Should we recruit for character over competence?
We are constantly bombarded with articles that dramatically tell us there is a skills shortage in the UK but if we are honest, has that made us change the way that we recruit for new talent? The standard cv based recruitment model is very much designed to hunt out specific skills that the organisation believes it requires. If you’ve ever asked any of the following questions in an interview, you will know what I mean:
- Describe a time where you have ….
- Give me an example of where you have delivered x project….
- What steps have you taken to ensure the success of …..
All the above examples are designed to tease out directly equivalent experience at previous companies. So, in effect, we are looking for more of the same. But what if that is not always possible to find?
Recruiting for character.
I read the attached article with interest. In it the author defines character and social competence as the key critical recruitment criteria. How the employee works becomes as important as what they deliver:
- Can they influence people especially where there is no line management responsibility?
- Can they see beyond what is already there to deliver the solutions of the future?
- Do they treat colleagues with respect?
- Are they passionate about what they do?
- Does their life outside of work align to how they work inside the organisation?
So in essence, are you getting someone with the correct mindset who is trainable rather than just recruiting someone to do what they’ve already done. The former example may take time to train but will contribute to the long term growth of the organisation. The latter example will do what they’ve always done and could get bored easily.
How do we achieve this change?
Clearly some level of capability is required. You probably aren’t going to unleash someone with no IT experience on your precious systems after all. However, if we can’t recruit what we need, looking at character in line with experience may unleash hitherto unrealised potential. It will require a change in how roles are advertised and assessed but it is achievable. Contact us on 07908 875146 if you’d like to discuss this further. For more information on how we can help you with your recruitment needs, click here.