May 8, 2023

Competencies: Focusing on What You Know, Not Who You Know

In the past, a resume was a one-size-fits-all document that could be used to apply for any job. But in recent years, there have been a number of changes that have made resumes less effective. From the rise of AI to the increased use of applicant tracking systems (ATS), generic resumes are giving way to a new way of recruiting that’s based on what candidates have the potential to do, not just what they’ve already done: enter competency-based hiring, the future of work alternative.

What Are Competencies?
Competencies are the skills, knowledge, and behaviors that are necessary to be successful in a particular job.
They can be hard skills, such as proficiency in a certain software program, or soft skills, such as communication and teamwork. Hiring someone based on their abilities and potential rather than their past education or experiences is becoming increasingly valuable as the very nature of work is broadened to problem-solving, achievable outcomes, and value creation.

Why Use Competencies?
There are a number of reasons why competency-based hiring is becoming more important. First, competencies enable employers to identify workers with transferable talents. 70% of competencies are transferable across industries, but resumes only focus on credentials and experience of a candidate built in a single job function. They provide little context about how their experience is transferable to other job categories. In contrast, Claira’s platform provides a translatable framework for understanding how past experiences can predict future performance.

Second, the workforce is becoming more diverse. Employees come from all walks of life and have different backgrounds and experiences. Competency-based hiring allows employers to find the best employees, regardless of their background, as many employers are beginning to realize that the best employees are not always those with the most impressive resumes. In 2003, a landmark study found that non-white sounding names were 50% less likely to hear back from employers; now, nearly 20 years later, Bloomberg found that job applicants with “black names” are still less likely to get an interview callback. Competencies are a way to level the playing field that can increase retention and diversity. 

Finally, competency-based hiring is more efficient. The traditional hiring process is often long and drawn out; competency-based hiring can help employers find the right employees quickly and conveniently. According to Deloitte, early adopters of this new approach achieve better business results than those with job-based practices. Organizations that recruit and hire using this model are 107% more likely to place talent effectively, 98% more likely to retain high performers, and 57% more likely to anticipate change and respond effectively and efficiently

How Claira Helps
Our founder and CEO, Katie Hall, was one of the panelists who spoke on workforce upskilling at this year's From Day One Atlanta 2023 Conference, where she discussed how quantifying competencies can give organizations an edge in navigating an unpredictable world. 

In developing a workforce, abilities aren’t always easy to evaluate, much less those that will be needed in the future. By combining machine learning and market data to analyze an employee’s strengths and weaknesses, Claira’s platform can generate a people-centric competency map that enables leaders to visualize their team’s capabilities and identify gaps and growth opportunities

These data-driven insights can also reduce bias and unconscious subjectivity that often impacts the hiring process, speed up the time-to-hire, and increase diversity. By focusing on competencies, organizations that invest in their internal talent marketplace will be able to meet ever-evolving business needs and outperform their competitors.

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Don’t talk about it. Be about it! Take the next step to building a competency-based workforce, making job descriptions and resumes obsolete.
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