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  • Writer's pictureDini Habib

Unlock the power of high-performing teams with skills-based hiring

Every manager wants to build high performing teams. So why do so few utilise skills based hiring?

In the ever-evolving recruitment landscape, research continues to prove the incredible value of the value of skills-based hiring. Traditionally, interviews have revolved around gauging candidates' experience and qualifications.

However, focusing on skills, especially transferable skills, can significantly enhance the recruitment process, ensuring a more accurate selection of candidates who can contribute to building high-performing teams. In this blog, we will delve into the world of interpersonal skills in interviews and explore the benefits of this approach for hiring managers.

young man in blue and yellow check shirt sits on a desk holding an iPad. His colleagues are talking in the background.

The Benefits of Skills Based Hiring and Inclusive Recruitment

Why is skills-based hiring gaining momentum, and why it's essential for today's hiring managers? There are four benefits of skills based hiring that every manager should know:

  • Objective Assessment: Skills-based hiring provides a more objective basis for evaluating candidates. It shifts the focus from subjective opinions to tangible capabilities, making the recruitment process fairer and more consistent.

  • Inclusive Recruitment: By emphasising skills over experience or background, skills-based hiring promotes diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. It opens doors to candidates from various backgrounds who may have developed valuable skills outside of traditional career paths.

  • Building High-Performing Teams: Effective interpersonal skills are crucial for teamwork, collaboration, and overall team performance. Hiring individuals with strong interpersonal skills can lead to the formation of cohesive, high-performing teams.

  • Adaptability: In a rapidly changing business environment, skills are often more adaptable than specific experiences. Hiring individuals with a strong skill set enables teams to navigate challenges and seize opportunities effectively.

In a Clu research project from 2022, we took a deep dive into how hiring managers were engaging with skills based hiring practices and made some shocking discoveries. Most wanted to get better at skills based hiring but didn't think they had the support or tools they needed from HR teams to do so, especially when it came to understanding and interviewing for non-technical skills.

graph shows data from clu 2022 study. 88% of hiring managers wanted clearer plans and guidence from HR departments on skills-based hiring

Getting Started with skills based hiring

Understanding compatible skills is crucial when assessing transferable skills because it enables hiring managers to identify candidates who possess a holistic skill set that aligns with the specific requirements and dynamics of the role and the organisation.

Compatible skills not only enhance a candidate's ability to perform tasks effectively but also contribute to a harmonious and productive work environment.

By evaluating both transferable skills and a candidate's compatibility with the role, hiring managers can make more informed decisions, leading to successful team integration and performance.

Whilst Clu's inclusive recruitment platform can't make skills based hiring easy for all hiring mangers immediately, although we are happy to speak with your HR/Talent teams, we've included interview tips for the most important transferable skills to assess for when building high performance teams.

Planning and Organisation

Critical for high performing teams because: Effective planning and organisation are foundational skills that enable teams to work efficiently and meet their objectives. These skills are closely aligned with time management, goal setting, and task prioritisation.

Compatible skills: Problem-solving and attention to detail.

Example Interview Questions:

  1. "Give an example of how you prioritise and organise your schedule."

  2. "Tell me about a time you successfully met an important deadline."

  3. "Describe a situation when you had many projects or assignments due at the same time. What steps did you take to get them all done?"


Critical for high performing teams because: Taking initiative is about proactively identifying opportunities and driving projects forward. It empowers individuals to contribute actively and helps teams stay innovative and dynamic.

Compatible skills: Creativity and adaptability.

Interview Questions:

  1. "Give an example of when you went above and beyond expectations."

  2. "Tell me about a project you have initiated. What influenced you to begin the project?"

Interpersonal Skills

Critical for high performing teams because: Strong interpersonal skills are the glue that holds teams together. They facilitate effective communication, collaboration, and conflict resolution, fostering a positive team environment.

Compatible skills: Communication and leadership.

Interview Questions:

  1. "When working on a team, describe a time when one person was not doing their share of the work. What did you do?"

  2. "Tell me about the most challenging person you have ever interacted with."

  3. "Give an example where you resolved a conflict."

  4. "Describe a situation when you had to be assertive."

  5. "Describe a situation that was successful because of your participation."


Critical for high performing teams because: Flexibility enables teams to adapt to changing circumstances, fostering resilience and maintaining productivity, even in challenging situations.

Compatible skills: Adaptability and problem-solving.

Interview Questions:

  1. "Describe a situation in which you were able to overcome a personality conflict to achieve results."

  2. "Give an example of a stressful situation in which you used coping skills to manage."

Communication Skills

Critical for high performing teams because: Effective communication is the cornerstone of teamwork. It ensures that ideas are understood, expectations are clear, and feedback is constructive.

Compatible skills: Active listening and persuasion.

Interview Questions:

  1. "Tell me about a time when you had to explain complicated material. How did you clarify if the other person understood your explanation?"

  2. "Describe a situation where you persuaded others."

  3. "Tell me about a time in which you had to use your written communication skills to get across an important point."

  4. "Give me an example of how you have used active listening to help a situation."


Critical for high performing teams because: Leadership skills are essential for guiding and motivating teams towards success. A strong leader inspires confidence and encourages collaboration.

Compatible skills: Initiative and decision-making.

Interview Questions:

  1. "Tell me about a time when you took charge of a project and achieved successful results."

  2. "Discuss a situation where you have turned ideas into action."

  3. "Tell me about a time you had to lead people who were resistant to your leadership."


Critical for high performing teams because: Creativity and innovation drive teams to find novel solutions and stay competitive in today's rapidly changing business landscape.

Compatible skills: Initiative and problem-solving.

Interview Questions:

  1. "Give an example of a time you provided an innovative solution."

  2. "What is the most creative thing you have ever done?"

Decision Making

Critical for high performing teams because: Effective decision-making ensures that teams move forward with purpose and clarity. It minimises ambiguity and promotes accountability.

Compatible skills: Problem-solving and adaptability.

Interview Questions:

  1. "Give an example of a time you had to make a difficult decision."

  2. "Describe a time a peer/colleague disagreed with a decision of yours."

  3. "Summarise a situation where you had to seek out relevant information, define key issues, and determine steps to get a desired result."

Incorporating these questions into your interview process will help you identify candidates with the essential interpersonal skills needed to contribute to high-performing teams. Embracing skills-based hiring ensures that you select individuals who have the required skills and align with your organisation's values and goals.


blue banner with white text reads, I want to get great at inclusive skills-based hiring

At Clu, we're reinventing how job seekers find jobs by helping Employers get great at skills-based and inclusive hiring.

Find out more by getting in touch with us. We'd love to hear from you.


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