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Competence-Based Hires: A ‘C’-Change For Staffing Or Micro Fad? by Gary Goldsmith

17 Jul 2019 9:36 AM | Emma (Administrator)

What will the next revolution of staffing be? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts but, as far as I’m concerned, it’s hiring on competency. 

More and more companies are choosing candidates based solely on their ability to learn. But is the rise of competency-based hiring a micro fad, or is it the direction of recruitment as a whole?

Here’s why I think it’s got legs….

No more role requirements

Employers are increasingly prioritising a candidate’s “gift” or “knack” over skills, experience and qualifications. And it’s going to build faster and stronger teams. 

Don’t get me wrong, business owners will always want the option of best-in-class quick fixes, especially when going out for contractors.The freedom of hiring people who take full accountability can never be underappreciated. 

But replacing role requirements with character preferences is the best way to secure top talent. I mean, ‘Must have worked with .NET for two years’ sounds closer to a theme park ride restriction than a measure of ability to cut code. Bin it.

Changing client expectations

Clients want candidates who demonstrate aptitude. The skills gap is placing pressure on businesses to grow talent in-house, and with such strict restrictions on hiring, it’s easy to see how tech wages have skyrocketed.

Should competence-based hiring turn out to be more than a fad, start-ups will get wise to the shift. Needing to be resourceful, they’ll consult recruiters that are conscious of emerging talent – talent just shy of the credentials to succeed currently.

I’m even seeing signs of a C-change in my home for God’s sake… My daughter will soon be off to university, and I’ve stressed that by the time she’s seeking employment, most organisations will look at her range, scope, agility and overall value – not experience. 

The linear career path is dead. Long live multiple roles and varied promotional trajectories! That’s if permanent jobs even exist as they do today, considering the impending world of agile workforces and contract-first employee models.

Shift towards humanist industries

Lastly (the biggest argument for the competence-based hire), we’re prioritising human-focused practices more and more. Let’s be honest, a number of roles associated with post-graduates today will be replaced by automated processes. That’s ignoring the retail and factory positions which will soon become obsolete.

So, it should surprise no one that, in a world where automation threatens manual workers, the value of human-focused vocations will increase. It’s starting already at university level. Psychology is currently ranked as the 57thmost useful degree, but in 2024 it’s predicted to be 5th (hence why my daughter will be reading it)! 

The schools are preparing for this; we’re seeing more and more classes across Europe based around self-developmentin order to help develop competencies. The latest generation of workers are being made aware of the skills gap, and a shift to competency willundoubtedlybenefit them.

Personally, I don’t think you can deny that this is more than some micro-fad… Soon, word searches won’t work. Tech checks will be subjective. So, my questions are:

Are you seeing it? 

Do you know anyone implementing competency-based hiring and found it to work?

And are any of your recruiters (internal or external) considering this approach? 

I really want to hear people’s opinions on this. RDLC is always looking for recruitment business leaders innovating in the sector. Give your standpoint in the comments, email gg@reccelerated.com or visit the RDLC website.

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