This month, experts from Tripartite Alliance for Fair & Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) analyse the points to consider when identifying relevant skills and competencies for filling your next job vacancy.

Technological advancements, including mobile internet, automation and artificial intelligence, are reshaping the world we live and work in. They encourage greater innovation, enable alternative ways of working, and create new job opportunities. The growth of technology has also led to demand for new skills in jobs that did not exist 10 years ago.

Likewise, the process of recruiting has changed greatly over the years and continues to evolve as technology takes a giant leap forward. Gone were the days when organisations routinely used 'years of experience' as a significant component in their recruitment process. In today’s new world of work, we are forced to rethink our perspective on recruitment and selection, and redefine the concept of 'experience'.

So what are the skills and competencies necessary today that will continue to stay relevant in new roles of tomorrow? How do we look for them in experienced candidates?

To do that, HR practitioners must look into what 'experience' encompasses and appreciate the skills and competencies that are relevant to the new roles. What experienced candidates bring to the table could be the deep technical expertise that is integral to a new business project or perspectives and insights that can only come with the development of skills or varied job assignments over time.

Here are some points to consider when identifying relevant skills and competencies.

Analyse the new role 

Break down the role carefully into its components:

  • What outcomes and results do we expect from the person in this role?
  • What are the required skill sets?
  • Among the traditional skills required, are there certain aspects that have become more critical?
  • In addition to the existing skill sets, what training and development do we need to put in place to enable this person to succeed in this job?

Formulate an effective job description

Your job description should not only clearly describe the job requirements and organisational values, but also incorporate the success factors for the role.

To effectively match the best candidate to the job, analyse the job based on its core functions and competencies and identify the skills and attributes required to excel in the role and organisation.  For example, if you are looking to fill the role of a social media specialist, consider a marketing executive who may possess relevant skills such as creativity and writing.

Commonly sought-after attributes include agility and adaptability to new business processes, willingness to learn, and the ability to collaborate across teams. These specific criteria should be clearly communicated to the hiring team to ensure a fair, objective, and consistent assessment.

Redefining experience

Consider the breadth of experience as well. For example, a candidate who has had exposure to various aspects of the industry through the years or experience in handling challenging situations across different sectors is likely to be more valuable to the organisation. The rule of thumb is to keep a look out for the acquired skills that are transferrable and relevant to the new role that you are looking to fill.

Make use of other forms of assessment

Whenever feasible, incorporate tests for candidates into your screening process. One way is to apply different methodologies to assess the learning and analytical abilities of your candidates. For example, psychometric assessments can provide you with additional objective information on the candidate’s personality, attitudes, and values. Such information helps determine whether the candidate fits the job role and organisation’s culture.

Employing the right people for your business is crucial to your organisation’s performance. Having a progressive recruitment and selection process that redefines the way you look at experience increases the probability of hiring a great applicant, regardless of the changing work environment.

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