Category Archives: Recruitment

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Hiring for the Right Reasons: Using Competency Models to Make Better Hires

Making good hiring decisions is a crucial component of HR and one of the reasons competency and behavioral models exist in the first place. Here, hiring managers can look for behaviors that show alignment with the role, key company values, and towards desired engagement and productivity.

For example, you can define key traits you are looking for and then screen for them during interviews to find as-close-to an ideal match as possible. This will reduce churn and boost engagement, because you won’t be hiring individuals who want any job so long as it’s a job.

Cultural Match

Company culture is inherent in your organization and it is something your hire will have to adapt to. This is important because clashes in culture will create friction and dissatisfaction and may result in fast churn.

For example, if a new hire is accustomed to working with a waterfall method and is hired into an Agile company, they may struggle without the structure of direct managerial guidance.

Defining specific cultural values and choosing individuals who can fit into that culture quickly and with as little adaption as possible will increase the satisfaction and productivity of the new hire.

Core Values

Core values can be part of culture but are often something different. For example, if your company is dedicated reducing waste and improving efficiency and your new hire would rather work in a traditional way, regardless of waste, they will clash with company core values and may bottleneck or reduce efficiency in their team.

While some may adapt to new core values, many do not or take a significant period of time to do so. Core values can relate to intrinsic work patterns (such as Lean waste management or Agile self-sufficiency) but can also relate to morals and values, such as being eco-friendly.

Motivation and Career Path

People who want to be hired for the right reasons are often more important than the right people. For example, if you hire someone who is stuck in a job they hate and just wants and out, you’re hiring someone with no real personal motivation or investment in your company.

It’s important to look for and find specific motivation for your organization, even if your work is relatively simple. For example, if you’re hiring a clerk at a fashion store, why did they apply to that store instead of other (unskilled) labor such as a fast food chain? What was their specific motivation.

Understanding motivation and career path become much more important as you move into roles where career development and succession planning or organizational growth are more common or likely – but are valuable to understand for nearly any role because someone without personal motivation for the role will have no personal motivation to perform well or innovate beyond just doing their job.

Pairing Personalities with Teams

It’s often the case that you make a great hire, pair them with a team, and they quickly lose motivation and either lose engagement or even leave. Why? The issue is often that the individual doesn’t personally agree with the team, its work methods, or even individuals on the team.

Working with competency models gives you the opportunity to define the key characteristics and traits required to fit into the team, the key characteristics and traits shown by individuals in the team, and those of the team as a whole, so that you can hire someone who is more likely to fit in as part of it. While this doesn’t mean everyone should be exactly the same, diversity is valuable and important in any team, it does mean you can actively work to not pair people with teams or individuals who may clash with their personality.

Competency models make it easier to define an ideal fit for a specific role by going beyond responsibilities and into personality characteristics and core behavior. This will, in turn, allow you to reduce churn and increase engagement by bringing on new people who show active engagement and interest in the role.


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How to Effectively Match Employee’s Skill Sets With Job Roles

The success of your company relies on the skills of your employees. Putting the right person in the right job can be the difference between success and failure, not just for the employee but also for the project.

Part of effective management is identifying your employee’s strengths, and weaknesses, and then assigning jobs and projects accordingly. Everyone has different skills. They excel at some things and fail at others. That is perfectly natural. The key to your success is playing to your employee’s strengths and using their skills effectively. You’re not going to ask a graphic designer to sell advertising space, that’s not what you employed them to do.

Clearly define different roles within your business

Before you can match your employee’s skill set to a job role, you need to clearly define the job. You can’t match a person to a project if you don’t what it entails. The first step is to draw up a clear and precise job description. Don’t be vague. Describe the job in detail, including the tasks, functions, and responsibilities. Next list the skills, experience, and capabilities that are required to carry out the work. Include a section where you list the soft skills need to perform the job effectively.

When you have a clearly defined job description, with a list of skills, it will be easier to identify those skills in your employees. Remember, your employees don’t have to excel at everything, they have to excel at the job they are employed to do. Only once you have identified the job requirements, can you find employees who have the skills, personality, and experience to fulfill the role.

Use the tools at your disposal to evaluate your employee’s skill set

There are many programs and test out there to help you identify your employee’s skill sets. Use these to gain a better understanding of the people working for you, and how best to utilize their skills.

