The world of hiring has evolved drastically, including the metrics we use to recruit. While we once hired primarily on merit, we’ve found that this doesn’t always indicate how well a candidate will perform in a role. Companies are now starting to hire based on competencies rather than qualifications.
Competencies are behaviors that define how candidates exercise their skill sets. Using competency-based assessments as a part of the hiring process can provide applicants with an opportunity to showcase their skills outside of their resume.
Here are four reasons why you should adapt a competency-based hiring system:
1) More objectivity in the selection process
Evaluating and scoring applicants on specified criteria can provide a more objective view on their performance. Recruiters can get a clear idea of how a person will perform in a role while also helping the applicant understand the nature of the job. Hiring assessments can also point out the strengths and weaknesses of potential hires.
2) Reduces implicit bias
Assessing candidates for specific skills makes the hiring process more fair. Hiring based on competency means that people from different age groups and backgrounds can apply as long as they are the right fit for the job. This can make room for a more diverse workplace.
3) Improves recruitment strategy
Competency-based hiring is proven to have better outcomes, as the decision-making is more strategic and less reliant on gut instinct. It also increases the quality of hire and reduces time-to-hire, as you don’t waste resources interviewing unqualified candidates.
4) Candidate competency mapping
Hiring assessments have an impact beyond the selection process. When you analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates, you can identify where to train them and how they can contribute to your organizational growth. This way, you can map out an entire career journey for the candidate.
Implementing a competency-based hiring approach
Understanding the requirements
Before setting out to recruit new candidates, it’s important to determine the resources and skills you need for the team. We recommend mapping out all the skills that the role requires and specifying which of these are “must haves” and what can be learned on the job.
Writing the job description
The job description should specify the qualities that you are looking for instead of the qualifications. When you pinpoint the required and preferred skill sets, candidates know which experiences and traits to highlight so their application stands out.
Once you are clear about the general qualities you are looking for, we suggest ranking them from most to least important. You could also analyze the skill sets of top performing employees to prioritize the ideal attributes.
Screening assessments allow you to test hard and soft skills. Remember that a good hire should also be a good fit with the company’s culture. We recommend asking open-ended questions and considering one-way video interviews, as they are a great way to assess the candidate’s communication skills and personality.
Follow best practices
Help candidates prepare by sharing the time commitment for each assessment, and be sure to consistently score applicants against your benchmarks. This way, you treat each candidate equally. Most importantly, we suggest ensuring that your tests are compatible with all browsers and devices.
Enhancing the hiring process
By applying competency-based hiring strategies along with your own HR expertise, you can make more objective decisions and bring on high quality employees. Zoho Recruit provides four types of assessments that can help you get an overview of the candidate’s fit for the job and environment. You can also create your own assessments, rate and rank candidates, and analyze the results to prepare for the interview.