Recruitment can be a challenging task for both employers and employees. Selecting a candidate that will complement your organisation can be challenging to determine from just a CV and an interview. Conversely, it can be difficult for potential employees to communicate their skills and performance in a clear, measurable way. Add in the different hiring policies between companies, the role of interpersonal connections, politics, and the situation becomes increasingly complex.
However, this does not have to remain the accepted practice within the ICT profession. Companies are becoming more proactive with their talent management and are gaining new ways to assess their requirements and the future challenges.
One such innovation is competency-based evaluation: a method of using a set of criteria, in this case, based on the European e-Competence Framework (e-CF), to objectively evaluate the needs of your organisation.
Using competency-based evaluation organisations can assess the competency gaps of their employees. This form of evaluation is based on three types of assessment.
The first type is a task assessment which is used to determine which projects the organisation will be running and what are the key competencies needed for these projects. The e-CF can be used to identify the specific competences that are necessary for these projects
The second type is situation assessment (assessment of the status quo). It includes a competence assessment of all team members and identifying missing competences necessary for the role and achievement of the goal.
The third principle is a learning assessment, which is used to determine solutions for existing skills deficits. After assessing what is required and what your capabilities are, an informed decision can be made on how to obtain the missing competences. This could include training programmes, online courses, up- and re-skilling initiatives, and other methods that would give you or your team members the skills they would need for the role.
Consider this example to illustrate competency-based evaluation. An SME has secured a contract to manage a digital ordering system for a fast food chain. The company’s primary asset is a highly skilled team of software engineers. Using the e-CF, the company determines that they will require a graphic designer to make the visuals for the user interface. Identifying this early on, and determining the current team’s skills, a graphic designer is hired, and the company is prepared to fulfil the contract. Failing to recognise this skill gap early on could result in delays, products of lower quality, and damage the company’s reputation with the client. Using this form of assessment encourages a proactive approach which enables companies, and individuals, to identify risks before they become harmful. Having an accurate understanding of the organisation’s competences can keep it up-to-date with current trends by knowing when new skills will need to be added to keep up with market changes. For these reasons, many companies have started to adopt competency-based evaluations, such as a Dutch multinational insurance company, Achmea.
Together with EXIN, Achmea launched a pilot programme with 400 employees that underwent yearly gap analyses to determine which skills their team members were missing. The programme was considered very successful, with Achmea reporting that their staff were better equipped to deal with the demand of the industry. The success of the pilot programme eventually led to the programme being applied to their entire IT division, which consists of around 2,500 employees.
If you have similar e-CF based solutions, please let us know on firstname.lastname@example.org