Embracing skills in demand: Here's how you can build a thriving workforce | Business Upturn

Embracing skills in demand: Here’s how you can build a thriving workforce

Embracing skills in demand is crucial for employers to build a thriving workforce, bridge the skills gap, drive innovation, and increase employee engagement and retention.


In today’s rapidly changing world of work, employers face the challenge of aligning their workforce with the skills in demand. Shifting to a skills-based approach in hiring is essential for staying competitive and maintaining a thriving workforce.

LinkedIn data reveals a significant shift in job postings, with a 21% increase in advertisements focusing on skills and responsibilities rather than qualifications. Additionally, the number of positions not requiring a degree rose by nearly 40% in 2020 compared to the previous year. This shift demonstrates that companies are becoming more intentional about hiring based on a candidate’s future potential rather than past history. However, traditional recruiting processes still tend to favor certain types of education, experience, and personal referrals, leading to a homogenous workforce.

To address this issue, employers need to rethink their job descriptions. Instead of emphasizing qualifications, they should focus on the desired results. By highlighting the skills required to perform specific tasks, unnecessary barriers to entry, such as a four-year degree requirement, can be eliminated.


Beyond job descriptions, adopting a skills-based approach requires implementing effective assessment methods to evaluate candidates. These assessments can include hard skill evaluations like coding tests, innovative soft skill assessments, and even “job auditions” to gauge a candidate’s abilities without relying solely on their education or experience. Asking unexpected interview questions can also provide valuable insights into a candidate’s problem-solving and information processing skills. Furthermore, discussing learning commitments during interviews can make employers more attractive to candidates.

The payoff of this skills-focused approach is twofold. First, it expands the talent pool and promotes diversity within the workforce. LinkedIn data indicates that employees without a traditional four-year degree tend to stay with companies 34% longer, suggesting higher engagement and a sense of investment from the employer. Second, prioritizing skills in demand enables employers to fill hard-to-find roles with quality applicants.

Creating a culture of learning is another crucial aspect of building a future-ready workforce. As the world of work evolves, employers must foster an environment that encourages continuous learning and adapts to changing demands. By investing in employee development and growth, companies can boost engagement, retain top talent, and remain competitive in the marketplace.


Recognizing the growing skills gap is another reason why employers need to focus on skills in demand. When there is a mismatch between the skills needed by employers and those available in the job market, businesses face challenges in finding qualified candidates. Prioritizing skills in demand helps bridge this gap and ensures that the workforce remains aligned with the evolving needs of the industry.

Furthermore, embracing skills in demand is essential for driving innovation. In a rapidly evolving marketplace, businesses must have employees who can keep up with the latest advancements and trends. By prioritizing skills that drive innovation, employers can fuel growth, adapt to emerging technologies, and stay ahead of the competition.

In conclusion, employers must shift their focus to skills in demand to build a thriving workforce. This approach enables companies to address the skills gap, foster innovation, and enhance employee engagement and retention. By emphasizing skills alongside traditional qualifications, employers can tap into a larger talent pool and position themselves for success in the ever-changing world of work.