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Recruitment and selection by competency is a way of hiring candidates that go beyond traditional qualifications. Gone are the days when it was enough to have professionals who met the job requirements, focused solely on technical skills. With increasing competitiveness and a scramble for talent, companies need flexible, dynamic, and complex professionals who meet the challenges of the marketplace.

But to find these new contributors, applying technical testing is not enough. In the current scenario, HR needs to identify talents that have a competency profile that is in perfect harmony with company goals. These ideal professionals know exactly what to do, how to do it, and how to achieve results. And most importantly, they want to do their best in everything they do because they carry excellence in their DNA.


Today, you will understand how to attract and retain these professionals with the following content:


  • Recruitment definition and selection by competences

  • Difference between technical and behavioral skills

  • Advantages of this kind of selection

  • A practical guide to hiring for skills

  • Technologies for skills recruitment.


Do you want to add skills to your company? So read to the end.



What is recruitment and selection by skills


Recruitment and skills selection is a people management tool that personalizes hires. Unlike the traditional method that prioritizes qualifications, competency R&S is based on a more thorough analysis of the candidate's profile, which is chosen according to job demands. If once it was enough to prove the technical knowledge and skills, today there are several aspects valued in a candidate, which also include issues of personality and cognitive ability. To better understand this new approach to recruitment, we need to deepen the concept of competence.

In the context of Human Resources, the competency model addresses three main pillars represented by the acronym KSA:


  • Knowledge: know-how, know what to do

  • Skills: Know-How

  • Attitudes: Wanting to do.


Thus, the knowledge of the profession (knowledge) can be proven through tests and analysis of training. These technical skills are also called hard skills, while behavioral skills are called soft skills.

The results offered by the professionals are in the category of skills of the KSA model because it is not enough to know the theory deeply if the practical experience is lacking. Therefore, these three aspects guide the recruitment and selection by competences, allowing the identification of the most appropriate talents to the company's objectives. But it is important to be aware that being competent is not the same as having skills. A person may be competent when performing a task with a good performance, but the result is not always the rule. Also, each position and company needs specific skills, hence the importance of complex R&S analysis. The professional with the right skills is the one who has the right skills to turn his or her knowledge into results, consistent with the assigned tasks.


The shift from status-based hiring to competency-based recruitment is happening rapidly. Previously, companies were in a format of recruitment by credentials and titles, which was generating a skills shortage. Now the trend is for strategic HR to adopt recruitment and competency selection to choose candidates for what they are capable of offering - not just the curriculum.



Recruit for technical or behavioral skills?


As already mentioned, technical skills (hard skills) and behavioral skills (soft skills) must be combined to form the ideal professional profile. The 2018 Most Requested Hard Skills and Soft Skills Survey from LinkedIn brought together the key skills desired by recruiters.


In the field of hard skills, the champions were:


1. Cloud computing

2. Data Mining and Statistical Analysis

3. Software Integration

4. Information Architecture

5. UX / UI design

6. Version Control Systems

7. Data Presentation

8. SEO / SEM marketing

9. Mobile Development

10. Network and information security.


In the soft skills category, we have:


1. Leadership

2. Communication

3. Cooperation

4. Time management.


Of course, behavioral skills are often more difficult to measure, although proving IT hard skills is also challenging for HR. To this end, several methods assist in the assessment of cognitive and behavioral skills, as well as tools that facilitate technical testing.


Soft skills make a difference in making modern companies more dynamic, flexible and interconnected. While hard skills are the basic requirement, soft skills are differentials that improve talent retention, enhance leadership, and build a solid organizational culture. Therefore, recruitment and selection by competency should consider both types of skills, ensuring complete assessment methods.



Advantages of skills recruitment


There are numerous advantages to choosing competency recruitment to attract and retain exceptional talent.


Let's check some differentials of this methodology:


Assertiveness in hiring


Recruitment and selection by competency make selection processes more practical and objective, increasing the chances of choosing the ideal candidate for the job. By defining key job competencies, HR has a consistent framework for conducting interviews, tests, and assessments - saving time and effort.


Elimination of unconscious bias


Lack of diversity in hiring is a major problem in R&S, but competency orientation can eliminate this unconscious bias that favors some candidate profiles over others. Many recruiters do not even realize that they stop hiring diverse professionals because they are afraid of disagreement with teams, so competency R&S is a fairer method.


Turnover Reduction


Another important differential of recruitment and selection by competencies is the significant reduction in turnover, which is a direct reflection of the quality of hire. This is because this R&S method facilitates the cultural fit of candidates and increases success in on-boarding.



Recruitment and selection by skills: step by step


To conduct a skills recruitment and selection process, you need to follow some key steps.


Check it step by step:


1. Map the skills


First of all, you need to know exactly what skills are needed for the job. This information is obtained by mapping the company's skills gap, which identifies which skills are essential to achieving business objectives.


2. Create the candidate persona


Personas are semi-functional profiles that represent the ideal candidate for the job, bringing together characteristics such as personality, experience, training, hard skills and soft skills. The more accurate your persona, the more likely you are to find a candidate who fits the job perfectly.


3. Describe the vacancy in detail


When announcing a vacancy in recruitment and selection by competencies, you should focus on the most accurate and objective detail of requirements. The description may also include information about the company's culture, expected results, and opportunities for the candidate who fits the profile.


4. Evaluate hard skills and soft skills


The competency selection phase should evaluate the candidate in all areas, following the KSA model we saw earlier. To test hard skills, there are numerous options for technical tests, applications, challenges, and other formats that prove the candidate's knowledge and skill. In the case of soft skills, you can use the structured interview with subjective questions, open approaches, and critical incidents, which make the candidate freely talk about the issue.


5. Implement competency management


After hiring, you should continue the process of competency management, closely following the evolution of professionals. In this way, you can align efforts so that human competencies support the organization and drive its growth.



Technology in skills recruitment


All stages of competency recruitment can be facilitated by technology, which already offers unique HR tools. Data intelligence is at the heart of innovation as it enables HR professionals to automate countless recruitment and selection tasks. For example, an algorithm can easily do the job of the initial screening of resumes by filtering out the candidates that fit the required skills. When it comes to assessing technical skills, a game with missions and scoring can be a great way to test the candidate's skills. What about soft skills, how about starting your selection with a video curriculum that reveals the candidate's attitude? All of these technologies are now available to accelerate recruitment and competency selection, enabling HR to focus on strategic roles. And if you want even faster and more assertive results, you can count on talent marketplaces like Fischer & Partners.


Fischer & Partners’ corporate platform features only shortlisted candidates who have been tested with artificial intelligence, machine learning, and insightful analysis. With unique filters, you can find professionals by experience, expertise, availability, skills, and any trait you want. So if you want an agile, safe and accurate selection process, just profile your ideal candidate and use technology to your advantage in recruitment and selection by skills.


Register for free at Fischer & Partners and connect with the best professionals today.