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Core Competencies and Talent Management 

Core Competencies and Talent Management

With more than 50 years of combined experience in the recruiting industry we have seen and worked with hundreds of companies and worked on thousands of searches. We have learned from this experience that top employers understand not only their key positions, but the core competencies for each. They are committed to identifying these traits, competencies, and experiences using a comprehensive interview process likely including a behavioral interview model (see example interview questions below).

There are many tools for identifying and screening for core competencies. If your organization does not have a formal HR function, including an Organizational Development resource, then we have found that organizations will engage a human resources consultant with an Organizational Development emphasis, or a company that has their own performance management tools and methodology that can be implemented.

Once core competencies are identified and a proper interview and screening model has been successfully implemented, then it is time to begin measuring performance against these competencies. Failing to measure performance is one of the most common mistakes employers make. Effective organizations know that successful talent management will yield tremendous results not only in the financial category, but in employee and customer satisfaction, improved quality, and in other ways. Regular and timely performance appraisals can be enhanced by the use of software applications customized for making talent management more consistent and informative. Often these systems are integrated with payroll, compensation or other human resource applications. In closing, identifying core competencies is important to identifying top talent. The greatest value, however, comes from the accountability stemming from measuring performance.

Example Behavioral Interview Questions

Drive for Results

  • Tell me about a time when you were faced with multiple obstacles and were able to overcome and implement your initiative.


  • What tricks or techniques have you learned to make school or a job easier, or to make yourself more effective? How did you learn that?

Dealing with Ambiguity

  • Tell me about a time when you had to face multiple demands or where priorities kept changing. How did you deal with that? Tell me if you were successful and why.

Overcoming Obstacles

  • Give me an example of a time when you used your fact-finding skills to solve a problem.

Teamwork & Dealing with Conflict

  • Tell me about a recent situation in which you had to deal with a very upset customer or co-worker.

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