Hiring individuals with the right “core skills”

Does your business have the right executive talent for the position? Although businesses routinely ask for professionals with a certain amount of work experience when looking to fill a job, it's arguably more important to find someone who has the key competencies down first and foremost.

That's what Forbes contributor Chuck Cohn says in an article he recently wrote about "core skills."As opposed to the experience companies ask for — which can be taught or acquired in other ways — Cohn says that recruiters should focus on core skills because they will translate most into what is needed.

While this may seem to be a more generalized way to look for a candidate, Cohn argues that core skills have wide-ranging application.

"A core skill like excellent communication skills or attention to detail applies to a wide variety of environments," he said. "Skills that we typically identify as 'soft'—adaptability, willingness to learn, etc.—are more likely to transfer to any business or industry than specific technical capabilities, thus increasing the chances that your star candidate will become a star team member." 

Core skills are likely to be applicable in and outside the company. Take communication for example: Multiple CEOs have been called out for portraying the wrong persona at major events and coming off as arrogant, either making the company look bad or alienating employees. Someone who can boast strong general communication already has more of an advantage than someone who is just experienced in one type of speaking.

Core skills are general but don't have to be generic: defining them puts your company closer to locating your ideal candidate.