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How can you find that which competencies are required for a superior performance in a particular job so that you have right people selected and placed for that job?

The Competency framework defines the competency and behavior indicators that are needed to produce results. Competencies are components of a job which are reflected in behaviour that are observable in a workplace. The common elements are knowledge, skills, abilities, aptitudes, personal attributes that impact performance at work. The criteria of competency are superior performance in context of the job being referred to predict performance.

Competency Mapping is a process to identify key competencies for an organization and/or a job and incorporating those competencies throughout the various processes (i.e. job evaluation, training, recruitment) of the organization. A competency is defined as a behavior (i.e. communication, leadership) rather than a skill or ability. Thus competencies can be divided into two categories.

Threshold competencies: These are the essential characteristics that everyone in the job needs to be minimally effective, but this does not distinguish superior from average performers.

Differentiating competencies: These factors distinguish superior from average performers.

There are five fold advantages of having a competency framework:

Direction: The Competency framework defines the competency and behavior indicators that are needed to produce results. This provides direction to the organization brings in consistency and builds a culture of efficiency and growth. The direction is in sync from top to bottom and at all levels, organization, functional and individual.

Measurable: The competencies can be measured. This enables organizations to evaluate the critical success and assess the services. When the measurement of competency is coupled with the measurement of the impact of these competencies on results, this heightens the organization’s capability to program. Therefore competencies can be measured at individual level , which can determine individual performance, and in turn determine performance of functional areas/ divisions, organizations and map gaps at all three levels, individual, functional and organizational level.

Development: When competencies can be measured, gaps can be identified, these gaps become agenda for development. Competencies can be learned. If the organization determines the kind of the behavior critical to success at individual, functional or organizational level, it can enhance the success by taking steps to develop the capability of their employees to demonstrate those competencies on – the- job.

Distinct: The competencies represent the behavioral dimensions that are unique to the organization, which are differentiating and distinct. Organizations in the same sector can be different and distinct the way they achieve business results, the way in which they accomplish this can vary depending upon the competencies that fit their particular strategy and culture. Therefore lessons can be derived from CBM of various Civil Services but every country is indeed distinct.

Integration: Competencies can be integrated to all the HR functions, recruitment & selection, training & development, performance management, career and succession planning, management of reward and incentives, reinforcing key value behaviors.

Benefits of Using Competencies in selection , training & development, performance management , succession and career planning:

Holism: This approach provides a holistic view of the person rather than focusing solely on tasks.

Relevance: The approach provides a greater focus on the fit between what the person can do and the requirements of the job, rather than on qualifications of years in service. Training and development is focused bridging the gap between the individual competencies and job requirements.

Objectivity: By explicitly stating what is required for each competency and ensuring that assessors and interviewers are working to the same understanding of what is being assessed.

Fairness, openness and transparency: By setting out the basis for assessment in advance, providing a fair and open ‘playing field’ on which to compete and providing feedback on performance.

Development of Competency Framework

When identifying the competencies, best practices are to limit the number to six to ten most important competencies. These numbers allow the insertion of the most significant behaviours on one hand while making use of competency models and their application manageable on the other hand. Competencies generated can be divided in one of three classifications:

Core (Organizational): Core competencies are defined as behaviours essential or “core” to the organizations These competencies are skill or type of knowledge that makes an organization especially good at doing some things and gives it an advantage over other organizations. They apply to all job families within an organization. Core competencies should be limited to 5 or less in any competency model.

Universal/ Generic/ Common: Universal/ Generic/ Common competencies are those behaviors “common” to a job family. For the HR job family, Universal/ Generic/ Common competencies could include: a) interpersonal skills b) oral communication, and c) sensitivity Universal/ Generic/ Common competencies should normally number three to five for any competency model.

Critical: Critical competencies are those behaviors specific to a job within a job family. For example, critical competency for HR manager – influencing skills. Critical competencies should normally be not more than two for any competency model.


Steps of Competency Mapping & Assessment Center

  1. Competencies identified for each job.
  2. Competency Directory (framework).
  3. Competing based leadership pipeline ( matrix).
  4. Assessment of each individual on required competencies.
  5. Gap analysis.
  6. Identification of developmental needs of each individual.
  7. Competency based developmental programmes.
  8. Talent review and development.
  9. Competency based integrated HR processes.