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What Are Competency Models?

A competency model is a detailed, behaviorally specific description of the skills and traits that employees need to be effective in a job.

Characteristics of a Competency Model:

  • Between 18 and 20 competencies, with definitions.
  • Describes what is needed for effective or superior performance for a specific job.
  • Often grouped in 3 to 5 clusters.
  • Each competency may have a set of behavioral indicators.

Knowing the competencies for a job enables one to select jobholders who already possess some of the competencies and are therefore more likely than other candidates to achieve effective or superior performance and to receive rewards and recognition that cause them to remain in the organization.

What are competencies?

A competency is a trait, characteristic, skill or knowledge that is needed to perform a particular job. A competency can be technical, non-technical or foundational.

Why are competencies important?

Business Reasons:

  • In any job, people with more of the needed competencies achieve better results.
  • Superior performers are much more effective and valuable than average performers.
  • Increased productivity of people leads to improved business results.

HR Reasons:

  • Improve selection, training, development, performance management.
  • Encourage superior performers by coaching competencies identified as needed for superior performance.
  • Common conceptual framework for people management.
  • Employees whose competencies are being developed are more engaged, satisfied, productive.