So I was reflecting only this morning, on the pace of change nowadays. I am sure that every generation has complained about the pace of change and how quickly life has changed for them. And I am sure they have all been right. But it is still true that the pace of change in the last 15 years has been the most rapid in our history to date.

15 years ago, email was starting to become the norm in business. The internet was used for searching for information (which you couldn’t always find), and shopping from established brands. 15 years ago, nearing the turn of the millennia, Facebook and LinkedIn weren’t even a twinkle in their creators eyes (can you believe LinkedIn was launch in May 2003 – that’s 2 years after I started be – and Facebook wasn’t launched till Feb 2004).

15 years later and email is dying to be replaced by various instant messengers, lives are lived out on FB, LinkedIn was and is no longer THE place recruiters go, and we all not only shop on the internet, we watch TV and films, we play games, we join communities, and we do it from our phones. Laptops are passe, PC’s almost pre-historic – tablets and larger smartphones are where it’s at.

Whats next?

Well The Internet of Things is the next ‘big thing’. This is machines talking to machines. This is cars driving themselves, keeping you within speed limits and the correct stopping distance away for the road conditions. This is your fridge telling your Tesco shopping list that you are out of milk. This is a machine in factory 1, telling a machine in factory 2 that it will need to make 2 more cushions for the back seat of the Jaguar it just built.

And after that? Who knows. As Napolean Hill says in his masterpiece ‘Think and Grow Rich’, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, he can achieve”.

So what does that have to do with recruitment? Well here’s the nub.

I have, for many many years (yes, I AM that old), been teaching clients how to put in place a robust and yet simple recruitment process – based on first understanding what the business IS, and then what is NEEDS. I have taught people how to identify and capture what those core competencies of their specific businesses are, and how to turn those into a set of behaviours and then a list of quality questions that can be asked in an interview. Hire on COMPETENCIES (which in my terms means values, beliefs, core brain programming) and train on skills.

Now – more than EVER before – the company that wants to be successful in growing their business MUST do this. Forget skills. People can LEARN skills. (Of course I know there are some jobs where you have to have the skills – brain surgeon and commercial pilot being 2 that immediately spring to mind) – but largely when you are talking the majority of non life threatening roles, hire on skills alone and repent at leisure. Skills might get someone a job but in today’s ever faster moving society those skills might be out of date in 9 months.

So – the message of today is, even if you have never done it this way before you must must must hire primarily on competencies – two of which should indubitably be – the love of change and the ability to pick up new skills quickly.

If you don’t – not only will your recruitment process be left behind, so will your business.

Carole Fossey