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What Are White-Collar Jobs And Skill-Based Hiring?

Pratisrutee Mishra
December 29, 2023

Beware, the skill-based hiring of white-collar talent is no longer as straightforward as it once was! In today's dynamic generation, shaped by technology, globalization, and fierce competition, many job seekers as well as recruiters face new challenges. This is because organizations today implement skills based hiring practices to look for skills rather than academic credits in candidate profiles. While it becomes difficult for candidates to pass through a job application, it is more hectic for recruiters to screen a lot of applicants.

So during the period of the vacancy surge, there would be an inevitable demand for upgraded skill sets. It will push aspirants to update their knowledge bank, adapt to change, and collaborate with diverse teams.

It will also compel hiring professionals to make tough choices and decisions amidst the stiff competition to hire the best talents.

This is where the game-changing concept of skill-based hiring and the power of psychometric assessments enter the scene. 

Skill-based hiring prioritizes the skills and competencies vital for a specific role rather than focusing solely on educational backgrounds or employment histories. 

It's about finding the perfect fit for the job based on concrete data and evidence, rather than relying on subjective impressions and biases. Let's delve deeper into this transformative approach.

What is a white collar job?

In the world of employment, job classifications often come up, and one term that's been around for quite some time is “white-collar job.” But, actually, what are white-collar jobs?

White-collar jobs are those that typically involve administrative, managerial, or professional tasks rather than manual labor or physical work. The term originated from the contrast between the white shirts and ties worn by office workers and the blue shirts and overalls worn by factory workers.

White-collar jobs, rooted in the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the service industry, have evolved dramatically. In the 1900s, only 17.6 percent of the workforce held these positions. Fast forward to the 2000s, and that number surged to a significant 59.9 percent.

Today, white-collar roles span across industries like BPO, BFSI, IT, SaaS and IT-enabled services, healthcare IT, the pharmaceutical industry, eCommerce, FMCG, GCC, captive centers, staffing, and telecom service.

What Skills Do White Collar Jobs Require?

White-collar jobs usually require a higher level of education, training, and skills than blue-collar jobs. However, this does not mean that having a degree or certain work experience is enough to land you a white-collar job.

Here are some essential skills that are often needed, with practical examples:

  • Communication Skills: Effective communication, both written and verbal, is crucial in white-collar roles. Professionals need to convey their ideas clearly and interact with colleagues, clients, and superiors effectively. For instance, customer care services and telecom services require communication proficiency to face clients promptly.
  • Problem Solving and Critical Thinking: White-collar workers often encounter complex problems that require analytical thinking and creative problem-solving skills. The ability to approach challenges logically is highly valued. For example, data analysts and developers require much more advanced problem-solving and reasoning skills to handle complex issues and develop better technical solutions.
  • Time Management: In a fast-paced environment, time management is vital. Professionals must juggle multiple tasks, prioritize them, and meet deadlines efficiently. It is recommended for all working professionals to enable the achievement of deadlines and punctuality. It is often a must-have skill for managerial positions to ensure the goals and ideas are thoroughly conveyed to the team.
  • Adaptability: Given the rapidly expanding business horizons, adaptability is key. White-collar workers need to embrace change, learn new skills, and stay updated in their field. For instance, experienced employees can make themselves comfortable in a foreign work setting after a job change. It is another highly demanded skill by employers. 
  • Technical Proficiency: Many white-collar jobs involve using various software and technology. Proficiency in relevant tools and software is often a prerequisite. Technical proficiency is specific to job roles like sales and customer representatives, IT roles, managerial roles, etc. Employers look for candidates who are familiar with the tools and software used in the industry. They should also demonstrate a willingness to learn new skills and adapt to changing technology.
  • Emotional Intelligence: Understanding and managing emotions, both one's own and others, is vital in roles that require teamwork, leadership, or dealing with clients. It is a highly required skill to have in client-facing and critical job roles like customer service and sales executive.

White-collar jobs require a specific set of competencies, such as complimentary personality traits, behavioral dispositions, domain knowledge, and their ability to convert them to on-the-job performance. These go beyond just academic excellence, which is why many employers are shifting their focus from resumes and credentials to skills and abilities when hiring new talent.

