Generative AI in Recruitment

Generative AI can be a game-changer in recruitment, The big ways AI is changing hiring (bbc.com)offering innovative ways to streamline processes and enhance candidate experiences. Here are some top ways to leverage generative AI in recruitment:

  1. Automated Resume Screening: Use generative AI to analyze resumes and match them with job descriptions, which can also be created using AI. This can save recruiters time and ensure a more comprehensive review of applicants with less bias. Optimizing Resume Screening: Leveraging Power Automate and Generative AI for Enhanced Productivity — Innowhyte
  2. Personalized Candidate Outreach: Generate personalized messages to candidates based on their profiles and job preferences. This can help in building rapport and engagement with potential candidates, many of whom are receiving a significant amount of outreach.
  3. Interview Preparation: Develop AI-generated behaviorally based interview questions tailored to specific roles or skill sets. This ensures consistency and relevance across interviews, helping to assess candidates more effectively.
  4. Candidate Assessment: Utilize generative AI to create simulations or scenarios for candidate assessment. This can provide insights into candidates’ problem-solving abilities, creativity, and decision-making skills. This will also ensure that the candidate is not getting asked the same question multiple times. AI-Enabled Candidate Assessment: Enhancing Hiring Accuracy and Objectivity | Talentera
  5. Chatbots for Candidate Interaction: Implement AI-powered chatbots to handle initial candidate inquiries, schedule interviews, and provide information about the recruitment process. This improves responsiveness and efficiency in candidate communication.
  6. Skill Development and Training: Develop AI-generated training materials or simulations to help candidates improve their skills or prepare for specific roles. This can be particularly useful for technical or specialized positions.
  7. Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives: Use generative AI to remove bias from job descriptions, candidate evaluations, and other recruitment processes. This promotes fairness and diversity in hiring practices. Inclusion and Diversity in Hiring: 7 Ways AI Helps | Ongig Blog
  8. Predictive Analytics for Talent Pipelining: Employ AI algorithms to analyze past hiring data and predict future talent needs. This enables proactive talent pipelining and reduces time-to-hire for critical positions.
  9. Candidate Experience Enhancement: Leverage generative AI to create engaging content for candidates, such as interactive job previews, virtual office tours, or gamified assessments. This enhances the overall candidate experience and strengthens employer branding.
  10. Continuous Learning and Feedback: Implement AI-driven systems for continuous feedback collection and analysis throughout the recruitment process. This helps in identifying areas for improvement and optimizing recruitment strategies over time.

By integrating generative AI into various aspects of the recruitment process, organizations can improve efficiency, effectiveness, and candidate satisfaction while staying ahead in the competitive talent market.

 

Navigating Motivational Anxiety: A Guide to Overcoming Challenges

Motivation is a powerful force that drives individuals to achieve their goals and aspirations. However, the journey towards success is often accompanied by a lesser-known companion – motivational anxiety. This unique form of anxiety can manifest when individuals feel overwhelmed or uncertain about their ability to meet their own expectations. In this article, we will explore the concept of motivational anxiety, its causes, and practical strategies to overcome its challenges.

Understanding Motivational Anxiety:

Motivational anxiety is a psychological state characterized by the fear or apprehension associated with pursuing one’s goals. Unlike general anxiety, which may stem from external stressors, motivational anxiety is often internal, arising from the pressure individuals place on themselves to succeed. This internal pressure can lead to a range of emotions, including self-doubt, fear of failure, and a sense of inadequacy.

Causes of Motivational Anxiety:

High Expectations: Setting excessively high expectations for oneself can create immense pressure and trigger motivational anxiety. The fear of not living up to these expectations can be paralyzing.

Comparisons to Others: Constantly comparing one’s progress to that of others can contribute to motivational anxiety. It is essential to recognize that everyone’s journey is unique, and comparisons may not accurately reflect personal growth.

Fear of Failure: The fear of failure is a common driver of motivational anxiety. Individuals may become so focused on avoiding failure that they struggle to take necessary risks and steps towards their goals.

Perfectionism: Striving for perfection in every aspect of life can lead to anxiety. Accepting that imperfections are a natural part of the learning process is crucial for overcoming motivational anxiety.

