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Economic and Business Development

Skillful Indiana: Skills Based Hiring Practices for Employers

Redesign Your Recruiting to Hire Better Fits and Meet Your Skill Needs

More companies are making the move from degree-focused hiring to skills-based hiring. Purdue University has partnered with the Markle Foundation to offer the Skillful Talent Series workshops. This initiative helps companies identify high-demand jobs and the skills needed to fill them, and helps employers find and keep the talent they need to grow by helping them to recruit and hire with a focus on skills. Take your organization to the next level with skills-based practices.

What is Skills-Based Hiring?

Skills-based hiring is a strategy that recognizes there are many ways to acquire knowledge and ability. Implementing this strategy generates value for both employers and applicants by creating skill-focused job descriptions and evaluating candidates based on specific competencies. The three elements of skills-based hiring are:

  1. Remove credential requirements where possible,
  2. Use competencies specific to the job, and
  3. Reduce bias and increase diversity.

It requires a mindset shift—one that encourages an employer to evaluate an individual’s skills and abilities, instead of their background, and rethink job requirements.


By identifying the skills that make someone successful at your company and setting professional development plans from day one, you can find and keep employees that will deeply impact your business:

  • Expand the talent pool
  • Fill jobs faster
  • Improve retention
  • Increase diversity

The Skillful Talent Series helps companies hire based on skills, map professional development plans and develop the abilities employees need to be successful. Hiring candidates based on skills helps drive long-term business growth.

Research has shown that hiring based on skills is 5x more predictive of future performance than hiring for education and 2.5x more predictive than hiring for work experience.

How to Implement

Make the change to skills-based practices through the Skillful Talent Series. The free workshops are facilitated online by a trained professional. If you find it difficult to fit the workshops into your schedule, new digital training is available that allows HR professionals and hiring managers to learn remotely through self-guided e-modules.

The Skillful Talent Series offers employers step-by-step guidance on skills-based practices and helps employers identify the credentials they need for a role within companies and to recognize those skills in candidates, particularly workers without traditional academic credentials, such as a bachelor’s degree, who may otherwise be overlooked.

Earn SHRM Credit

The Skillful Talent Series is certified by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). We recommend completing the entire series beginning with session 101. Each training workshop is 2.0 PDCs for SHRM-CP(r) or SHRM-SCP(r). Professionals who attend all four training workshops can receive a total of eight credits towards their 60 hours of professional development credits (PDCs).

For Employers and Human Resources Professionals

Workshop Sessions focused on skills-based employment practices

The SKILLFUL® Talent Series is designed to help employers break away from traditional hiring methods and transition to skills-based employment practices. Skills-based hiring will get you the best talent. Through the Skillful Talent Series, companies have learned and adopted hiring techniques that have increased their retention by up to 65% and improved overall staff performance. By focusing on skills, not credentials, you’ll staff hard-to-fill positions, reduce time-to-hire, and increase your company’s employee retention.

This free training series includes four interactive, two-hour, workshop sessions. Each workshop will build upon the skills learned in previous sessions so we strongly encourage you to start with session 101 and continue with the series, but you can take them out of order. Participants are eligible to earn a total of 2.0 PDCs for SHRM-CP(r) or SHRM-SCP(r) per session.

Attract the Right Talent

Candidate Evaluation

Selection & Onboarding

Employee Retention

Talent Series 101: Attract the Right Talent

Tuesday, September 12, 2023 | 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm EST

Hiring the right employee is more important than ever. As the economy changes, our hiring practices should adapt to ensure that we hire the best employees possible. Reduce bias to improve inclusivity and equity in your hiring process. Join us to learn how to attract the right candidates based on their skills and not proxy.

In SKILLFUL ® Talent Series 101: Attract the Right Talent, you will learn how to:

  • Utilize skills-based hiring practices
  • Design job descriptions around competencies needed for the job
  • Broaden your talent pools to all qualified applicants
  • Focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion while reducing bias in your hiring process
  • Source and recruit the right talent for your needs

The Talent Series 101 training is valid for a total of 2.0 PDCs for the SHRM-CP(r) or SHRM-SCP(r).

Register Now

Talent Series 102: Candidate Evaluation

Tuesday, September 26, 2023 | 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm EST

People are crucial for a company’s success. By emphasizing a candidate’s skills in an interview and through skill assessments you’ll be able to double the effectiveness of your interview process and choose the candidate most likely to succeed. In SKILLFUL ® Talent Series 102, you will learn how to hire the right candidate by using inclusive interview questions that evaluate skills regardless of where or how they were learned.

In this session, you will learn how to:

  • Avoid filtering out qualified candidates in the screening process
  • Create interview questions to uncover candidates’ occupational and foundational (also known as “hard” and “soft”) skills
  • Select and design an assessment to accurately evaluate candidates’ skills

The Talent Series 102 training is valid for a total of 2.0 PDCs for the SHRM-CP(r) or SHRM-SCP(r).

Register Now

Talent Series 103: Selection and Onboarding

Tuesday, October 10, 2023 | 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm EST

To accomplish hiring goals, hiring managers are tempted to select and onboard new hires as fast as possible. This approach often results in a “sink or swim” mentality for onboarding. All too often, organizations rely on outdated checklists to onboard new employees. These processes use a one-size-fits-all approach and make it more difficult for new hires to get up to speed.

In SKILLFUL ® Talent Series 103: Selection and Onboarding, you’ll learn how to:

  • Create guidelines for your selection process to identify and reduce bias
  • Select the best candidate based on their skills
  • Identify areas of development for new employees to inform onboarding
  • Onboard your new hire and equip them with the tools and skills they need to succeed

The Talent Series 103 training is valid for a total of 2.0 PDCs for the SHRM-CP(r) or SHRM-SCP(r).

Register Now

Talent Series 104: Employee Retention

Tuesday, October 24, 2023 | 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm EST

Did you know that it can take up to three years for an external hire to become as proficient on the job as an internal promotion? To fill your positions, make sure you’re not overlooking the great candidates already on your staff!

In SKILLFUL ® Talent Series 104: Employee Retention, you’ll learn how to:

  • Identify what skills your employee has and what they need to develop
  • Set up a training program to upskill new and current employees
  • Create transparent and inclusive advancement opportunities for employees

The Talent Series 104 training is valid for a total of 2.0 PDCs for the SHRM-CP(r) or SHRM-SCP(r).

Register Now

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