White Collar Jobs and Skill-Based Hiring

White Collar Jobs and Skill-Based Hiring - PMaps

Candidates find themselves in fierce competition with many others who boast similar qualifications and experiences. As an employer, you're tasked with sifting through a vast pool of similarly qualified candidates—a daunting task indeed.

But abandoning the cookie-cutter approach of emphasizing educational backgrounds and past experiences is gradually giving way to a more dynamic and precise method of recruitment: a skills based hiring approach. 

By embracing skills based hiring, you can assess the skills gaps and competencies instead of merely scanning resumes. It helps you focus on the specific skills that are essential for the job role. Here's how skill-based hiring transforms the recruitment process:

1. Coder:

Skills Needed: programming languages, algorithmic thinking, testing and debugging, logical reasoning, creativity, adaptability, attention to detail, problem solving, and collaboration.

Skill-Based Hiring: Companies now assess the particular technical skills and soft skills of the candidates that are necessary for a coder. For instance, many of our clients use PMaps Skill-based Psychometric Assessments to obtain a comprehensive analysis of a candidate's profile for technical job roles as well as soft skills. It also indicates candidates with high learning agility, as it is essential for developers to cope with changing technologies and requirements. It's no longer about credentials; it's about demonstrable skills. Coding Assessments are the best tools to assess the technical proficiency of a candidate.

2. Managers:

Skills Needed: leadership skills, decision-making, communication, team management, strategic planning, performance management, change management, problem solving.

Skill-Based Hiring: Managerial assessments can measure the strategic thinking, employee data interpretation, and creativity skills of candidates. It evaluates communication and change management. There are 5 dimensions in which managerial competencies are evaluated: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. These are vital for marketing managers to convey their ideas effectively to the team and solve problems efficiently. The PMaps Managerial Assessment, for example, is one of the most demanded post-employment tests that we have.

3. Graphic Designer:

Skills Needed: Creativity and innovation, critical thinking, effective communication, customer orientation, openness to perspective, result orientation, and market intelligence.

Skill-Based Hiring: Hiring managers employ skill test assessments designed to evaluate candidates' graphic design proficiencies, creativity, and attention to detail. Additionally, they utilize these tests to check candidates' openness and adaptability. Also, assessing customer-centric behavior and result orientation helps them recognize the importance of enabling graphic designers to meet project deadlines and create the best visuals for the brand effectively. PMaps also has the Graphic Designing Test which can surely help recruiters catch their match!

4. Customer Service:

Skills Needed: Communication, adaptability and flexibility, empathy and customer focus, problem-solving, time management, teamwork and collaboration, product knowledge, resilience, and stress management.

Skill-Based Hiring: In the customer service sector, candidates are evaluated based on their communication and active listening skills. Psychometric assessments, such as the PMaps Customer Service Assessment can measure a candidate's ability to empathize with customers and resolve issues efficiently. Adaptability and product knowledge are essential, as customer service representatives often encounter diverse situations and products.

5. Sales Representatives:

Skills Needed: communication (verbal and written), presentation, research, relationship building, product knowledge, time management, resilience, goal orientation, negotiation.

Skill-Based Hiring: Sales representatives are assessed for their communication and persuasion abilities. They need to demonstrate their skills in building and maintaining relationships with clients. Knowledge of the product they sell as well as the market they are selling to is crucial. Sales Assessment Tests are the best skill-based tests that can evaluate their ability to manage time effectively, stay resilient in the face of rejection, and achieve sales goals through negotiation.

How to Hire for White Collar Job Roles?

Employers face the daunting task of evaluating candidates' abilities, cultural fit, and potential. Fortunately, the emergence of modern HR technology has breathed new life into the recruitment process, harnessing the formidable powers of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and data analytics.

The steps recruiters follow to hire and orient the best white-collar job candidates are: 

  • Defining the job roles and calculating the vacancy as per organizational requirements. 
  • Sourcing a huge pool of applicants and screening them with reliable psychometric assessments.
  • Making the final hiring decision refers to scientific and comprehensive information about candidate potential based on skills and competencies. 
  • Orienting the candidates in the team appropriately based on behavioral ability.

