competency-evolutionWhat’s new in the world of recruitment?

As we closed the year with two big recruitment projects, there were themes emerging about where recruitment might go next.  On the one hand, not much has changed in a long time – businesses want to find people quickly and make sure they’re people who will get off to a great start.  But something is stirring – and perhaps there is a shift on the way about how we recruit.

Focus on the outcome

This is becoming a consistent theme for 2015.  High performing businesses, those looking to grow, those looking to respond to a downturn in revenue – all have had the common theme of wanting to move their recruitment activity more toward the outcome of the role.  This is a change from the common knee-jerk reaction to assume the recruiting manager knows what they want and so then ask what salary is available and what kind of experience is being sought.

We can be far more effective in our recruiting and ongoing performance management when we move towards asking key questions like:

  • What business problem are you trying to solve?
  • What will this role deliver?
  • If you had to ask the bank manager for the money for this role, how would you explain the value of the role and show potential ROI?
  • How would you know someone had done a good job in 12 months’ time?

Competencies are getting tired

Whether it’s the fact that we’re tired of listening to candidates’ pre-rehearsed answers to the “tell me about a time when” questions or simply that all the competencies are starting to sound the same and blend into each other – there is a growing noise of dissatisfaction with competencies.

Quite often we find as well that too much is being pushed into a competency framework.  Some read more like values and others are a more technical requirement of how a job is completed.

Competencies work best for a business’ interests when there is clarity on what they are and what they are not.  For example one business we works with makes clear you are not expected to be great at everything – nobody could be!  So the focus is on finding out where you have strength and matching that to the highest priority needs of the role.

Strengths and values could be an alternative

There has been a lot of interest in strengths ever since the 2005 publication of “Now, Discover your Strengths.”  Increasingly as we notice the link between people doing what they do best, energy levels, happiness, health, employee engagement and performance – strengths display their importance in the workplace.

Add values into that – the deep-rooted things that each of us find important about life, work and relationships, and we start to see something else very important.