Are you finding it difficult to hire talent these days? You’re not alone. Today, many companies are also facing challenges when it comes to hiring. Reports suggest that 9 out of 10 leaders believe their organisations either have skill gaps or will face them within the next 5 years.

Looking at the data, there’s a noticeable shift in the labour market with the emergence of the digital generation, bringing unique skills and attitudes that impact the hiring industry. This generation represents the first fully digital cohort. On the other hand, there is a persistent shortage of top talent, which companies of all sizes in Malaysia and even on a global scale, from startups to multinational corporations, are competing for.

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Despite a significant pool of job seekers, businesses still face difficulties in filling their open positions. Overall, global unemployment is projected to reach 208 million people in 2023, with an unemployment rate of 5.8%.

While there are various reasons for this disparity, traditional hiring practices that rely on education and degrees as predictors of success have proven to be major obstacles for companies seeking to recruit top talent. In today’s landscape, skill-based hiring has emerged as a new approach to recruit top talent.

Instead of relying on outdated recruitment methods, skill-based hiring is now seen as the best alternative for bridging skill gaps, retaining employees, and reducing the risk of making poor hires. But how does it actually work?

? What is skill-based hiring?

Skill-based hiring in Malaysia

Traditional role-based hiring screens for education, credentials, and experience. Skill-based hiring is an approach that screens for specific competencies. Skill-based hiring goes beyond majors and focuses on the candidates’ skills that are applicable to the role (i.e. the candidate may not have a computer science degree, but they possess Python skills).

According to Qwork data, skill-based hiring is a good approach for recruiting top talent as today’s skilled workers represent a generation of driven individuals with passion and potential to guide employers through digital transformation. They seek professional growth, promotion opportunities, and career pathways. By embracing skill-based hiring, you can tap into larger talent pool that has a wider range of skills.

To sum up, skill-based hiring can help employers to:

  • Diversify talent pool
  • Expand hiring strategy 
  • Cultivate talent with non-traditional majors
  • Strike equilibrium between supply and demand

? Why are more companies in Malaysia using skill-based hiring processes?

Traditional hiring versus skill-based hiring

By prioritising skills when hiring, recruiters can effectively assess a candidate’s suitability for a job, ensuring the best possible hire right from the start. This becomes especially crucial in a time when many companies are grappling with a shortage of skilled workers in their workforce.

For instance, the growing skills gap is expected to see key industries such as technology, media, and telecommunications with a shortfall of 4.3 million workers by 2030. This shortage alone is projected to result in a staggering $449.7 billion in lost revenue.

Skills-based hiring empowers companies to consider candidates who may not fit the “traditional” mould. For example, a former bartender possesses valuable customer service skills that can be well-suited for a call centre role.

☕ A skill-first approach makes life easier for recruiters 

The sheer volume of resumes received by HR teams for a single open position can be overwhelming, often reaching hundreds of applications. In such a scenario, giving each candidate’s application the attention it deserves becomes nearly impossible.

As a result, recruiters often resort to selecting candidates whose backgrounds appear familiar or similar to their own, as a way to streamline the process. Fortunately, skills-based hiring comes to the rescue by alleviating the burden on recruiters and enabling them to efficiently manage large-scale hiring efforts.

This approach significantly reduces the strain on HR teams, allowing them to navigate through the extensive pool of applicants more effectively. To facilitate this process, platforms like Qwork have developed digital apps that streamline candidate screening and carefully match them with employers’ specific preferences and requirements. These tools act as valuable aids in the skills-based hiring process, enhancing recruiters’ ability to make well-informed decisions and ultimately select the most suitable candidates for the job.

? Can your company afford to adopt skills based hiring?

Contrary to common perception, skill-based hiring is a cost-effective and time-efficient method that doesn’t require significant investments in resources. In fact, this approach can potentially save recruiters both money and effort in the long run.

Moreover, skill-based hiring offers a straightforward solution to address skill gaps within an intensely competitive job market. It provides an opportunity for candidates with unconventional backgrounds to showcase their abilities and stand out from the crowd. This inclusive approach widens the talent pool and enables companies to tap into a diverse range of skills and experiences.

By shifting the focus away from solely considering educational qualifications, skill-based hiring allows recruiting teams to evaluate a candidate’s full spectrum of hard and soft skills. This comprehensive assessment ensures that each open position is filled with individuals who possess the optimal combination of competencies required to excel in the role.


To witness firsthand how skill-based hiring can benefit your organisation, get in touch with Qwork team today. Our experienced team will guide you through Qwork’s extensive range of ready-made and tailored solutions. By leveraging Qwork for your on-demand recruiting needs and long-term talent acquisition strategies, you gain access to diverse skills and avoid skills gaps.

Qwork enables you to effortlessly recruit skilled professionals in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore, liberating you from administrative duties while enhancing your skill-based hiring without incurring costly expenses.

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