Competency-based recruitment - a selection process that works

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"In today’s competitive job market, companies are spending a great deal of time, resources and money in ensuring - screening, interviewing and selection processes deliver high-quality candidates that will produce desired results," writes Des Squire. He stresses the need for a process that allows employers to predict future job behaviour.


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In today’s competitive job market, companies are spending a great deal of time, resources and money in ensuring - screening, interviewing and selection processes deliver high-quality candidates that will produce desired results.
Research has shown that job performance, job satisfaction and retention increase significantly if an organisation hires the "right person for the position' and the "right fit for the company'.
Competency based selection (Targeted Selection) is a behavioural-based interviewing process designed to provide employers with specific data that allows them to predict future job related behaviour.
Employers need to collect information based on knowledge, motivation and behaviour of employees needed in order to perform a job successfully and at the same time determine if the applicant is the "right fit' for the company or division based on previous experiences.
In other words, what an applicant has done in the past, is a predictor of what he or she will do in the future and how he or she can be expected to perform in a work situation.
Behavioural-type questions will therefore need to be included in the interview process. These questions will evolve around personal experiences of the applicant and practical work related questions designed around specific and pre-determined Competencies
It will be necessary for the interviewing manager in conjunction with senior management to decide on the relevant competencies required so the appropriate dimensions can be incorporated into the selection process. It will be necessary to identify the critical job competencies for specific positions.
Without identifying the required competencies the selection process will be a waste of time and will bear no fruit. It is essential that all positions have a selected set of competencies allocated. This will apply to interviewing and selecting new employees and can be applied equally to promotions within your company.
Recruiting and selection
The goal of recruiting is to create a large pool of individuals who are available and willing to work in your company.
The selection process has as its objective the sorting and elimination of those judged unqualified to meet or who do not possess the competencies required for the job.
Rewards of successful selection and consequences of poor selection
· Time
Time spent correctly selecting staff will save hours in training and supervising new employees. Saving time during the selection process by taking shortcuts will result in hours spent trying to supervise and train potential failures
· Money
The return on investment in a successful employee is considerably higher than the return on an unsuccessful one. Unsuccessful employees will have a negative effect on others and will slow or totally retard growth in a team, division or the entire company
· Morale
Success breeds success and failure breathes failure. A failing employee will have a negative effect on the morale of the entire team or division
· Opportunity
A career in your company can bring the successful employee many opportunities and rewards. There is therefore, a strong moral obligation on the recruiting manager or supervisor, to make the right decision
· Image and customer service
A company who has selected the right employees will be in a position to attract more successful employees and therefore more customers.
A satisfied and content employee will offer quality customer service to both internal and external customers. Employees who are unhappy or who are failing in their jobs will be bitter and resentful.
Their ill feeling can only adversely affect the opinion of clients and customers. This potentially devastating effect can only be counteracted by effective recruiting and selection processes and by selecting the right person at the outset.
In order to maintain the competitive edge your company has developed over the years you need to have and maintain a high success rate with new employees. This is what will build your success and that of your company.
Selection procedures
Successful selection procedures rely on the following six principles
· Knowing the type of person you want
· Keeping the selection process simple
· Keeping the selection process objective
· Using only valid selection steps
· Considering the candidate from different angles
· Having more than just one candidate
Selection procedure - points for consideration
1. Knowing the type of person you want is important. Deciding on the type of person you want is where the problem lies. A decision must be made based on the requirements of the position particularly in the area of " The characteristics and/or competencies of a successful employee for a particular job or position'
2. A simple system is easy to use and will be effective in the process of selection. The best way to ensure your selection system is simple is to break it into small steps each of which will cover a specific objective
3. Judgements must and can only be based on facts. Factual judgements are more accurate than judgements based on feelings. Judgements based on feelings are subjective and not reliable. Objective judgements are based on and rely on facts.
4. Each step should assist in the elimination of some applicants. The steps will assist in eliminating those applicants most likely to be unsuccessful. Failing to follow each step will waste time in taking applicants through the recruiting and selection process but you will be no closer to making a selection decision.
5. You cannot make professional selection judgments without considering the applicants from a variety of points of view. You need to consider all angles and look at the applicant from different points of view. If necessary you can ask another manager to assist you in making a decision. You might want to consider using a panel interview process
6. You must have more than one applicant in order to be able to make a choice. Applicants are the fuel of a professional selection process. You should be in a position to consider say five or six short listed candidates in order to select just one.
(Acknowledgement to Senton Hall University and the University of Kentucky)
Des Squire (Director)
AMSI (Pty) Ltd

Get full contact details for AMSI here

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