The days when CVs and covering letters were the keys to unlocking dream jobs may be over, with both employees and employers leaning on alternative recruitment methods.

Nine in ten young employees believe they are more likely to secure their dream job through a skills-based hiring process, while 94% of employers agree that skills-based hiring is more predictive of on-the-job success than CVs.

This is according to talent discovery platform TestGorilla, which has just released the third of its annual skills-based hiring reports: The State of Skills-Based Hiring 2024’.

Skills-based hiring methods are clearly most popular among younger cohorts of candidates, with 82% of 25–34-year-olds preferring this avenue of recruitment. Meanwhile, among all age groups, 68% want to see organisations increase their use of skills-based hiring in the future.

The conventional approach to recruitment has long relied on applicants submitting CVs, with shortlisted candidates then going through a series of interviews.

However, talent discovery platforms are increasingly demonstrating their efficacy in pinpointing individuals who possess vital skills such as effective communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking. These digital tools offer a fresh avenue for talent identification beyond the constraints of traditional hiring processes.

A major thread emerging out of this year’s TestGorilla study is that candidates are not only showing a strong preference for skills-based hiring but enjoying greater success when application processes revolve around these recruitment methods.

Indeed, more than eight in ten (81%) say they have gained access to new employment opportunities because of skills-based hiring, while 85% of survey respondents said they prefer it because it gives them the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities.

“If you’re applying for a remote job, chances are you’re competing against hundreds, if not thousands, of other candidates for one position. It’s very easy to go unnoticed. But with talent assessments, I know I have a chance to show that I’m a great fit for the role.” – Joan Pelayo, marketing specialist candidate.

If the trends identified in the first three TestGorilla reports continue, then this is already happening. More than eight in ten employers (81%) are leveraging skills-based hiring methods in 2024, up from 73% in 2023 and just 56% in 2022.

But which sectors are embracing it the most? Marketing tops the list, with 95% of companies using skills-based hiring methods – this is closely followed by construction and scientific/technical services (both 89%).

Commenting on the changing employment market, TestGorilla CEO and co-founder Wouter Durville, said: “We are three years into producing The State of Skills-Based Hiring reports and the trend is undeniably clear – skills-based hiring is becoming the dominant and preferred recruitment method, not just for businesses, but for employees seeking new jobs.

“Degree requirements are not going away yet, with 59% of employers saying it is actually more important for candidates to have degree qualifications. But skills-based hiring methods are complementing and in many cases replacing traditional recruitment, and organisations that don’t give non-degree-holding candidates a chance to demonstrate their skills are in danger of missing out on an untapped pool of talent.”