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Benefits of selection by competencies and how to implement it

Each selection process is different. When we look for a new employee for a simple position in the organization, the procedure is usually quite standardized, but the situation is radically different if what we need is a person who occupies a key position.

As is logical, the recruitment of a leader for the financial department of the company is much more complex than the search for a candidate for the administration area. It is in the first case when the selection by skills It will help us find the right person.

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What is competency selection and why is it so important?

Although the experience of the candidates is always a factor to take into account, in this type of selection we will prioritize their professional skills. To understand it better, it is worth clarifying a series of concepts:

  • Competence: Professional competence is the set of skills, knowledge and aptitudes that are necessary to carry out a certain job.
  • Ability: It is made up of knowledge and attitudes that allow the development of a work activity. Skills can be hard or soft (hard skills and soft skills). 
  • Ability: it is a predisposition or a potential with respect to an ability.

Let's imagine a salesperson who has a highly developed soft skill of flexibility. This indicates that you have the capacity to assume new responsibilities within your work team. The sum of that skill and capacity, together with other knowledge and skills that are necessary to fill the job we are talking about, result in professional competence.

Competency selection has become so important because it allows us to be aware of what the subject's skills and abilities are, now and later. What are you capable of doing today, and what could you do in the future if you stay with the organization?

Benefits of selection by competencies

Allows you to find the perfect candidate for each position

We know that the selection process is extremely delicate and complex. And it becomes more difficult the more technical the position to cover. Luckily, selection by skills is a very useful tool to ensure that the person chosen is really the right one, because it allows us to get to know the candidate better before hiring him.

Predict future performance

It is not that this form of recruitment is an Oracle, far from it, but it allows us to glimpse the potential that the candidate has and, based on this, we can predict how it will perform in the future. 

Makes it easy to meet the worker

Through the competency interview you get to know the applicants in greater depth than when the selection is made in the traditional style. As we said before, we are going to know your abilities, your skills, and the abilities that make up your job profile. In fact, a well-constructed interview will allow us to better understand the personality behind all that set of professional skills.

kill the bias

Cognitive biases continue to be a barrier in personnel selection, causing the recruiter's subjective appreciation of a certain group or type of person hinder access to employment of this.

Selection by competencies advocates center only objective and measurable aspects, leaving aside the personal, social or demographic conditions of the candidates. In this way, progress continues towards diversity in the company.

Improve the candidate experience

Competitive selection is much more dedicated than traditional-style recruiting. For many candidates, it is a complete novelty, and this makes them feel more valued by the company, improving your experience.

In fact, this type of recruitment is a guarantee that the hired candidate will feel more integrated from the first moment and You will be more motivated to do your best in your new position.

Provide feedback

Something can be extracted from all the selection processes that will help the Human Resources team to continue improving in this part of their work. However, when the system used is the selection by competencies, the feedback obtained from all the applicants is essential to go increasing the efficiency of the process.

How to implement selection by competencies

Define the competencies that are necessary

To achieve success, you must first be clear about the goals you want to achieve. When we talk about selection by competencies, if we want it to be successful, we must first be clear about the competencies that we are going to look for in the candidates.

They must be closely linked to the responsibilities and tasks of the position. If it is a new position in the company, we can start from those that we know are requested in similar positions.

In any case, the powers must be classified into critical and desirable. The former are absolutely necessary for the position. If a candidate does not have them, we will discard them. The second are optional. If the candidate has them, much better, but if he lacks them, nothing happens either, as long as he has all the critical skills and his profile fits well both in the position and in the company.

Use killer questions

The curricular screening is the first phase in the selection by competencies. through her we eliminate all candidates who lack critical competencies that are absolutely necessary for the position.

Typically, this screening process significantly reduces the number of applicants, since there is a very high percentage of people who send their CVs to try their luck, even though they know that they do not fully fit the profile that the company is looking for.

Another way to quickly and easily screen candidates is to use killer questions. Is about simple questions about the candidate's profile, their experience, their training, their expectations, etc. They can be done at the time of sending the CV, and allow you to quickly detect who should continue in the process and who should be discarded.

Some examples of killer questions are:

  • What is your level of spoken English? And we provide different response options.
  • What is your salary band?
  • Why do you think you are a good candidate for this position?

Assessment of skills

At this point, the profiles that do not fit the position have been discarded, and now the work must be much more meticulous in order to analyze the suitability of each of the candidates.

We then move on to the interview and testing phase. In some companies the interviews are carried out first and then the tests, while in others they choose to do just the opposite.

Actually, the order of the factors does not affect the product, and it is advisable to do both.

In the case of the interview, this must also be a competency-based interview, focused on analyze candidate behavior. It is assumed that the person who is sitting in front of you has already shown that his profile more or less conforms to what was sought, now it is time to get to know that person in a little more detail and detect strengths and weaknesses that could affect your performance at work.

The main objective of this test is know how the candidate deals with changes and challenges that may arise in the day-to-day work, to check if it is flexible and can be adapted quickly and safely.

After the interview (or before) a series of tests of a more technical nature. For example, a test to measure the level of languages, a group dynamic to evaluate skills such as teamwork or leadership, to better understand the subject's personality, etc.

The evaluation of competences within the company

It is wise to examine the skills of the candidates who can become part of the staff. But, what happens with the personnel that already works in the company?

Workers also have a number of job skills and lack others, and in both cases it is important to know them. For this reason, it is advisable to carry out an internal evaluation of competences, to determine what the starting point is.

In fact, taking the trouble to carry out this evaluation can be very useful when defining the skills that we are going to look for in future workers.

On the other hand, proper management of the staff's skills helps implement processes that have a positive impact on productivity. To achieve this you have to:

  • Create and categorize competencies and sub-competencies that are necessary for work in that company and that are aligned with its culture.
  • Know the weaknesses and strengths of workers. This will allow you to better measure your performance and make decisions about internal promotion, training needs, etc.

Selection by competencies makes the recruitment process more effective and ensures that the company can count on the talent it needs. On the other hand, we cannot forget that these skills must not be left aside once the position has been filled, since it is essential for the company to be aware of which skills its employees have and which ones do not, since here it can be the key to developing a competitive advantage.

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