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Why Skills-First Hiring?

We’re helping companies remove four-year degree requirements for thousands of high-wage jobs and instead take a skills-first approach to hiring so they can access brilliant, diverse talent.

Embracing a skills-first mindset

For too long, companies have relied on traditional hiring and advancement practices, which typically include a four-year degree requirement. To keep up with the changing nature of work, companies are increasingly embracing skills-first hiring–practices that prioritize skills, not just degrees.

What is skills-first hiring?

The term “skills-first hiring” refers to a hiring approach or strategy that prioritizes a candidate’s skills and abilities over traditional factors such as educational background, years of experience or job titles.

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According to a recent OneTen survey, hiring managers practicing skills-first hiring found it 2x as easy to identify qualified candidates than those who don’t.

Why go skills-first?


Harness the Power of Diversity

Skills-based hiring diversifies candidate pools, which fuels innovation and drives business performance. Embracing a diverse range of perspectives and experiences ensures that companies are well- equipped to adapt and thrive in an ever-changing business landscape.

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Cultivate Resilience

Companies that prioritize skills-first hiring build more resilient teams and a more adaptable workforce. Moreso than degrees, skills are transferable and adaptable, allowing organizations to better navigate disruptions, pivot strategies and seize emerging opportunities.

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Achieve Market Advantage

Our interconnected economy requires companies to understand—and cater to—diverse markets. By incorporating diverse perspectives through skills-first hiring, businesses can better connect with customers, clients, and communities, ultimately unlocking new growth potential.

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Attract and Retain Top Talent

As job seekers increasingly seek out companies that embrace diversity and inclusion, a skills-first approach becomes a competitive advantage in attracting top talent. Research also shows that candidates who are hired for their skills are more engaged and likely to stay at a company than degree holders in the same skills-based roles. 

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Enhance Employee Engagement

An inclusive work environment that values skills fosters a sense of belonging, leading to higher levels of employee engagement, productivity and loyalty. When employees feel valued for their abilities, they bring their whole selves to work, contributing their best and fueling organizational success. 

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 Nearly 65% of adults in the United States (76% of Black individuals ages 25 and above) are excluded from jobs because they lack a four-year degree.