Strategies to Overcome Motivational Anxiety:

Set Realistic Goals: Break down larger goals into smaller, achievable tasks. Setting realistic goals helps manage expectations and reduces the likelihood of feeling overwhelmed.

Focus on the Process: Instead of fixating on the end result, shift your focus to the process of growth and learning. Embrace the journey, recognizing that challenges contribute to personal development.

Practice Self-Compassion: Treat yourself with kindness and understanding. Acknowledge that setbacks and mistakes are part of the learning process and an opportunity for growth.

Develop a Growth Mindset: Cultivate a growth mindset by viewing challenges as opportunities to learn and improve. Embrace the idea that abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work.

Limit Social Comparisons: Minimize comparisons to others and focus on your individual progress. Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small, and appreciate the unique path you are on.

Seek Support: Share your goals and challenges with supportive friends, family, or mentors. Having a strong support system can provide encouragement and perspective during difficult times.

Motivational anxiety is a natural part of the journey toward success, but it doesn’t have to be a roadblock. By understanding its causes and implementing practical strategies, individuals can navigate motivational anxiety and continue progressing toward their goals. Remember, success is a process, and every step forward is a triumph in itself.

Generative AI in Human Resources

As we open the door on 2024, many of my colleagues and I will be focusing on how to best utilize the newer generative AI capabilities in our Human Resources functions. Generative artificial intelligence (AI)—data-trained technology that uses prompts to create content—has seen a massive uptick in adoption over the past year. The technology has advanced significantly within a short timeframe and, relatively speaking, it’s just getting started.

OpenAI’s research estimates that 80 percent of today’s workers could see their jobs impacted by generative AI. The natural concern, from the workforce is that impacted will mean, taken over by, but, in most cases, that is far from the truth. Companies should determine how to use generative AI with intention, in a productive, safe, and human-first way. Some of the most compelling ideas are below:

  1. Resume Screening and Candidate Matching:
    • Use generative AI to analyze resumes and match candidates to job descriptions based on skills, experience, and keywords.
    • Improve the efficiency of the initial screening process by automating the identification of suitable candidates.
  2. Automated Interview Scheduling:
    • Implement chatbots powered by generative AI to facilitate interview scheduling.
    • Allow candidates to interact with chatbots to find suitable interview slots, answer frequently asked questions, and receive information about the recruitment process.
  3. Employee Onboarding and Training:
    • Develop AI-driven chatbots or virtual assistants to guide new employees through the onboarding process.
    • Provide automated training modules and resources tailored to individual employee needs.
  4. Employee Assistance and Support:
    • Use AI-powered chatbots to answer employee queries regarding HR policies, benefits, and general information.
    • Enhance employee experience by providing quick and accurate responses to common HR-related inquiries.
  5. Performance Management and Feedback:
    • Implement AI tools to assist in performance evaluations by analyzing employee performance data.
    • Provide real-time feedback suggestions for managers based on language models, helping to improve the quality and consistency of feedback.
  6. Employee Engagement Surveys and Sentiment Analysis:
    • Leverage AI to analyze employee feedback from surveys and other sources.
    • Identify trends, sentiments, and areas of concern to proactively address employee engagement and satisfaction issues.
  7. Skills Assessment and Development:
    • Use generative AI to assess employee skills and identify areas for development.
    • Provide personalized learning recommendations and training programs based on individual employee strengths and weaknesses.
  8. Policy Compliance and Legal Support:
    • Implement AI tools to ensure HR policies and procedures align with legal requirements.
    • Provide legal support by analyzing contracts, identifying potential risks, and offering suggestions for compliance.
  9. Predictive Analytics for Employee Retention:
    • Utilize generative AI to analyze historical data and predict employee turnover.
    • Identify factors contributing to attrition and develop strategies for employee retention.
  10. Internal Communication Enhancement:
    • Develop AI-driven tools to enhance internal communication within the organization.
    • Generate automated newsletters, announcements, or other communication materials to keep employees informed and engaged.

