How's Your Crystal Ball For 2017?

Claire Vane
December 20, 2016

The last year, 2016, has been an unusual one. Who would have predicted that the UK would vote to Brexit the EU and that Donald Trump was to be elected president of the United States. One never knows what is around the corner, and maybe that’s a good thing.

This gave me a thought about a crystal ball for 2017 but, on balance, I think it is just as well we do not have the ability to predict the future, although it would enable us to worry about the right things, rather than the wrong things. The metaphor of the crystal ball brings to mind a coaching session I did recently with a senior investment banker, who was going for an important job interview and needed a few reminders about the technique of competency-based interviewing.

Competency-based interviewing is the new crystal ball

This kind of interviewing, competency-based/ behavioural interviewing, if carried out effectively, can be a substitute for the crystal ball. When the candidate has done something before, he or she will be likely to do it again. The questioning, therefore, needs to be centred around two kinds of competencies – technical (hard) competencies and non-technical (soft) competencies. A good recruiter will short list those candidates who can do the job; they’re eligible. An excellent recruiter will short list those who can do the job (eligibility) and who also “fit” (suitability).

The importance of soft competencies

Technical competencies tend to be related to knowledge and experience, but it is the non-technical competencies, such as leadership in its many guises (and good leadership is no mean feat) that can really count. It consists of a wide range of attributes, indulging energy, resilience, communication, motivational skills and imagination. It is these that make for success in an organisation. Indeed, the soft competencies are so important to ensure success in an organisation and we need to give these even greater emphasis than the technical competencies which are much more easily ascertained.

The interviewer can't read your mind

It is difficult to list all the competencies that one has developed over the years, both technical and non-technical, as we take them for granted, and this is often the mistake of a candidate; he or she takes it for granted that the interviewer knows what is in the interviewee’s head. This is not the case. Preparing competencies and your best life examples is critical for good performance at interview, and above all to display leadership and imagination.

If I’m in doubt about a candidate in terms of knowledge, but I think the ‘fit’ is excellent, then I would always say to a client: “you can graft on the knowledge, but you cannot make the wrong person fit your organisation”.

Inspirational words for the new year

So, as we close 2016, I leave you with one of my sons’ favourite Einstein quotations:

'Imagination is more important than knowledge'.

I agree; you can graft on knowledge but you cannot teach imagination and Einstein goes on to say:

'Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world'.

If you are going to make a big change in your role in 2017 then do get in touch with the team at Integrated Resources. With that thought, I wish you a very happy Christmas and a good start to 2017.

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Claire Vane

Claire is the Managing Director and Founder of Integrated Resources. She is passionate about releasing potential in individuals and organisations.

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