longer-term.  
  • Communication is key: Honest, transparent and collaborative discussions across the talent supply chain are necessary to create appropriate and flexible skills strategies. That includes ensuring that all internal functions and external suppliers have an equal voice in negotiations.
You can download the full report on Solving the Skills Crisis here.