It’s essential to approach the integration of generative AI in HR with careful consideration of ethical and privacy considerations. Additionally, ongoing monitoring and human oversight are crucial to ensure the responsible and fair use of AI technologies in the workplace.  Done correctly, that is much to be gained!

Generational Perspectives on Employment: A Contrast between Baby Boomers and Millennials

The world of employment has evolved significantly over the years, with different generations experiencing and interpreting work in distinct ways. Baby boomers and millennials, What Generation Am I? A Guide to Generations by Year (parents.com)separated by several decades, have grown up in contrasting socio-economic, technological, and cultural landscapes. These factors have played a role in shaping their perspectives on employment. In this article, we will delve into the divergent viewpoints of baby boomers and millennials regarding work, examining their values, priorities, and approaches to careers.

Work-Life Balance

Baby Boomers:

For many baby boomers, work was often seen as a means to provide for their families and secure a stable future. Many were part of the traditional 9-to-5 work culture, where long hours at the office were considered necessary for career advancement. The concept of “putting in the time” was deeply ingrained, often at the expense of personal and family life.

Millennials:

Millennials, on the other hand, tend to prioritize work-life balance. Work Life Balance | Mental Health America (mhanational.org)They witnessed their parents’ dedication to their jobs and the toll it took on family life. As a result, millennials often seek flexible work arrangements that allow them to balance their careers with personal interests and family time. Remote work and freelance opportunities are particularly attractive to this generation, enabling them to integrate work into their lives, rather than the other way around.

Career Loyalty

Baby Boomers:

Loyalty to one’s employer was a hallmark of the baby boomer generation. Many individuals spent the majority of their careers at a single company, viewing job stability and benefits as vital components of their employment. Climbing the corporate ladder and staying with the same company until retirement were common aspirations.

Millennials:

Millennials tend to value personal growth and skill development over long-term loyalty to a single employer. They are more willing to change jobs and even switch careers in pursuit of new challenges and opportunities. This fluid approach to employment can be attributed, in part, to the economic instability witnessed during their formative years and the rise of the gig economy, What is the gig economy and what’s the deal for gig workers? | World Economic Forum (weforum.org) which has normalized job hopping and freelancing.

Purpose and Fulfillment

Baby Boomers:

While many baby boomers found purpose and fulfillment in their work, these aspects were often secondary to the financial stability that employment provided. Career choices were frequently influenced by practical considerations rather than a quest for personal passion.

 

Millennials:

Millennials seek meaning and purpose in their careers. They are more likely to prioritize jobs that align with their values, allowing them to make a positive impact on society and the environment. This generation places a premium on job satisfaction and is willing to make career decisions that reflect their personal beliefs and goals, even if it means sacrificing higher-paying opportunities.

Technology and Adaptability

Baby Boomers:

Baby boomers adapted to technology as it emerged, but their careers were not as intertwined with digital tools and platforms as those of millennials. They often had to learn new technologies later in their careers, and some may have viewed technology as a disruptor rather than an enabler.

Millennials:

Having grown up in the digital age, The Digital Age: The Era We All Are Living In – DZone millennials are comfortable with technology and its rapid evolution. They readily embrace new tools and platforms, which has contributed to the rise of remote work, digital nomadism, and the gig economy. This adaptability allows them to navigate an ever-changing job market with relative ease.

In conclusion, the differing perspectives of baby boomers and millennials on employment reflect the evolving nature of work and societal values. While baby boomers often prioritized stability and financial security, millennials place greater emphasis on work-life balance, purpose-driven careers, and adaptability. Understanding these generational differences Generational Differences in the Workplace [Infographic] (purdueglobal.edu) is crucial for employers, policymakers, and individuals seeking to thrive in the modern world of work, fostering collaboration and harnessing the strengths of each generation.

The Pervasive Influence of Proxy Advisory Firms on Public Company Shareholders

Proxy advisory firms, once relatively obscure entities, have risen to prominence in recent years as influential players in the corporate governance landscape. These firms provide crucial recommendations and analysis on various matters put forth during shareholder meetings, profoundly impacting the decision-making processes of public company shareholders. This article explores the pervasive influence wielded by proxy advisory firms and the implications of their recommendations on corporate governance and shareholder engagement.

