Define the most important competencies
It’s easy to produce a laundry list of everything you want in a candidate. But when you work from such a long list, you're not able to focus on any core desired traits. Instead, document 3-5 competencies or traits that are critical to success in the role.
Don't confuse “Can they do it?” with “Have they done it?”
When you evaluate someone on a certain competency, ask yourself, "Am I requiring this experience because it’s essential from Day One? Or am I requiring this because I don’t want to go through the trouble of training them?" If it’s the latter, think carefully about this decision. You could be needlessly eliminating a huge segment of your talent pool.
Assess and interview for each competency
Once you know what you need, develop ways to evaluate the competencies at each step of the hiring process. Is there a way for you to screen some of the competencies you identified on the initial application? If one of the competencies is a required license, it's easy to do this, but you can screen for soft skills as well.
Personality and aptitude assessments are an effective next step in the evaluation process. We encourage our clients to give assessments to candidates before they are interviewed. This allows hiring managers to have additional information about the candidate beyond the resume.
No matter what the criteria, it’s important that hiring managers have specific interview questions for each competency. Questions that are open-ended and focus on a candidate’s experience (“Tell me about a time when…”) or situational judgment (“What would you do if…”) are great.