How to Hire Great People: Using a competency-based approach to recruit right

When you are looking for new talent for your team it can be a challenge to get a real insight into how the “good on paper” candidates will perform on the job and how well they will fit into your team dynamic.    Whether they are on-shore or off-shore, if you can keep the focus on competencies you will be more likely to hire the right person for the role.  It will take the guesswork out of your recruitment game, it’s fairer on all candidates and helps you to build a cohesive team. What’s not to like? 

So, what exactly is competency-based hiring?

In a nutshell it means putting less emphasis on the fancy resume, the snazzy job titles and previous employer details.  Instead you keep a sharp focus on  the specific skills and qualities needed for the job. Think technical skills like coding or soft skills like communication and problem-solving.  The recruitment process becomes about the candidates making a compelling case that they have got what it takes to do the job. 

How to embed it with your next recruitment process

1. Spot the Key Competencies

Start by figuring out what skills are essential for the role. Chat with your team, managers, and anyone else who knows what it takes to succeed in the job.

2. Ask the Right Questions

Forget those boring, hypothetical questions. Get real with it! Ask candidates about past experiences that showcase their skills. Like, “Tell me about a time when you nailed a team project.”

3. Try Some Fun Assessments

Spice things up with assessments tailored to test specific skills. Throw in some skill tests or mini-projects to see what candidates can really do.

4. Keep it Fair and Square

Set clear criteria for evaluation to keep things fair for everyone. This way, you avoid any bias and make sure everyone gets a fair shot.

5. Stick to the Script

Keep your interviews structured. Use the same set of questions for each candidate so you can compare apples to apples.

6. Check the Vibes

Skills are important, but so is fitting in with the team. Look for candidates whose vibe matches your company culture.


Recruiting the right people is one of the most critical factors for your business. So why not give competency-based hiring a whirl next time you are growing your team?

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