Understanding Proxy Advisory Firms:

Proxy advisory firms, such as Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) Governance Advisory Services | ISS (issgovernance.com)and Glass, Lewis & Co., Glass Lewis – Proxy Voting have emerged as critical intermediaries between companies and their shareholders. Their primary responsibility lies in providing unbiased research, analysis, and recommendations on matters put to vote during annual meetings, Annual General Meeting (AGM) – Overview, Public Companies (corporatefinanceinstitute.com) including executive compensation, board elections, mergers and acquisitions, environmental and social proposals, and other critical governance issues.

Influence on Shareholder Voting:

Shareholders of public companies, particularly institutional investors, often rely on the research and guidance provided by proxy advisory firms to make informed voting decisions. The firms’ recommendations carry significant weight, as they possess a reputation for thorough analysis and objectivity. As a result, their guidance can shape the outcomes of shareholder votes, leading to substantial impacts on the companies in question.

Effect on Corporate Governance:

The recommendations of proxy advisory firms can influence corporate governance practices within public companies. Faced with the prospect of unfavorable voting outcomes, companies may be compelled to address governance deficiencies, enhance transparency, and align executive compensation with performance metrics. This external pressure to conform to best practices can foster more accountable and responsible corporate leadership.

Controversies and Criticisms:

Despite their widespread influence, proxy advisory firms have faced criticisms on various fronts. Concerns have been raised about potential conflicts of interest, as these firms may provide both proxy advisory services and consulting Home – ISS Corporate Solutions to companies seeking to improve their governance practices. Critics argue that this duality could compromise the firms’ objectivity and independence.

Moreover, some argue that proxy advisory firms’ methodologies may not always be entirely transparent or reflective of the unique contexts of each company, leading to recommendations that do not consider specific nuances of the business. This raises questions about whether the firms’ recommendations always serve the best interests of shareholders in every case.

 

The Balancing Act:

The influence of proxy advisory firms is a delicate balance between providing valuable guidance to shareholders and the potential risks associated with undue concentration of power in their hands. Regulators and market participants have recognized the significance of proxy advisory firms and have taken steps to promote greater transparency, accountability, and oversight in their operations.

Engaging with Proxy Advisory Firms:

Public companies are increasingly engaging with proxy advisory firms to ensure that the firms’ assessments consider a comprehensive view of the company’s governance practices and long-term strategic vision. Constructive dialogues between companies and proxy advisors can lead to more accurate assessments and a deeper understanding of the company’s unique circumstances.

In conclusion, proxy advisory firms play an undeniably influential role in shaping the corporate governance landscape by providing vital recommendations to shareholders. While their impact has led to positive changes in corporate practices, concerns regarding their objectivity and methodologies persist. Engaging in constructive dialogue with these firms and promoting greater transparency in their operations may lead to more balanced and informed decision-making, ultimately benefiting both public companies and their shareholders. As these firms continue to evolve, it is essential to strike a harmonious balance that upholds their value while mitigating potential risks to corporate governance and shareholder interests.

Coach versus Mentor

A coach and a mentor are both valuable resources for personal and professional development, but they serve different roles and have distinct characteristics. Here are the main differences between a coach and a mentor:

Purpose and Focus:

Coaching: Coaching The Role of a Coach in The Workplace | EZRA (helloezra.com) primarily focuses on performance improvement and goal achievement. A coach helps individuals identify their goals, develop action plans, and provides support, guidance, and feedback to enhance their skills and reach their desired outcomes. The emphasis is on short-term objectives and specific areas of development.

Mentoring: Mentoring 10 Reasons Why You Need a Mentor | Indeed.com is more about long-term personal and professional growth. A mentor is someone with extensive experience and knowledge in a particular field who offers guidance, advice, and wisdom to a less-experienced individual. The focus is on sharing insights, imparting wisdom, and nurturing the mentee’s overall development.

Relationship:

Coaching: The coach-client relationship is typically formal and structured. Coaches establish a professional relationship based on trust, confidentiality, and clear boundaries. They work collaboratively with clients to explore their goals, challenges, and strategies for improvement.

