Job Competencies: How to Make Them a Key Part of Recruiting Strategy
If you are planning to hire new employees, you likely have specific positions and duties in mind. However, most resumes you receive will not map perfectly onto the job description. As the employer, you will have to assess potential candidates and choose the best match, not just for the job, but for your company in general. This can be a daunting task, especially when many resumes will display similar objective credentials. Outlining the job competencies for a particular position can help you assess which qualities and credentials are most relevant to good job performance in that position. Once you know what the ideal candidate should look like, choosing the best match will be much easier.
The Four Types
Beginning with the basics, job competencies for most positions can be separated into four general categories. Once you have mapped out these generalities, you can add in more specific requirements. The general template can be applied across the board to positions at all levels.
First, identify the most important general skills that will be necessary to perform well in the position. This category may include such abilities as being able to motivate others for a department supervisor, or being able to display empathy and professionalism at all times for a customer service representative.
The next competency includes employee personal characteristics, rather than skills. Depending on the position, an employee can need empathy and patience or to command presence in order to be successful. These characteristics are what motivates a successful employee to apply his or her skills correctly and consistently.
Physical abilities are very important in some kinds of positions. If the job in question requires the ability to lift heavy objects, manual dexterity or a high degree of stamina, look for information on your candidates’ resumes that provides an indication of their ability in this area.
Finally, determine what level of experience, credentialing and education is necessary to perform the job. As these are all measured by objective standards, it is easy to ascertain whether your candidate’s resume meets your requirements.
Using Competencies to Identify Good Hires
Fine-tuning specific job competencies for your open position will help you save the time and expense of interviewing a slew of unsuitable candidates. Some competencies can be evaluated just by glancing at a resume: For example, if the position in question requires a four-year degree and your candidate only completed high school, you can go ahead and discard that job application. Others need a more in-depth analysis of the resume and references, and yet others need an interview for a full evaluation.
Developing job competencies does not end at defining parameters for a successful candidate. In order for this system to really aid you in the hiring process, the competencies should form the focus of your system for resume analysis and interview techniques. While making the effort to develop such a system can cost you time and money, it is well worth it. Targeting competencies throughout the hiring process makes it easier and quicker to identify candidates who will be a great fit for your company.
Focusing Interviews on Competency Areas
As a rule, ïsofterï competencies like general skills and personal characteristics can be more difficult to measure than ïyes-or-noï criteria. When a candidate is asked if he or she is able to lift 50 pounds, the answer is either yes or no. However, when it comes to questions like leadership ability or motivational skills, things can get a lot fuzzier. Some candidates are adept at using buzzwords and spin to exaggerate accomplishment or create an overly optimistic view of their abilities. Developing interview questions that target the four job competencies and focus on the candidate’s reasons for claiming a given ability will help you separate the valuable hires from the hot-air merchants.
Developing Specific Competencies
When creating your list, it can also help to prioritize. Decide which requirements are necessary to the job and which are optional but valuable assets. Take into account your company’s specific culture, as it is impossible to perform well when there is a clash of values or priorities. Figure out the attributes of your ideal candidate as well as those of the minimally acceptable candidate. You have no guarantee that you will receive an application from the hypothetical perfect hire, but using job competencies will help you choose the closest candidate from the available pool.
Whatever the position, a great candidate will perform well, remain with the company long term and generally contribute to the company’s growth. Job competencies help you get the information you need from candidates to make the right choice. Use more tools here at Mighty Recruiter to optimize your hiring process.