We have a tendency as managers and leaders to recruit and hire for positions based on competencies tied to tasks found in a job description. Are those competencies in your description truly connected to what it takes to be successful in a position? Human Resource professionals have a tendency to focus on tangible tasks (i.e., completing reports or reviews, giving presentations, overseeing a program, supervising employees). But are these tasks illustrative of what you're looking for in a top performer or tied to your overall organizational strategy?
What if we looked at flexible thinking, facilitation, collaboration, pivot ability, building relationships, strategic networking, influencing or negotiating as desirable competencies for success? So do these competencies really make a difference? Let's take a look:
Flexible thinking - this is being able to switch gears easily, handle a crisis without falling apart, and look at differing points in a positive light. Employees who are flexible can come up with solutions quickly and not get stuck in rigid processes.
Facilitation - continuing the flow of conversation, ideas, thoughts and processes. Employees who can facilitate meetings or tough conversations encourage productive solutions.
Collaboration - Tim Clark says it best, "Collaboration moves beyond the power of one to the power of team." Collaboration encourages a sharing of ideas and solutions, improves morale and enthusiasm, builds trust, avoids miscommunication and generally results in better outcomes.
Pivot ability - the ability to "pivot" or move quickly is important. Agile leaders don't become defensive when faced with adverse conditions and move with speed and a calmness. We've all heard the phrase "analysis by paralysis" and there is no place for that in today's business decisions.
Building Relationships - building upon both formal and informal relationships, sharing information, and soliciting advice allows you to create partnerships which can benefit the organization and your employees. When Randy Newman sings, "You've Got a Friend in Me", he was definitely on to something.
Strategic Networking - this is not about being selfish and building your own network. It's about learning from others, building rapport, valuing feedback, gaining insight, and sharing resources and information. It's about partnering.
Influencing - being able to convince or persuade other to accept an outcome takes time, energy and tact. If done right, this competency can be invaluable saving the company time, money and headache. Influence can only be effective if the leader or employee is credible, transparent and honest.
Negotiating - exploring alternatives and positions to reach outcomes that gain support and acceptance. This competency requires information sharing, ongoing dialogue, active listening, and facilitation. By possessing this competency, one can reduce conflict and often achieve better agreements or outcomes.
The above are just a few examples of taking a more critical look at competencies to achieve better hiring outcomes.