Mentoring: The mentor-mentee relationship is often informal and built on a foundation of mutual respect and trust. Mentors usually have a personal connection or shared interest with the mentee. The relationship tends to be more flexible and can involve discussions about various aspects of life and career.

Expertise and Experience:

Coaching: Coaches may or may not have specific expertise in the client’s field. They focus more on coaching skills, such as active listening, questioning, and providing support. Coaches help individuals develop their own solutions and perspectives by drawing out their strengths and potential.

Mentoring: Mentors possess extensive experience, knowledge, and expertise in the mentee’s field or area of interest. They share their wisdom, offer advice, and provide insights based on their own professional journey. Mentors may also provide introductions to their network or offer career guidance specific to the industry.

Duration and Intensity:

Coaching: Coaching engagements are typically time-bound and have a specific duration. The Four Stages of a Coaching Assignment (coaching-focus.com)Coaches work with clients for a defined period to achieve their goals or address specific challenges. The frequency of coaching sessions can vary depending on the individual’s needs and availability.

Mentoring: Mentoring relationships tend to be more open-ended and can last for an extended period, sometimes even spanning years. How Long Should Mentorship last? (mentorloop.com)Mentors offer ongoing support and guidance as the mentee progresses in their personal and professional journey.

Approach:

Coaching: Coaches use a structured and goal-oriented approach, employing various techniques and methodologies to help clients gain clarity, set objectives, and take action. The Best Ways for Coaching an Employee in the Workplace | Indeed.comThey facilitate self-discovery, encourage self-reflection, and help clients overcome obstacles.

Mentoring: Mentors take a more informal and nurturing approach. They provide guidance, share experiences, and offer advice based on their own successes and failures. Mentors often provide a sounding board for ideas, offer perspective, and encourage the mentee’s growth.

It’s important to note that these distinctions are not always absolute, and there can be overlap between coaching and mentoring depending on the specific context and the individuals involved. The terms “coach” and “mentor” are sometimes used interchangeably, and individuals may fulfill both roles to varying degrees.

Artificial Intelligence in Human Resources

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages. It is important for several reasons:

  • Automation: AI can automate tedious and repetitive tasks, freeing up humans to focus on more complex and creative work.
  • Efficiency: AI can process large amounts of data quickly and accurately, making it possible to identify patterns and trends that would be difficult or impossible for humans to detect.
  • Innovation: AI can be used to create new products, services, and business models that would be difficult or impossible to develop using traditional methods.
  • Personalization: AI can personalize experiences and interactions based on individual preferences and behaviors, improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Decision-making: AI can provide valuable insights and recommendations to support decision-making across a wide range of industries and applications, from healthcare to finance to logistics.

AI like ChatGPT has quickly transformed the way that work is performed in HR organizations,

  • Recruitment and Hiring: AI is transforming the way organizations approach recruitment and hiring. By using AI-powered tools, HR departments can analyze resumes, evaluate skills, and assess the cultural fit of potential candidates. AI can help HR teams identify and shortlist candidates based on the job description, skills, and qualifications required.
  • Talent Management: AI can help HR departments to manage and develop talent within an organization. AI can analyze employee performance data, identify skill gaps, and recommend training programs. AI can also help HR departments to predict employee turnover and create proactive retention strategies.
  • Employee Engagement: AI can help HR departments to measure and improve employee engagement. By analyzing employee feedback and sentiment data, AI can identify areas where employee engagement is low and suggest interventions to improve it. AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can also help to provide employees with personalized support and guidance.
  • Performance Management: AI can help HR departments to automate performance management processes, such as performance evaluations and goal-setting. AI can analyze employee performance data and provide objective feedback to employees, eliminating bias and subjectivity in the evaluation process.
  • Compliance: AI can help HR departments to ensure compliance with regulations and policies. AI can analyze large volumes of data to identify potential compliance risks and flag any violations. AI-powered chatbots can also help to answer employees’ questions about compliance policies and procedures.

Overall, AI has the potential to transform the way we live and work, improving efficiency, productivity, and innovation in a wide range of domains.

Living in Uncertain Times

Emotional traumas can come in many forms, and living in our current uncertain times, where stress is inevitable and is perceived as uncontrollable can cause the same emotional trauma today as used to be attributed to men returning from war.

