Recruitment is a popular issue that takes a pretty good size in today’s business discussions as well as among candidates and employees who look for better job opportunities and more consolidated careers. The field of assessment has allowed me to intuitively understand an insight approach of the recruitment process; in the next paragraphs I would like to share that assessment-based understanding of one part of the recruitment; that is the candidate profile.

Mohamed Maher – Organization behavior & leadership consultant. You  can contact Maher via e-mail or his LinkedIn page.

Recruitment is simply defined as getting the best candidate who achieves the optimum mutual value exchange at a certain workplace. The quality of this relationship depends widely on the sustainability of exchanging values between both sides.

The critical question, and yet the very essential is what is the exact meaning of values?

Customers tend to buy what they value rather than what they really need; employees are the same, they tend to stay more in organizations that have what they value, and organizations in return tend to maintain employees who have what the workplace values.

I would like to highlight that values are moral meanings and abstracts from the history both at the individual level and at the organizational level; values are expressed as the relative importance and they are intuitively perceived. In most cases real values are different from declared values. Furthermore, values are not clearly displayed; but instead, they are reflected on other logical meanings such as salary, career, development, position, insurance…etc; this is at the individual level. At the organizational level, values might be reflected on some behavioral competencies that distinguish one employee from others regardless their professional skills.

What do organizations look for?

Organizations always look for the right candidate; and therefore, they often have the clear definition of the right profile for the person they are looking for. The right profile is very unique, and the applicant who achieves the best match with this profile gets the job. The candidate profile is often consists of two major parts:

1. Professional skills: represents the technical know-how, including academic studies and work experiences that reflect applicant’s ability in successfully carrying out the professional part of the job; this is the clear part of the profile where most applicants can easily meet the requirements of the specified professional skills; professional skills are also clearly written and easily read on the CV.

2. Personal competencies: this is the difficult part that reflects the personal quality and determines the uniqueness of every individual and distinguishes candidates from very fit to unfit. Personal competencies are about the way you provide your professional skills, including the way you interact with others, the way you see opportunities, the way you solve problems, how you manage conflict, how you make decisions, and all behavioral and cognitive competencies related to the workplace culture. In trying to understand the personal competencies (personal quality), companies go from conducting simple interviews to using very sophisticated personal assessment tools.


Professional skills might allow you to get the job; however, to be valued at the workplace depends widely on your personal quality and the amount of activated uniqueness you have achieved in building your personal construct, and reflected on your personal competencies.

Traditional human development approaches tends to focus on the efficiency of the displayed behavior rather than to truly build personal quality; nevertheless, experiments proved that people do not reach the expected sustainable performance by only acquiring behavioral skills. I perceive the integrated development as a function of two axes; personal quality and professional skills. Interestingly, when missing either one of these axes, negative consequences can impact other areas in business as well as in personal life.

In the following graphs, notice how the area of achievements increases most by focusing on both axes, increases less by focusing on personal quality, and increases least by focusing on professional skills. By working on both axes, we target optimum area of achievements and the best activated candidate profile.

Development functions

diagram 01

diagram 02