Published On: March 8th, 2023|By |2.3 min read|

Why try skills-based job descriptions? In today’s tight labor market, businesses are working overtime to attract more candidates who can do the work—period. Traditional application fodder, such as which school a candidate attended, how many degrees they have, and who their personal referrals are matter far less than the skills they’ll bring to the job.

That, in short, is what has led to the growing trend of skills-based hiring, which focuses on candidates’ practical skills and performance instead of their formal qualifications. Skills-based hiring means judging candidates based on their skills, not their work or educational history, and it can help you reach more potential hires in less time and attract otherwise-overlooked candidates who can help your business grow and become more diverse.

To shift to skills-based hiring, the first step is to rethink—and rewrite—your job descriptions. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Ditch Unnecessary Requirements

Look at the requirements in your existing job descriptions. Are you requiring specific educational achievements, years of experience, and other requirements that aren’t skills-focused and aren’t actually necessary to do the work? If so, remove those requirements.

List Real Responsibilities

Instead of listing requirements for the job that could drive off skilled candidates, think about the responsibilities that the job will require from the new hire. What will they be doing on the job, and what skills do they need to have to do those activities? Those are the responsibilities that belong in the job description. 

Concentrate on Results

Help candidates assess their ability to do the job by specifying the results you want to see. How many direct reports will they have? What metrics will they be judged by at the end of the quarter or year? By telling candidates, in detail, about your expectations, you’re helping them understand their potential role and whether they have the skills necessary to do the job.

Connect Job Descriptions to the Entire Hiring Process

Once you’ve shifted your job descriptions to focus on candidate skill, you’ll want to look at the rest of your hiring process to make sure you’re interviewing and selecting candidates based on the same skills-focused approach used in your job description. The last thing you want is to bring in skillful candidates but then surprise them in the interview process with questions about credentials.

Get the Support You Need Writing Skills-Based Job Descriptions

Insero Talent Solutions has the experience, speed, and quality you need from a recruitment agency. Our recruiting services team can help you write skills-based job descriptions to find and hire better candidates in less time and at a lower cost, so you can provide a great candidate experience that improves your brand and employee retention.


About the Author: Benjamin Vassallo

Ben is a senior consultant for Insero Talent Solutions, recruiting for direct hire positions including banking, sales, business development, accounting, and more. > Meet Ben


Join our mailing list for insights and tools to help you achieve your goals delivered right to your inbox.