Benefits of HRTech for White Collar Job Recruiters

Modern HR- technologies like applicant tracking systems, psychometric assessments, and LMS are orchestrating a profound transformation in how employers approach hiring for white-collar positions. It injects data-driven intelligence into the process, making it more effective and informed. With these technological allies at their side, employers are better equipped to not only attract but also assess, retain, and unleash the full potential of the finest white-collar talents.

Here's a closer look at how these technological marvels are reshaping white-collar hiring and the remarkable benefits they bring to the table:

  1. Breaking Bias, Fostering Diversity: Modern HR technology serves as a beacon of hope for employers striving to eliminate human bias and promote diversity in their hiring practices. These tech solutions employ objective and standardized criteria to evaluate candidates, ensuring a level playing field. 

For instance, skills-based hiring platforms assess candidates based on their aptitude and proficiency, disregarding factors like background, education, or prior experience.

Also, certain AI-driven resume screening tools can sift through resumes quickly, stripping away irrelevant or discriminatory information such as age, gender, race, or nationality, allowing candidates to shine solely for their skills and potential.

  1. Elevating Efficiency and Quality: The relentless march of technology has gifted employers with invaluable time- and resource-saving tools that streamline the hiring journey. From sourcing and screening to interviewing and onboarding, with psychometric assessment integrated into HRMS platforms (Keka, Accely, etc.) and modern HR tech automation, recruiters can simplify each step. 

Chatbots and virtual assistants engage with candidates, scheduling interviews, addressing queries, and offering feedback—all via text or voice. 

Video interviewing platforms open up a global talent pool, using facial recognition and psychometric tests to glean insights into candidates' personalities and emotions. The result? A more efficient and high-quality hiring process.

  1. Cultivating Retention and Performance: Retaining and nurturing white-collar talent is paramount, and modern HR tech plays a pivotal role in achieving this. These technologies empower employers to offer personalized and continuous learning and development opportunities. 

Adaptive learning platforms tailor training content and pace to suit each employee's unique needs and preferences. Gamification and microlearning techniques inject fun and engagement into learning experiences. Furthermore, HR technology aids in monitoring and measuring the impact of training initiatives on employees' skills, productivity, and overall job satisfaction, ensuring a thriving and motivated workforce.

Are There Other Job Collar Colors?

While “white collar” is the most commonly used term, there are other collar colors used to classify jobs:

  • Blue Collar: These jobs involve physical work and are typically associated with industries like manufacturing, e-commerce, delivery, construction, and maintenance.
  • Pink Collar: This term refers to jobs that are often associated with women and are usually in fields like nursing, teaching, or administrative support.
  • Green Collar: These jobs are related to environmentally friendly industries and are focused on sustainability and conservation.
  • Gold Collar: This term is used for highly skilled and highly paid professionals, often in finance or law.


White-collar jobs represent a broad spectrum of professions that demand a range of skills beyond academic qualifications. Skill-based hiring is increasingly becoming the norm as employers seek candidates who can not only meet the educational requirements but also bring essential skills to the table. If you aspire to hire the best talent for your white-collar vacancies, remember to use reliable screening tools like PMaps skill assessments. You can explore our diverse test library with an enormous number of white collar job-specific psychometric test tools. Also, to know more, do reach us through or call us at +91 7709196077.

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PMaps Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about PMaps through commonly asked questions:

What are white-collar jobs?

White-collar jobs involve professional, managerial, or administrative work typically performed in an office setting.

What is skill-based hiring?

Skill-based hiring prioritizes candidates' skills and competencies relevant to a specific role, rather than focusing solely on their educational backgrounds or employment histories.

Why is skill-based hiring becoming more prevalent in today's job market?

Skill-based hiring is gaining popularity due to the dynamic nature of today's job market, where employers seek candidates who possess the necessary skills to excel in their roles.

How does skill-based hiring benefit both job seekers and recruiters?

Skill-based hiring benefits job seekers by allowing them to showcase relevant skills, while recruiters benefit from a streamlined recruitment process focused on critical job requirements.

What role do psychometric assessments play in skill-based hiring?

Psychometric assessments provide objective measures of candidates' abilities, personality traits, and cognitive skills, helping recruiters evaluate suitability for specific roles.

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