Wednesday 27 July 2011

Using Situational Questions in Interviewing

Situational questions ask the candidate to provide information on how they would deal with job-related situations that are typical of the kinds of circumstances the candidate is likely to encounter on the job. They are designed to gather information on the types of skills and qualifications required to perform in these job-related situations. Often these situations or scenarios are taken directly from the job. For example:“If you were approached by a colleague for help in creating the budget for your department, what would you do?”

The purpose of this type of question is to get an appreciation of how the candidate is likely to deal with job-related situations and problems. This type of questioning strategy establishes whether the candidate knows how to deal appropriately with the situation presented. An often-cited disadvantage of this technique is that while candidates may know how to respond appropriately to the various scenarios presented, there is no guarantee that they will behave this way once on the job. It is advisable, therefore, to use this questioning technique in combination with other approaches.

This post is based on content from 'Effective Interviewing' by Human Resource Systems Group, Ltd.

Monday 25 July 2011

The Benefits of Competency-based Management

There can be no question that, while it takes effort and time to determine the competencies for an organization, the rewards are worth it. Less time will be spent dealing with human resource issues and more time devoted to the operational mandate of the organization. Training will be timely and effective. Performance effectiveness can be measured for both employees and programs. Make no mistake that the task is an easy one. All staff from management to employee must accept that the descriptions are valid for their positions and that they adequately reflect their job. Everyone must also see the benefits of such a program for them personally. So while it may be easy to articulate a few of the obvious competencies, determining all of them and the subsequent implementation will require skilled practitioners if the process is to be successful.

A competency-based system, while relatively easy to see at a surface level, requires considerable experience, human resource knowledge on a broad level and an understanding of the psychology of the work place to implement effectively. Just as with Total Quality Management and Management by Objective, the implementation requires knowledgeable people to both implement and manage a successful competency-based program.

This post is based on content from 'Competencies: The Core of Human Resource Management' by Suzanne Simpson

Thursday 21 July 2011

Competency-based Interviewing

A common challenge identified by hiring managers is identifying what to evaluate in an interview in order to hire the right individual for the job. One way to address this is to use competency-based, or behaviour-based interviewing. The purpose of the competency-based interviewing is to reliably gather as much job-related information as possible to make a valid evaluation of the candidate’s ability to perform on the job. There are three basic types of questions that are historically used in the context of a Selection Interview.
  • the Job Knowledge question
  • the Situational question
  • the Behavioural question
Job knowledge questions most often deal with the technical or professional knowledge required to effectively perform the duties of the job. Often they can be effectively assessed through knowledge tests or work sample exercises which simulate the type of work done on the job. The advantage of asking these types of questions in the interview, however, is that the interviewer can ask follow-up questions to seek clarification and probe more deeply into the answers given.

The primary responsibility of the interviewer is to collect behavioural information about the candidate’s experiences and accomplishments that relate to the target job so that the best selection decision can be made. The interviewer seeks job-related information by using “competencies.” Establishing the competencies required for successful performance of the job is the first and most fundamental step in developing a good selection strategy.

The skills and competencies required for effective performance will vary depending on the job and whether the position has managerial or supervisory responsibilities. Examples of some common competencies often interviewed for are: Adaptability, Decision Making, Planning and Organizing, Client Focus, Communication, Relationship Building, Work Ethics and Values, Initiative, Teamwork, and, Problem Solving.

This post is based on content from 'Effective Interviewing' by Human Resource Systems Group, Ltd."

Tuesday 12 July 2011

Competencies: The Core of Human Resource Management'

To see the value of a competency-based system, one only needs to consider that a list of scientifically determined knowledge, skills and abilities are defined for each and every job or family of jobs in an organization. These competencies include the knowledge requirements (such as a university degree or trade certificate), skill requirements (usually based on experience), responsibility requirements and the abilities (such as the ability to speak clearly and persuasively) required for the job. Once these are known, it is then possible to devise tools and implement practices based on the competencies to manage all aspects of the organization's human resources. When these are tied to the goals and objectives of the organization, as they must be, then all personnel regardless of their function are aligned to achieving those goals and objectives, and therefore, the likelihood of organizational success is greatly increased.

This post is based on content from 'Competencies: The Core of Human Resource Management' by Suzanne Simpson"

Wednesday 6 July 2011

What are Competencies?

Competencies in various forms have been in existence from the early 1960s and are at the moment enjoying a rediscovery. In and of themselves they are quite a simple concept. A competency is the knowledge, skills and abilities required to be successful in a job. Unfortunately, despite this relatively simple definition and obvious requirement for job success, the application of these ideas to all aspects of the management of people is difficult to grasp by both line trained managers and human resource personnel.

Competencies are related to the job, not the person. It is the requirements for the job that must be determined first. It is important to note that while we speak of a job, this is for the convenience of writing and not implementation. By this I mean that the definition applies to a group of jobs or a whole range of jobs. For example, airline pilots regardless of what aircraft they fly or what airline they fly for have similar job related knowledge, skills and abilities that are required to be successful in that job. Therefore for certain competencies, once determined, they can be applied to all pilots. An exaggerated example of this might be that an analysis determines that pilots must not be colour blind. Therefore, no pilot applicant that is colour blind can be hired. To ensure that this is universally applied there is means to determine that condition through recognized tests.

This post is based on content from Competencies: The Core of Human Resource Management, by Suzanne Simpson.