Key Learning Points:

  1. Organisations need highly adaptable employees;
  2. Retention is a key success factor in selection processes;
  3. Highly valid and reliable tools enhance organisations’ performance.


Employees are key to business success. An organisation’s performance is directly related to the quality of its employees. Selection decisions impact directly on organisational success. Effective selection practices consist of evaluating individuals against set criteria, comparing individuals to the criterion; and selecting individuals who are best suited for a particular position.

Creating a workforce with high adaptability requires a shift in focus from a job-based to a competency-based approach as a more competency-focused approach could be a turning-point to allow an organisation to be more flexible and adaptable in times of rapid change. While a job-based approach focuses mainly on job descriptions, a competency-based approach focuses on person-descriptions. By selecting an employee through the use of a job-based approach, an individual will be selected based on ability to perform those responsibilities unique to a specific position. By making use of a competency-based approach for selection, an individual will be selected based on existing competencies as well as the ability to learn the types of skills needed by the organisation.

Employees in the twenty-first century spend less time with individual employers than in the past and may be less committed. Selection costs may seem prohibitive in certain instances and organisations need to incorporate plans for retention as early as the selection process. A major cause for employee turnover is poor chemistry or bad fit. It is therefore important for organisations to not only choose a candidate who possesses the required skills, but also a candidate whose attitude, personality and behaviours fit within the culture of the organisation.

In order to be able to select an individual who will be the best fit for the position, it is crucial that the selection methods used have both high reliability and predictive validity. While, a reliable method will have the same outcome when repeated after a period of time, a method of high predictive validity will successfully predict the individual’s performance in real life situations.

By taking these contemporary challenges into consideration, it is clear that successful selection processes should be valid and reliable, measure an individual’s job-fit by comparing individual competencies with the competencies critical for success in the position; and measure individual-organisation fit by comparing the attitude, personality characteristics and behaviours of the individual with those of the organisation.

Our tools meet the above requirements and were developed by making use of a performance driven, validation-centric strategy which means that the best predictors of criteria were included in our questionnaires. The job profiler is a questionnaire designed to determine the competencies specific to a position and when it comes to selection it can be used to determine the set of competencies (criteria) against which individuals should be compared. The assessments were designed to describe individual differences in terms of motives, talents, preferred culture and competency potential. In addition, the ability assessments were designed to further measure an individual’s cognitive ability. By employing these tools during selection, an organisation can better predict performance, proficiency, promotability and potential. Fit for purpose leads to better performance enhanced engagement.