Striking the Perfect Balance: Competency vs. Personality in Talent Discovery

Striking the Perfect Balance: Competency vs. Personality in Talent Discovery

In the ever-changing world of HR, one question has HR teams and executives scratching their heads: Which holds more weight in talent discovery, competency or personality? With waves like The Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting shaking up the employment landscape, retaining top talent has become a challenge, while the competition to discover new talent has intensified. McKinsey highlights the need for companies to invest in recognizing existing talent and preparing them for future leadership roles.

So, how do organizations identify their high-potential employees and subject them to evaluation? According to Psylabs, it's all about finding the right mix of competency assessments, personality trait measurements, language exams, and intelligence tests. Of course, let's not forget about "work experience," which also plays a part in the hiring process. However, a study by the esteemed Frank L. Schmidt suggests that work experience alone is only 16% accurate in predicting job performance, while competence and personality traits soar to a staggering 78% accuracy. The burning question here is: do competencies or personality traits wield more power in unearthing future leaders amidst the cutthroat talent discovery competition?

Let's start with competency-based assessments. Competencies, in all their glory, refer to the understanding and behavioral patterns that contribute to job success and goal achievement. When evaluating high-potential candidates, companies set the bar higher than the employee's current level. It's all about determining whether future leaders can embody the expected behaviors when faced with different situations. But hold on, there are a few limitations to this approach:

  • These assessments tend to focus on tangible and defined competencies and their behavior indicators, often overlooking subjective attitudes and emotions. We're dealing with humans, not robots, after all!
  • Past observations become the basis for evaluation, which might not accurately predict future behavior. Let's not forget the power of potential and growth.
  • Defining expected behavior indicators for competencies can be subjective and open to interpretation, making objective assessments a bit tricky.

Now, let's shift gears to personality-based assessments. Personality traits encompass a person's genuine qualities, embracing them as a whole being. These traits often unveil the most authentic reactions to situations and can even impact the assessment of competencies. But hey, even personality traits have their limits:

  • Measuring consistent reactions across various environments is no walk in the park. We all have different sides that come out depending on the situation, right?
  • Making judgments based on subjective attitudes adds a layer of complexity. But fear not, with well-designed case studies, expert opinions, and diverse contextual assessments, we can achieve more accurate results.

Therefore, it can be inferred that personality traits provide more nuanced and reliable outcomes, while competencies offer tangible and measurable indicators. So, what's an organization to do in this conundrum?

Peoplise, a leading player in the HR sector, believes in evaluating employees from both angles. In the first stage, the organization attaches importance to talent discovery and is a pioneer in most of its sectors; They understand that relying on abstract assessments alone won't cut it when it comes to predicting the future. By combining various methods, such as case studies, scenario-based assessments, surveys, and inventories, they dive into both the subjective values (personality characteristics) and the concrete, piece-by-piece competencies. This discovery process blends detailed evaluations, manager comments, and talent information, all powered by digital talent management tools. Are you ready to strike gold in today's talent-driven world? The choice is yours: focus on past behaviors, anticipate future potential, or embrace the power of "choice c both."