Assessing Candidate Management Competencies

Published on June 3rd, 2022


Management is doing things right.
Leadership is doing the right things.

Peter Drucker

Part 5 of 6 Part Series on Assessing Candidate Competencies

Hiring expert Dr. Bradford Smart outlined the importance of assessing candidate core competencies in his 1999 classic, Topgrading: How Leading Companies Win by Hiring, Coaching and Keeping the Best People.

Dr. Smart identified fifty core competencies in six key areas, including personal, interpersonal, intellectual, motivational, management and leadership competencies.

Let us examine the essential management competencies to consider in evaluating your candidates.

  • Selecting “A” Players: Do your management candidates effectively recruit and select the best available talent and never settle for “C” players. How will you assess your candidate’s ability to build their team?

  • Coaching/Training: Effective managers actively and successfully train and coach people for their current assignments as well as develop them for future opportunities. What evidence will you expect your candidates to provide to demonstrate their people building competencies?

  • Goal Setting: What do you expect from your candidates in terms of setting goals for their team? Is your organization looking for managers who are best at setting goals from the top down or the bottom up?

  • Empowerment: Will your management candidates push decision making down to the lowest optimal level and provide the needed authority and resources? Are they also capable of being “hands-on” with their team when necessary?

  • Performance Management: How do your management candidates typically measure performance? Is their approach consistent with your organization’s practices? Can you count on them to create high levels of accountability and measure team member performance fairly? Also, do they provide frequent feedback and provide deserved praise and recognition as well as constructive criticism?

  • Removing “C” Players: How do your management candidates handle poor performers? Do they have a history of redeploying them through transfer or demotion? How do they handle their responsibilities when the only choice is termination?

  • Team Building: Do your candidates create a positive, mutually supportive team spirit with their team members and colleagues? Are they able to create a team climate characterized by open, honest relationships in which people are treated fairly and credit for success is shared with contributing team members?

  • Diversity: Are your candidates committed to building a diverse workforce at all levels of your organization? Do they have a track record of actively breaking down barriers to diversity and visibly fighting discrimination? How will you assess their genuine commitment to your organization’s diversity initiatives?

  • Running Meetings: One of the most vital management competencies is running effective meetings. Why? Because far too many meetings consume vast amounts of organizational time and money without producing desired results. How will your management candidates demonstrate their ability to organize and run effective meetings?

Now you know the essential management competencies to consider in evaluating your candidates.

Assessing Candidates Effectively

In screening candidates who you may want to interview and interviewing those who pass your initial screening, many organizations are plagued by two core challenges:

  • Lack of an effective assessment process: Far too often, candidate resumes are sorted into winners and losers based on one or two criteria. If the screener sees an attribute, they move the candidate to the interview pile. If not, they move them to the reject pile. The process wrongly excludes competent candidates (false negatives) and often moves unqualified candidates to the next step (false positives).

  • Screener and Interviewer bias: It is human nature to have criteria that define who you want and who you don’t want for a particular position in your company. Again, that causes companies to miss out on high-quality candidates and to move less qualified candidates through the process for consideration. It also affects diversity in the team, with consequent implications for overall company performance.

The key to hiring better candidates faster is implementing an effective assessment process that minimizes screener and interviewer subjectivity and creates a level playing field of objective evaluation.

About HireQuotient

At HireQuotient, our AI-powered assessments help you create processes that objectively measure motivational competencies while minimizing screener and interviewer bias.

Our chatbot-powered skill assessments are built around realistic work scenarios, ensuring candidates answer structured questions based on the provided data and generate insights into each candidate’s job-specific skills and business competencies.

Learn more about how HireQuotient can help your organization assess the management competencies of your candidates today. Just visit to schedule a demo today!

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