Tag Archive: Job Competencies

  1. The Gig Economy: How to Stay Competitive in Talent Selection

    With the rise of the Gig Economy, it’s more critical than ever to understand the job competencies that lead to success.

    Job competencies are key to putting the right people in the right roles. When you know the traits and behaviors that lead to strong performance in a job, you can create a success profile, or predictive model, to identify your top candidates. That’s why leading companies like American Airlines, 7-Eleven, Panera Bread, and countless others have made job competencies a crucial part of talent selection.

    How do job competencies change when the nature of work changes?

    Job competencies evolve as jobs evolve, and right now, the entire workforce is changing. We’re seeing a momentous shift from traditional employment to ‘gig’ work. Gig workers are a new kind of employee—they’re agile, independent, and their jobs range from ride hailing and service delivery to specialized jobs in IT, engineering, creative fields, and beyond.

    According to a recent webinar, the gig workforce is adding $715 billion annually the economy through freelance work, and researchers project that half of the working U.S. population will move into the gig economy within the next five years.

    The rapid rise of the Gig Economy is a result of low unemployment, an increasing desire for flex work, and technology that makes gig marketplaces easily accessible. But, it takes a certain type of person to thrive in a gig environment. As you can imagine, someone who enjoys structure and stability will struggle with gig work. On the flipside, someone who craves flexibly and autonomy will be drawn to it.

    What makes someone a successful gig worker? Top 5 job competencies

    Whether you’re a traditional employer, a gig employer, or somewhere in between, you need to be sure you’re putting people in positions where they’ll be most successful. That means adjusting your success model for gig-style work (when that’s what your hiring for), or incorporating gig perks into your traditional roles to mimic a gig environment.

    These 5 job competencies will tell you if someone is a strong candidate for gig, freelance, or contract work:

    1. Adaptability. Gig workers live in ambiguity. They’re often thrown into different situations, and to be successful, they have to continuously adapt to different companies, different jobs, and different managers.

    2. Planning & Organizing. Time management is critical for gig workers, who must balance various projects at once, manage competing timelines, and carefully consider their bandwidth before taking on additional work.

    3. Relationship Management. Gig workers aren’t always brought ‘into the fold’ like traditional employees, so their ability to build relationships quickly and efficiently will have a big impact on their success.

    4.  Communicating Effectively. Being able to communicate the expectations of the job, ask the right questions, and check in on a regular basis will boost a gig worker’s productivity, which in turn will help them secure more work.

    5. Learning Agility. In gig work, you need someone who has an agile mindset and a desire for continuous learning. High learning agility will boost a gig worker’s self-reliance and empower them to figure things out on their own.

    Also, keep an eye out for these competencies in your traditional employee population. If you have employees who would thrive in a gig environment, consider offering flex time or greater work autonomy to keep them engaged.

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    To learn more about the changing nature of work, and what to expect from the Gig Economy in the next 10 years, watch our on-demand webinar: How to Stay Competitive in the Gig Economy.

    The Gig Economy

  2. Job Competencies: Why They’re More Important than Industry Knowledge

    Sports distributor unlocks the secret to sales success when they begin hiring based on candidates’ personality, rather than background

    Imagine you’re a large-scale distributor of sports equipment and apparel. You hire salespeople from coast to coast to connect with local schools, community organizations, athletic programs – anyone who might be in need of uniforms, spirit wear, practice equipment, or game-day gear.

    What makes a great sales hire in the sports retail world? Someone with the right job competencies, or someone with deep industry knowledge?

    Well, you can probably guess that most of your job applications will come from people with a coaching or sports related background. Which makes sense. Former coaches and players have industry knowledge and a special love of the game that will draw them to your type of business. It may even fuel their sales energy. But will it help them close deals?

    Not exactly. While this type of person likely has experience using the products you sell, and can probably make personal suggestions as to which cleat is best for the community’s youth baseball league (molded? metal? turf?), being a sports fan is not the only requirement for sales success.

    This is what a leading sports distributor discovered when they took a close look at their 800+ person sales team. The company had seen a recent uptick in turnover, and wanted to address it before it became a bigger problem. Also, they knew that their sales managers, who were in charge of all the hiring on the sales team, could use some help vetting talent from outside the industry. The company’s Talent Acquisition Manager said they needed a tool to “tip the odds in their favor.” That’s when they came to Outmatch.

    After taking part in a research study that included 250 of their sales professionals, the company realized that sales productivity was driven primarily by the salesperson’s personality, not by their background or love for sports.

    Six months earlier, the company began using a predictive talent assessment with two goals in mind: (1) streamline the selection process for busy sales managers, and (2) identify sales candidates who were best fit for the role and least likely to turn over. Rather than measuring product-specific skills or industry knowledge, this assessment measured candidates’ personality, including Accommodation, Assertiveness, Sociability, Frustration Tolerance, and other job competencies that are critical to success in a sales role.

    As part of the research study that followed, Outmatch collected supervisor ratings and objective metrics on newly hired salespeople, and compared them to the recommendations made by the assessment. Such analysis would reveal just how well the assessment was predicting success in this company’s sales environment.

    Results showed that salespeople who were identified as a strong match by the assessment were 9X more likely to achieve above-average sales productivity, compared to those who were identified as a poor match.

    Without an assessment in place, the company would have likely hired a mix of strong and poor matches, based on their previous selection process. With an assessment in place, they can focus all their hiring efforts on strong matches, who have proven to be more productive in the role.

    Not only was the company able to address their turnover problem, they’re now equipped to boost performance and productivity across their entire sales team. The company still considers a candidate’s coaching or sports background in the selection process, but it’s not the most important consideration. As it turns out, job competencies for sales success can cut across industries.

    It’s not so much what you sell, but how you sell it, and people with a natural strength for sales will often thrive, even if they’re not selling something that’s deeply personal or nostalgic to them.