the most important parts of the selection process has for long
been the development of a clear specification upon which the
selection activity is based.
• Human Resource Planning
COMPETENCIES AND HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Pay and reward
and job design
• Performance Management
A competency-based appraisal system takes a balance view of
overall performance and will typically involve:
• Setting targets for the role either in terms of specific projects or
objectives, or other measurable dimensions of performance, such
as volume of out put or customers served or sales achieved
• Behavioral descriptions of the standards expected in fulfilling the
role, ie the competencies, which are expressed as agreed
statements of behavior at both ‘expected’ and ‘advance’ level
• A development plan arising from the first two elements specifying
any training or other development activities required to support
the employee in achieving the targets and competencies
• A system of periodic review at quarterly or six-monthly intervals
leading to an annual appraisal of performance against the targets
and sustained achievement of the required competencies.
PORTER AND LAWLER’s MOTIVATIONAL MODEL FOR PAY
• Training and Development
• Build up a very robust analysis of individual training needs
from the performance management process.
• Using the framework of competencies, it is also possible to
see where the training and development investment is likely
to yield the greatest return.
• Natural competencies (ie the deep-seated underlying
personal characteristics) are less receptive to training and
development interventions, and expenditure in such an area
can be regarded as extravagant.
• Similarly, in looking at whether the ‘deficiencies’ are in the
acquired or adapting competencies, it is possible to see
whether they would be better served through education (for
acquired) or training and development (for adapting).
it is important that integration takes place and that:
• Selection of people into the organization is tied into the needs of
• The induction and development of people is built around such
demands for the role and their compatibility with it
• Pay creates the connectivity between the needs of the business and
the values and expectations of the workforce
• The requirements of the role are clearly explained to those
• Insights into those people are clearly conveyed to those responsible
for managing them.
Organizations face a choice on whether to resource the recruitment
and selection function internally or externally. Where outsourcing
occurs, it generally takes one of two forms:
• Using and external agency to undertaken all the functions expected
of an internal recruitment and selection department
• Contracting-out individual assignments as required.
The key considerations will therefore be:
• Is there likely to be sufficient frequency or volume of recruitment
and selection to justify an in-house functions?
• Can the organization afford the salaries of a skilled team or the
training expenditure to bring generalist staff up to speed?
• Are there any sensitivities or information about the organization
which need to be closely guarded?
• Recruitment consultants
• Registers were traditionally restricted to temporary agencies an(and
similar) maintaining a database of candidates sourced primarily from their
• Selection consultants may be assigned to a specific project, eg specialist
managers or professional staff, and will work with the client to take (or
help develop) a clear brief of the candidates, make all the necessary
arrangements for advertising, receive applications and screen then on
behalf of the client, and provide the client with a shortlist of
recommended candidates, usually accompanied by a report on each.
• Search consultants operates differently from selection consultants
(although many provide both kinds of service) in that selection
consultants aim to hold out the job as an attraction for suitably qualified
people to apply, while search consultants actively seek out those people
with a view to persuading them to work for their client.
In particular, check while selecting consultant:
• That the consultant will undertake to prepare a detailed specification to
form the basis of the selection assignment and which will be agreed with
• Recruitment consultants
• That guarantees are provided on time-scales, with penalties if
• That all elements of decision-making, including screening
applications and interviewing will be undertaken by the consultant
rather than “delegated’ to junior untrained staff
• That all candidates will be treated courteously, paying particular
regard to the acknowledgement of applications, advice on progress,
and promptly notified of decisions
• That all ethical and legal requirements are fulfilled and the client is
indemnified for any liability incurred
• That proper methods are used to make the selection, including the
use of structured interviews, tests, and other techniques
• That they undertakes not to ‘poach’ appointed people at a later
stage, or in any other way breach the confidence or trust of the
• Whether they will undertake all appropriate checks such as
references and verifying certificates and qualifications claimed.
Personal qualities and attributes which are inherent in the person’s character,
not easily changed, and pertinent to good work performance. Does the person
need to be creative, or resilient, or be able to follow detail and routine, or be
‘good with people’?
Experience, whether of a particular industry or type of work, or dealing with
certain types of customer, etc.
Record of achievement or evidence that the potential has been applied and
realized, eg projects completed or sales achieved.
Skills or qualifications needed to perform the role. Some roles may necessitate
certain qualifications, eg law or accountancy, perhaps as a statutory
requirement, others may have a specific requirement, eg driving license, or
qualifications may be used as a guide, eg degree level.
Organization-match, which may cover the fit with the style and culture of the
organization if it is significant (perhaps very ‘laid back’ and informal or perhaps
very formal and bureaucratic) but more usually aspects such as shift work or
Needs and expectations of the candidates, what does the organization
require?, eg someone looking for a long-term career, someone looking for a
short-term fill-in, someone wanting routine or someone seeking new
• Using Competencies
Things that a person who works In a given occupational area should be
able to do. Each one is an action, behavior or outcome that the person
should be able to demonstrate.
The training Agency, Definition of competences and
performance criteria, 1988
Those characteristics that differentiate superior from average and
poor performance…. Motives, traits skill, aspects of one’s self-image
or social role, or body of knowledge.
Richard Boyatzis, The Competent Manager, 1982
• Competency Framework
• Emotional stability
• Openness to experience.
The acquired cluster would include knowledge and skills, whether achieved through
work or elsewhere, with which people are not naturally gifted.
The adapting cluster forms the critical set which enables the individual to succeed In
his or her work environment. All too often people in a new position fail to
continue their previous tract record of success.
The performing cluster consists of the observable behaviors and outputs that flow
from the other three clusters. A framework showing how all these clusters fir
• Overcoming criticisms
Cloning, the criticism aimed at the competency approach generally,
and MCI specifically, about defining a single, prescribed way of
operating is overcome by recognizing the adapting elements. Using
Kiron’s Adaptive-Innovative scale, which places people on a continuum
ranging from highly-adaptive to highly-innovative, such adaption can
extend to completely new management approaches and ideas.
Know-how, there is an argument that in some roles or occupations,
what the person does is more observable but less important than how
they do it or what they know. In such situations greater weight can be
applied to the acquired and adapting clusters
Personally, over-emphasis on observable behavior ignores the
personal characteristics necessary for success. Behavior can be
transient and is sometimes more a reflection of the environment than
the person, although important for gauging current success it is not a
reliable predictor of future success in a different arena. Recognizing
the importance of the natural cluster provides the appropriate
• Competency-based person-specifications
TECHNIQUES TO CHECK FOR DIFFERENT COMPETENCE
Screen Test Interview Exercise