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Thursday, February 3, 2011

What Else Should I Consider When I Screen Candidates? "Complementary Capabilities"

Most hiring managers approach the interview and screening process with a focus on the candidate's job experience, educational credentials and fit. While these criteria are key considerations in the hiring decision, the notion of a candidate's fit is usually looked at from the perspective of personality and organizational fit versus "complimentary capabilities".

Complimentary capabilities can be broadly defined as skills, knowledge, behaviours and/or attributes that are strengths of an applicant, which the hiring manager and the team may possess, but are not considered strengths

The need for "complementary capabilities" is heightened when the incumbent is required to work in a team environment.  In such a team environment, the team will always drive far better business results when it is comprised of members having "complimentary capabilities", rather than a group of people having similar capabilities. 
So, why should hiring managers focus on "complementary capabilities"?  Here's why (1) it forces the hiring manager to ensure they clearly understand the strengths and limitations of their team and acknowledge and self reflect on their own capabilities, (2) if appropriately applied, hiring  managers will be more strategic in their hiring practices which will lead to better hiring decisions, and (3) it will avoid creating or perpetuating a homogeneous group that possess limited divergence within their skills and/or thinking, and ultimately impedes the ability of their group to drive accelerated business results.

1 comment:

  1. I am going to use your phrase 'complementary Capabilities'. This is exactly what I was looking for recently when I had a manager explain to me what 'fit' was in his team. He described how everyone was the same. I asked him what he felt might be missing. He was stumped.

    In another instance, looking to replace someone in a very senior position, I was told by the current incumbent that we could never find someone as well-suited as he is. So the question was, 'What does the new incumbent have to have more of what you don't have to move the organization forward?' Just a little twist on the 'Complementary Capabilities'.

    This has given me a spingboard for discussions with managers on a number of upcoming recruitment opportunities. Thanks.