Are they creative, great at sales, good organizers, managers, and can they perform under pressure? These are all things you need to know before you can assign certain jobs to certain people.

It is also important to take into account personality characteristics. If two people have the same level of skills and experience, it is best to give the job to the one whose personal preference best fits your requirements.

Assign tasks related to skills

You’re not always going to be able to only assign employee’s work that they enjoy. They are going to have to do jobs that don’t inspire them but the more you focus on their strengths, and they’re able to use their skills, the more they’ll enjoy the work and the better they’ll perform.

Re-evaluate regularly

Matching an employee’s skill set to a job role is not a one-off exercise. In a healthy working environment, with strong leadership, people will grow and change. It is important to re-evaluate your employee’s skills regularly and assign projects accordingly.

Studies show that employees perform better, and are more productive and engaged when they focus on using their skills rather than improving their weaknesses. People work harder, and excel at what they do when they are confident and passionate about their work.


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8 ways to tell if a job candidate is a good fit

A hiring manager usually has a 60-minute interview to decide if a candidate will be a good fit for a company. For the interviewee that can feel like a lifetime, but for the interviewer, it usually isn’t long enough. By the time you reach the interview stage, you’ve narrowed your choices significantly and there is often very little separating the candidates. Here are a few ways to make finding the right fit a little easier.

Know what you need

Before you can decide if a candidate is a good fit, you need to know what you’re looking for. Not only in terms of skills and experience but also personality traits. If you haven’t identified what you’re looking for, you won’t be able to spot it when you see it. Writing out a clear job description will help you define what you need and make it easier to recognize a candidate that will enhance the company dynamic.

Use personality profile assessments

It is important to use personality profiling assessments to effectively narrow down your candidates by exposing deeper, often hidden, traits that are easy to miss in an interview. When used correctly, personality profile assessments tests enable you to determine if an applicant will be a good fit for your company.

Ask the right questions

This seems obvious until you think about it a bit more. Ask questions that force candidates to demonstrate their skills, rather than just describe them. If the job requires close attention to detail, show them a picture and ask them to identify certain elements. The same applies to when you talk to a candidate’s references. Don’t just ask the standard questions, also include ones that give insight into their personality and values.

Find out what matters to them

Knowing what is important to a person will give you a clear indication of their values. Asking value-based questions, with no right or wrong answers, can help you decide if a candidate has the right personality for the position.

Change the script

It is easy for a candidate to prepare for an interview if they know what the questions will be. Obviously, there are certain areas that needed to be covered but it is also essential to throw in a few surprises. Ask unexpected questions to gain insight into a candidate’s thought processes, and to give them the opportunity to demonstrate how they think on their feet.

Watch the body language

Body language is as insightful as words. Observing a candidate’s reactions to certain questions can tell you a lot about them. Take note of the questions that excite them and the ones that make them uneasy.

Embrace diversity

When looking for an employee who will be a good fit, it is important to consider cultural add.  Focusing exclusively on cultural fit, and ignoring cultural add, can lead to stagnation in the workplace. When judging a candidate you need to look deeper than your company culture, you also need to assess what they bring to the table. New ideas and innovation are often driven by cultural add.

Never ignore your instincts

If you’ve correctly identified what you’re looking for in a candidate, then you need to trust your instincts when you make your choice. If you don’t feel that a candidate is a good fit, then explore the reasons for your apprehension and if they are valid, then go with your gut.

Hiring a new employee can be stressful. You’re not just employing them to do a job, you’re also inviting them to be a part of your team. It is important to take the time and make the effort to find the right fit.


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Use Job Analysis During a Hire to Find Talent-Environment Fit

Hiring competent and qualified employees has never been easier than today, with the Internet, an increasing availability of assessment and competency frameworks or models, and more and more ways to validate what goes into good work.

However, while many companies are increasingly focusing on ensuring that employees display the behaviors and competencies contributing to producing quality work or high performance, fewer are using job analysis to match employees to company culture.

Employee turnover remains one of the costliest aspects of employee management but using job analysis during the hiring process to match employees to culture will greatly reduce it.

