· 3 min read
Recruiters, imagine you’re on a Starbucks run, but instead of picking up your usual, your barista sells you on the newest seasonal drink. You might be so impressed with their powers of persuasion that you offer them a job on the spot.
That’s what happens in Mateo Askaripour’s darkly comedic recent novel Black Buck. After graduating high school as valedictorian, Darren, unsure of what to do next, spends four years working as a barista at Starbucks. One day, a tech startup CEO, Rhett, walks into his store, where Darren blows him away with his sales skills and customer service.
So, what happens next? Rhett, seeing Darren’s potential, offers him an entry-level job on his corporate sales team. In other words, skills-based hiring at its finest.
You can do this, too. Skills-based hiring, or hiring based on skills rather than work experience and education, is a growing trend in recruiting. In fact, when looking for candidates on LinkedIn, recruiters are 50% more likely to search by skills over years of experience, SHRM reported earlier this year.
Skills-based hiring can open up a company’s candidate pool, said Mila Singh, VP of people and culture at Catchafire, a New York-based org that connects volunteers with nonprofits, as recruiters can find talent that they wouldn’t otherwise reach.
“Talented people are everywhere,” said Singh. She added, “When I think about places where I’ve found really excellent talent, it’s not always: ‘Oh, you have this corporate background or you have XYZ background.’”
Competency hiring. Recruiters and TA pros who aren’t currently using skills-based hiring are starting to think about how to do it, Singh said. That starts with outlining what competencies it takes to do the job they’re trying to fill.
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“[Sit] down to think through what are the competencies for this job, what are the skills, what are the requirements that we need this person to be able to fulfill,” she said. “The next step for recruiters and hiring managers is to think through, how can you find this out there in the world, beyond just looking for a traditional résumé.”
Recruiters, she added, should challenge themselves to look beyond titles on résumés and about how skills gained through non-traditional experiences can apply to the roles they’re trying to fill.
“I’ve worked in corporate America at giant places like IBM and Accenture, and a lot of the competencies that we had on my team were things like being organized, being a good project manager, being able to look at data and figure out the story behind that data,” Singh said. “Those competencies and skills are part of other jobs that are considered non-corporate.”
When asked about Black Buck, Singh said baristas need to be detail-oriented and organized, while coffee shop managers need data skills to do inventory. These skills, she added, could be transferable to roles at companies like IBM and Accenture.
While you may not find a Darren on your next coffee run, your next great hire could be anywhere, if you look beyond résumés.