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Reinventing Competency Profiling for Today’s Workforce

By Sarah Beckett on March, 25 2019
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Sarah Beckett

This blog post covers some of the latest trends in competency management technology and how artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the game.

In this post, we'll look at the following points:

  • Why HR professionals are incorporating competencies into job descriptions
  • How competency profiling is typically done
  • How technology is driving change in competency profiling


(Map competencies to your job descriptions in seconds with CompetencyCore's Suggested AI competencies! Try it out by accessing our free Competency Toolkit.)


Why You Need to Incorporate Competencies Into Your Job Descriptions

What is competency profiling?

Competency profiling is the process of selecting competencies at a specific level of proficiency required for successful performance in a job.

A job description describes what an employee is expected to do. It is usually task-based and outlines the accountabilities and responsibilities of a particular role or position.  

A basic job description, however, doesn't offer much strategic value beyond getting ready for a new hire, and once that process is complete, you stick it in a drawer until the next time you need to fill the position.  

Increasingly, HR professionals are finding that competencies are the missing piece needed to bring job descriptions to life. The benefits to competencies are well known: they help you strategically align specific job requirements across the entire employee lifecycle.  

This means that you can use job descriptions not only as the basis for hiring, but also for assessment, development and career pathing.  

A major roadblock to competency implementation for organizations is the large time investment required.  That’s why we’re ripping up the playbook and building tools that reduce the time it takes to create quality competency profiles


The Traditional Method of Competency Profiling 

Traditional competency profiling initiatives are a multi-step process involving interviews, surveys, focus groups and card sort activities.  

This approach – ideal for reaching consensus among stakeholders – has been at the heart of our profiling processes for many years, and in 2014, HRSG published our nine-step competency profiling process (in 4 unique stages) that we typically recommended to our clients (see image below).  

HRSG competency profiling process

Input from experts in your organization is still an excellent and critical source of information. But the people we want involved in competency profiling are usually busy with tasks/projects that are critical to your organization’s success.  

Understandably, managers can be reluctant to spare their time. So, what can be done to reduce the time required from those experts?  


How Technology is Transforming Competency Profiling

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning is disrupting almost every facet of technology today, giving HR an opportunity to take advantage of this trend to focus on the more strategic aspects of managing people. 

We have identified 3 ways that our technology can help you save time when building competency profiles:  

  1. No need to start from scratch: Start with our draft job descriptions. We’ve analyzed over a million jobs to create up-to-date job descriptions and competency profiles for hundreds of job titles which are reviewed by in-house experts.  
  2. AI-suggested competency profiles: Choosing from hundreds of competencies used to be daunting. But if you have your own job descriptions and want to add competencies, our brand-new system can analyze your descriptions and suggest competency profiles for each job. See it in action with our tool here as part of our free Competency Toolkit.
  3. Tools for reviewing job descriptions: Invite stakeholders to review draft job descriptions and suggested competency profiles so that you can capture the unique needs of your organization. 

Ultimately, taking advantage of these technological advancements enables you to use stakeholders’ time more effectively to refine the content, rather than create it.  

This removes the need to organize and run time-consuming interviews and focus groups – one of the common barriers to implementing a competency-based approach to managing people.  


Next Steps

You’re not alone.

Every organization is looking for better competency profiling to help them fulfill their HR mission and business goals.  

Check out our case study on Adaptavist by filling out the form below.  


Want to learn how Adaptavist saved hundreds of hours on competency profiling? Check out the Case Study:

Download the Case Study using the form below.



Post last updated: July 2, 2019.