This starts with being able to articulate what your company culture and environment is, and validating that assessment. Then, your ability to hire based on environment and shared values will greatly increase long-term employee retention and therefore drive the costs of hiring and re-hiring down.

Defining Your Culture and Environment

Every organization has a company culture. It’s often a mix of values, ethics, work environment, expectations, and how people work. You often cannot deliberately choose your culture, but you can work to influence it and create a culture that better reflects organizational ideals and methods.

The organization should define company culture, align it with the company’s vision and goals, and work to restructure or change it where necessary. Your culture should be aligned with company actions, strategy, decision-making, and communication, because work must support cultural beliefs, or your cultural beliefs don’t reflect your real culture.

You can also take the time to define why this is your culture. Sometimes the why is because it simply happened. Other times, you carefully nurture company culture to create a good work environment where people, productivity, and innovation are at the forefront.

Going Beyond Person-Job Fit

Most HR assessment tools are used to match a person to a role, matching their hard and soft skills as well as behavioral patterns to those mapped as essential in the role.

While this is very helpful in choosing someone, who can be competent and productive in the role, it says nothing about their ability to be happy and to contribute inside the organization.

Mapping HR assessment to company culture allows you to assess whether a person’s beliefs, values, and ethics align with that of the organization and whether you can contribute to each other.

This will tie in well with behaviors and beliefs already mapped by existing HR assessment tools, you primarily just have to map them to your organization as well as to the role.

In some cases, you can achieve this by using broad organizational-level competency frameworks defining the beliefs and behaviors everyone in your organization should share, in others, you can look for specific patterns of behavior indicating a good cultural fit.

Employees who can step into an organization that already shares their work values, moral and ethical concerns, and who mesh well with the existing structure are more satisfied with their job, more able to contribute and work productively, and more likely to stay with the organization for the long-term.

While any employee retention will naturally tie into development, growth opportunities, and long-term organizational growth and management, hiring for a good cultural and environmental fit gives you more opportunities to retain employees because individuals mesh with their environment, get along with employees, and are able to contribute in multiple ways to the company’s culture and output.


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7 ways to build a company that attracts top talent

The competition for top experts is getting more intense as global communications simplify international job searches, so companies have to work harder than ever to recruit the most talented individuals. To consistently attract high-value candidates, employers need to think strategically and apply proactive measures aimed at improving company image in the eyes of the public.

The following factors can help you attract and retain top talent, regardless of which industry you might be active.

7 ways to attract top talent

Offer a competitive financial package

Of course, good salaries are the strongest argument that often turns out to be decisive. However, the size of the paycheck is not the only relevant detail, since employees expect timely payments and appreciate bonuses and other benefits.

Recognize hard work

Companies that run an internal rewards and recognition program can inspire loyalty among the workforce, especially among the top performers who are likely to receive the accolades. It’s essential that the program is operated in a fair and transparent manner for best effects on motivation.

Hire for a smart workplace

Having a super-connected office full of latest technologies will make your offer more attractive to the younger candidates. If your PR department manages to get a few photos of this high-tech environment publicized in local print, you won’t lack in job applications in the near future.

Foster strong corporate culture

This factor includes both the external image of the company and its internal communications. Strong brands have a distinct identity and it doesn’t take long for newcomers to feel they are a part of something bigger. Employees are even ready to take 12% cut to their salary for working with a top brand.

Have a clear and coherent recruitment strategy

Numerous employers check all the boxes we listed, but fail to communicate this fact to the general public. The best way to avoid this trap is to formulate a sound recruitment strategy and identify priority target groups, followed by focused communication that highlights company strengths.

Provide continuous education

Frequently sending your employees to industry events and business seminars is a great way to infuse new knowledge into the company and keep employees happy at the same time. This will also position you as an innovator that values progressive thinking, providing a secondary boost to recruitment.

Practice promotion from within

When a large part of your top management originated from the lower levels of the company, this sends a strong message about the principles used to select the leaders.  Up and coming experts will be more likely to join if they perceive their career growth chances as wide open.

All of the techniques above should be integrated into long-term strategy and executed with a high level of professionalism to win the hearts and minds of young professionals with great potential, as well as experienced veterans of the trade. Successful implementation of the plan will leave your company well stocked with premium talent and capable of expanding its market positions and revenue streams.


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