8. december 2022

Why the manager should always take part in prioritising competences

The manager is an instrumental part of the competence prioritisation because the manager has a unique insight into which competences the future employee must have in order to succeed, contribute to the team and support the strategic direction of the workplace. Quite simply, the manager’s participation should contribute more successful recruitments.  

Always start by finding out which competences the new employee must possess. We recommend that you do this with a competence prioritisation, where, through a clarifying dialogue, key persons with knowledge of the job determine the competences that are decisive for the future employee to succeed in the job.

It sounds simple and it is. Nevertheless, there are a massive number of companies that never manage to make a competence prioritisation by involving the right people.

The manager is crucial in the competence prioritisation but unfortunately they are rarely a part of it.
One of the people who should always be part of the competence prioritisation is the future employee’s manager, for several reasons:

  • The manager has knowledge of the job.
  • It is the manager’s job to make the team perform and knows which competences are lacking in he team.
  • The manager should be able to manage and motivate the future employee.
  • The manager has a strategic view of which competences will make sense to bring into the organisation to match the workplace vision.
  • When the manager is part of the team, greater shared ownership is created, where the manager is part of the journey and part of the priorities that are made. This makes it more difficult to point at HR afterwards if the recruitment is not successful.

The feedback we most often hear is that the manager is too busy to participate. This can be accommodated partly by streamlining the process through an initial virtual competence prioritisation, which we have previously written about here.

At the same time, the manager must be informed about the importance of their participation in the competence prioritisation. Both because the manager can contribute with important insights as mentioned earlier, but also because the prioritisation of skills is the foundation of a successful recruitment:

  • “Garbage in, garbage out” describes the self-evident; if competences are not prioritised, it can lead to a less successful recruitment process. The competence prioritisation gives a job profile, which, combined with test results, is used to generate a Match score. If the competence prioritisation is inaccurate it could lead to decisions and evaluations made on the wrong basis and will therefore not guarantee successful recruitments.
  • A common definition of concepts. We do not ascribe similar meanings to the same words. The small differences rarely come to the surface, even though they can lead to two very different understandings. In order to meet that challenge, we have made the competence prioritisation, which is based on 32 competence cards that describes the most requested competences in everyday language. The specific description ensures a shared agreement on what you are looking for in a new employee.
  • Competence prioritisation is the part of the recruitment process where the most effective strategic impression can be made. Here, the manager can prioritise the competences that will be decisive in the future.

HR must be particularly attentive to the manager’s role

Although it may be difficult to get the busy manager to participate in the competence prioritisation, this does not mean that the manager should not be challenged once they are finally persuaded to join. It is important that HR is able to be critical and qualify the manager’s views by asking in-depth questions. Managers may tend to think about the competences that are decisive to their own success rather than what is actually needed in the position you are hiring for.

Therefore, it is important to always challenge and make the manager reflect by asking what makes a specific competence relevant.

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