Skills-based interviews by employers are more successful  in retaining staff, says a research of 500 UK workers.

The hiring platform Applied found those employees who get jobs after a ‘skills based’ interview process are twice as likely to still be employed at their company a year later compared to those hired following more traditional, CV-led interview processes. 

The participant employees had been employed between 2017 and 2020 and had all secured their roles following a recruitment process that focused on identifying the specific skills they needed to do the job. 

These were analysed through work-sample tests, structured questions, and cognitive ability tests. 

STEMM jobs do not fit the mold

One year on from starting the new job, 93 percent remained in their role. ONS figures show the UK workforce one-year retention rate is at 83 percent. This did drop in STEMM sectors  – Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine. However, these sectors are notoriously less tolerant with research showing more than 40 percent of women will leave their science jobs after having their first child.

Doctors, nurses, midwives, and primary school teachers all have one-year retention rates which are higher than the UK average. But, public sector occupations had the best retention rates.

The research suggests a skills-based approach more than doubles the likelihood of retaining staff; with only 7 percent of hires leaving within a year following a skills-based interview process, compared to 17 percent across the UK at large. 

The company suggests that even though most employers continue to rely on CVs and unstructured interviews in order to select new recruits, they are less accurate predictors of performance and aptitude.

CEO of Applied, Khyati Sundaram is also an expert on de-biased recruitment. She said:  “The evidence is clear: people who are hired based on their skills, rather than wishy-washy benchmarks such as ‘cultural fit’, are more likely to stay in their roles for longer. This is almost certainly because they are better suited to the job and have the skills needed to thrive.”

She added that employers might be able to create more accepting environments with skills-based rather than CV interviews, suggesting this method creates stronger teams. :“In an era where employers are scrambling to recruit and retain staff, companies should analyse how changing their interview process could positively impact retention rates over the long-term. The days of shuffling CVs around a desk should be consigned to history as we embrace a fairer, more effective way of hiring. Not only does skill-based hiring create stronger teams, it also boosts diversity and reduces unconscious bias.”