The ability to recognize emotional trauma has changed radically over the course of history. The women’s movement in the 1960s broadened the definition of emotional trauma to include physically and sexually abused women and children. Now, because of the discoveries made in the ’90s – known as the decade of the brain – psychological trauma has further broadened its definition.

According to Centerstone, recent research has revealed that emotional trauma can result from such common occurrences as an auto accident, the breakup of a significant relationship, a humiliating or deeply disappointing experience, the discovery of a life-threatening illness or disabling condition, or other similar situations. Traumatizing events can take a serious emotional toll on those involved, even if the event did not cause physical damage.

Regardless of its source, an emotional trauma contains three common elements:

  • It was unexpected
  • The person was unprepared
  • There was nothing the person could do to prevent it from happening

As with many situations, it is not the situation itself but the person’s perception of the event that can cause the issue. Different people have learned and used different coping mechanisms, and their resiliency may differ. What seems nearly catastrophic to one person is a setback but is kept in perspective by another.

One way to tell the difference between experiencing stress or emotional trauma is by looking at the outcome – how much residual effect an upsetting event has on our lives, relationships and overall functioning. Traumatic distress can be distinguished from routine stress by assessing the following:

  • How quickly you become upset
  • How frequently you become upset
  • How intensely threatened you feel by the event
  • How long the feelings last
  • How long it takes to calm down

But the rapid-fire events that many of us are experiencing in our lives today can be cumulative in nature. An event that you did not expect and was not directly impactful to you may still lead to a traumatic experience when it is on top of other events in close succession.

The recent failure of Silicon Valley Bank is a prime example. While many non-technology companies and investors did not have funds in SVB, the failure of the institution, which has been around since 1983, concerns people, especially when they hear that another 3-4 banks are likely to experience insolvency in short order and no one is rushing to bail SVB out.

If you find yourself experiencing extreme stress, the below coping mechanisms could help; if not, please seek professional help. There are many excellent virtual, online counselors, such as through Talkspace that can help you work through these issues so they do not disrupt your life.

  • Talk about it. By talking with others about the event, you can relieve stress and realize that others share your experience and feelings.
  • Spend time with friends and family. They can help you through this tough time. If your family lives outside the area, stay in touch by phone if possible. If you have children, encourage them to share their feelings and concerns with you.
  • Take care of yourself. Get as much rest and exercise as possible. Try to continue any religious practices or centering activities.
  • Take one thing at a time. Getting things back to normal can seem impossible. Break the job up into doable tasks. Complete that task first and then move on to the next one. Completing each task will give you a sense of accomplishment and make things seem less overwhelming.
  • If you can, help. Give blood; help prepare meals for others, including the elderly. Volunteer to help clean up or rebuild your community. Read to children in the shelter. Helping others can give you a sense of purpose in a situation that feels beyond control.
  • Avoid drugs and excessive drinking. Drugs and alcohol may seem to help you feel better, but in the long run, they generally create additional problems that compound the stress you’re already feeling.
  • Ask for help if you need it. You may want to talk with a mental health professional to discuss how well you are coping with recent events. You could also join a support group. Don’t try to go it alone. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength and allows you to feel back in control.

Competencies versus Skills

Many organizations are transitioning from competency-based to skills-based job descriptions.   You Need a Skills-Based Approach to Hire and Developing Talent (hbr.org) One of the primary reasons for this growing shift is that while competencies are broad-based requirements, like innovation and team building, and are more qualitative in nature, skills are more easily quantifiable. Skills are requirements like knowing how to perform pivot tables in excel or having demonstrated the ability to lead a culturally diverse team across multiple global locations effectively. You either possess the skill, or you do not. The Future of Work 2022 | Accenture. Recruiters and search firms are finding this approach to yield better results and candidates from different backgrounds than they would have typically approached.

