Spotlight for Recruiting ProfessionalsAugust 7, 2013by Sue Keever Watts
Flexible. Strong Communicator. Leader. Team player. Problem solver.
Do any of these competencies sound familiar? That’s because almost every organization lists two or more of these as attributes of a successful employee. It begs the question: If an organization goes to great lengths to differentiate itself from its competitors, why do they hire the same people?
You’re not just looking for top talent. You’re looking for uniquely talented graduates who can help your company achieve its objectives. There’s a big difference. It takes some work to peel back the onion and figure out which competencies are aligned with your company’s mission and brand. But it’s worth the effort.
A competency or attribute is different from a skill. Skills are acquired or learned and are typically what you’ll find on a student’s resume (degree, coursework, and more). Competencies are best described as behaviors or abilities. When an employee fails, more often than not, it’s because he or she doesn’t exhibit the behaviors needed to be successful.
When developing interview questions, start by creating a list of competencies, but don't end there. You have to understand the behaviors that make up that competency.
Here’s an example of how the same competency can mean something quite different based on the mission and brand of the company. If, for example, a retailer and a package delivery firm were looking to hire sales associates, they may look for the same competency, however, the behaviors they would target would be dissimilar.
Package Delivery Firm
To determine both the competencies and the behavior that are unique to your organization, I recommend the following:
Sue Keever Watts is founder and president of the Keever Group.
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