What is Competency Modeling?

Learn more about competency modeling and make better hiring decisions.

What is Competency Modeling

July 13th, 2020

A competency model is a set of guidelines that define the skills, knowledge, and abilities (KSAs) required for an employee to perform their job successfully. Competency modeling is typically used by the human resources department of an organization to screen and evaluate candidates during the recruitment process, in an effort to meet the company's objectives.

How is Competency Modeling Used in the Hiring Process?

Recruitment.

Competency modeling is an important aspect of the recruitment process as it allows companies to ensure that new hires align with the company culture and have the core skills and knowledge required for the position. The competency model assists HR staff in writing well-defined job descriptions and clarifies expectations for potential employees.

In addition, it informs the interview stage by enabling the hiring manager to ask specific questions, thereby identifying skills gaps among candidates. This adds structure to interviews and helps companies to hire the right people for the job.

Talent management.

A competency model provides a framework for the talent management cycle, including recruiting, onboarding, training and development, and succession planning. It allows talent managers to have a clearer idea of the skills that need to be developed in employees, and can be tailored to each role.

Performance management.

Competency modeling allows companies to put in place performance goals and properly assess employees during performance reviews. Furthermore, it provides clear direction for employees by outlining areas for improvement. This enables companies to distinguish between top and average performers, engage employees, and work on achieving the organization's goals.

The Benefits of Competency Modeling:

  • Streamlines the recruitment process and improves employee retention.
  • Provides direction for workplace performance that aligns with company goals and strategies.
  • Enables the HR department to have a clear idea of required skills, abilities, and behaviors.
  • Enables an organization to measure employee performance and improve talent acquisition and management.
  • Enables HR to define and outline training and development needs.
  • Allows employees to learn about and work toward performance goals.
  • Provides a system of fair measurement for performance evaluations.

How to Build a Competency Model:

1. Perform occupational research.

Before developing a competency framework, it is important to analyze each job type to gain an understanding of the proficiencies required for a specific role. The best way to accomplish this is by interviewing each employee to identify the key skills and behaviors required to perform successfully in each role. This will also reveal whether there are any skill shortages in the team.

2. Draft a competency framework.

Once you've gathered all your research and data, you can start developing a competency framework. Review the interview data, select the SKAs with the best performance, and name each competency by writing a short description for each role that consists of four or more key behaviors and skills. The next step would be to devise a rating scale to measure each employee's level of proficiency. Be sure to include both cross-job and job-specific competencies in the framework.

3. Obtain feedback from stakeholders.

Review your competency model with management or your peers to make sure you're on the right track. Based on the feedback you receive, update your framework to make sure that it is clear and aligns with your vision for the company. Lastly, review your framework again before finalizing it.

4. Communicate how the competency model should be used in practice.

Discuss the competency model with your team by explaining how it will be integrated in the company, and support recruitment and other HR practices.

FAQs:

What is a competency model in HR?

A competency model is a set of guidelines that define the skills, knowledge, and abilities (KSAs) required for an employee to perform their job successfully. Human resource departments use these criteria as a benchmark to evaluate prospective employees during the recruitment process.

What is the purpose of a competency model?

The purpose of a competency model is to communicate which skills, behaviors, and abilities are valued in an organization. This ensures that employees have an understanding of the company's values and what is expected of them.

What is an example of a competency?

  • Communication.
  • Decision-making.
  • Problem-solving.
  • Organizational skills.
  • Teamwork.
  • Leadership skills.
  • Responsibility.
  • Trustworthiness and ethics.
  • Results-oriented.