If your organization has used a knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) assessment for hiring and have been disappointed, you’re not alone. HR professionals and innovators are beginning to shift from KSA hiring practices to evaluating personal suitability, team cohesion, and cultural fit. While some positions (engineering roles, for example) have technical requirements that make key skills imperative, the way each individual fits the type of work, the larger team, and the organizational culture are considered more important.
What Are KSAs?
Knowledge, skills, and abilities are factors that quantify each applicant’s talents and ranks them so they can be compared to other applicants. Most recruiting departments think that the more closely applicants match the qualifications, the more qualified they are for the position. While it’s necessary to evaluate whether an employee can perform the required tasks, there are other factors to consider.
The Type Hire
Hiring the wrong person for your organization costs HR time, management hours, and wastes your training investment, not to mention the negative effects on morale and reduced productivity as a direct result. If they work with the public, they can cost clients and damage your public image. Remember the importance of defining the traits for success in any given position to continually Type Hire, while hitting the cultural nail on the head.
The opposite is also true. The person whose goals and talents align with those of your team can improve engagement and boost productivity. What if the Oilers’ had never hired Wayne Gretzky? Sure, he had talent but, of all the hockey franchises, they must have done something to keep him and his family in Edmonton all those glorious years. When The Great One’s style preferences and personality moved from the ice to the public eye, it was always with the absolute best message about the Oilers. Without identifying the right type of player in Gretzky, the Edmonton Oilers might not exist today – let alone in the still sparkling, state of the art Rogers Place in the heart of the emerging ICE District (oh yeah, and how many cups in his tenure?).
Hiring for Culture
One of the main problems with using only KSAs in hiring is that it overlooks company culture. If your company is a law firm, your company culture will be much different than a pediatrics facility or a marketing agency. When companies identify, refine, and market their culture to employees and candidates, they attract people who are interested in the same values and atmosphere. One study found college students would take a job with 7 percent lower starting pay if they were attracted to its culture. Additional research found that when environments matched stated goals, companies experienced 30 percent less turnover.
Many organizations believe rebranding will solve issues related to negative customer feedback. Your people are your culture. Your culture is your brand. Successful branding begins and ends with your employees. Identify the needs and wants of your business, create a culture that attracts and retains the type of employee whose values align with your own, and empower your staff to reach their career goals.
SmartHire can help you find and retain the best employees for your business. Contact us to get started today.