While this shift sounds easy in concept, creating the job descriptions to transition from a competency-based approach to a skill-based one is an arduous and lengthy initiative that could span multiple years. Not only does each job need to be broken down into granular task requirements, but for the job descriptions to be most helpful, they must be able to vet both external and internal candidates. Employees need to be able to review the job description for a position they would like to have and see clearly why they are or are not qualified. There needs to be a skills repository on your HCM to assist managers in choosing the necessary skills for each position. Likewise, employees have to complete personal profiles listing all the skills they believe they have so that a gap analysis can be automatically conducted between the requirements and the employee’s current skill set. Then comes the conundrum of being able to vet the skills. Just because someone says they have the talent to install a garbage disposal and can talk you through the steps does not necessarily mean they can complete this task in real life. Who is responsible for the vetting? L&D? Talent Acquisition? Hiring managers? How Recruiters Evaluate Candidates With a Skills-Based Lens

One of the benefits of using skills-based job descriptions is that you no longer need to depend on job titles. It opens up your positions to people from various backgrounds, positions, and titles who may far exceed the capabilities of someone from only one title. Your application flow is improved, as is the quality of your candidates. This approach also ends employees’ perception of favoritism when awarding promotions to new assignments. Both managers and HR can quickly point to the reason(s) that one employee was ready for promotion and one not quite ready.

For employees with a gap in their skills to reach the next level, HR must be prepared in their LMS to have courses, content, books, and other learnings tied to the required skills. The most frustrating scenario for an employee is being told they lack certain skills but do not have a clear path laid out in order to obtain those missing skills. Skills Development Training: Must-Have LMS Features (elearningindustry.com)

Thanks to the new approach of skills-based job descriptions, companies can attract and hire the best talent for their job openings. Job titles and degrees are not always the best indicators of a candidate’s abilities, and focusing on skills can lead to better outcomes for both the company and the employee.

Skills or Competencies? But wait…. There’s more!

It has been hotly debated over the last decade as to whether the focus of job descriptions should be on skills or competencies.  Skills Skills vs. Competencies: What’s the Difference? | Indeed.comare the specific learned abilities that you need to perform a given job well. Examples, depending on the specific role, range from paying invoices to writing code to installing a garbage disposal or writing communication. Competencies, What is Competency? | Meaning, Definition & Types | HR Glossary (darwinbox.com)on the other hand, are the person’s knowledge and behaviors that lead them to be successful in a job. Examples of competencies, then, include the improvement of business processes, innovation and data-based decision making. Competencies effectively explain a trait a candidate has to have in order to do the job well.

The growing concern with a competency-based approach is centered around the fact that a competency, or lack thereof, is hard to quantify.  How do you determine if a candidate, internal or external, has the proven capability to plan strategically or to innovate?  And, if they don’t, how do you provide training to ensure that they ever will?

Most job descriptions 3 Most Overlooked Elements of Writing a Job Description – Workest (zenefits.com)can be broadly considered to be either skills-based or competency-based. They differ in that skills-based job descriptions typically consist of the job title, responsibilities and skills required, whereas competency-based job descriptions tend to take a more holistic approach by also considering the traits that will lead to success in the job.

The concern is that neither approach fully captures all that will be required of any person to be successful and they do little to quickly develop talent. A fundamentally different solution is needed if we want to grow better talent faster. Enter Experience Designing. We know that experiences accelerate development and demonstrate a person’s capabilities. If properly utilized, experiences will develop  better talent faster. How to Develop a More Stable and Talented Workforce (workplaces.org)

Unfortunately, despite widespread recognition that experiences accelerate development, few companies use them as their development framework. Instead, managers and employees are left to struggle with complex and difficult to apply competency or skill based models.

Those models rely on managers to determine how to best develop employees, which leads to training-based development plans. They don’t prioritize which capabilities are most valuable to the company, so development efforts are often misdirected. They don’t easily fit into a larger career framework, so employees don’t understand how today’s development contributes to future career growth.

In short, typical competency or skills based approaches don’t help managers to accelerate development or provide employees with a guide for managing their careers. 

Offering employees a hybrid approach of specific skills needed ( i.e. demonstrate the capability to create pivot tables in excel) and experiences ( have created a successful strategy for a $100M business unit or have created a college recruitment program and successfully recruited 50 new hires)  provides a tangible and easy to understand framework for their future development needs and ensures the company has a plethora of viable candidates poised for success.