The One Real Secret to Hiring Competent People with the Right Behavior

The One Real Secret to Hiring Competent People with the Right Behavior

Sid Smith

EOS People Core Competencies

In my recent blog post entitled "7 Steps to Hire Great People Every Time" the first of the seven was:

Define what you want and need for excellence in terms of

  • Competency
  • Behaviors
  • Values
  • Questions that can identify if those skills, behaviors and values actually exist or are merely "aspirations".

In this post I want to discuss a proven process to help you discern an employee or candidate's ability to be a Right Person by possessing the required competence for the job and demonstrating the behaviors required to demonstrate the degree to which the candidate possesses that competence. I also like to use the term "Willing AND Able" to meet the requirements of the Right Seat in your organization (as per the People component of the EOS model).

Let's start by defining the two key terms I'll cover in this post:

Competence as defined by as:

The quality of being competent; adequacy; possession of required skill, knowledge, qualification, or capacity: He hired her because of her competence as an accountant.

Behavior is defined as:

  • Manner of behaving or acting.
  • Psychology, Animal Behavior.
    • observable activity in a human or animal.
    • the aggregate of responses to internal and external stimuli.
    • a stereotyped, species-specific activity, as a courtship dance or startle reflex.
  • Often, behaviors. a behavior pattern.

All of us at APG EOS Implementers use the Polaris Competency Model Executive Card Set available at

This wonderful tool covers 41 essential competencies within 7 clusters. Complete instructions are included to help you define roles and perform needs analyses for any role. Using these cards as directed will give you and your team the "ideal state" needed in selection, performance management, and training for every role in the company. Each card covers one competency in rich but simple detail and includes excellent interview questions. This card set is useful for all leadership, management, and professional roles.

A key benefit of using this card deck of 41 competencies is that it helps the hiring team have a healthy, smart and productive dialog about what competencies and related behaviors are most important in getting the right person in the right seat on your EOS Accountability Chart in your organization.

Getting clear and getting aligned on hiring in this fashion does a couple of major things for an organization:

  • Eliminates one of the major reasons the person you thought you were hiring is not the person you got. The impact of this is usually far better performance from the hire, better cultural fit and far less turnover cost.
  • Makes it easier to get a highly qualified and highly desired candidate to choose your company over their alternatives. See, people want to work for a healthy and smart company… in many cases this is even more important than money or brand to the best candidates.

When you hire this way you win by getting the person you want and need as well as give yourself a way to put your best foot forward in the hiring process to win where otherwise you might not have a chance.

In the next post I'll cover my lessons learned for discerning the all-important values of a candidate in the hiring process.


Sid: 971-678-1495
Eric: 503-635-2319