How competency assessments are driving success

February 20, 2018 Caitlin Leishman

Competency-based assessment is an important topic in today’s business world. Assessments are an integral part of any HR strategy, with a role to play throughout the talent-management lifecycle. A competency-based assessment focuses on how well an employee is performing in relation to pre-determined job requirements, or competencies.

This approach allows an organization to identify competency and skills gaps for individual employees or the company as a whole. There are a variety of different types of assessments, and an employee can even self-assess their own skills.

Some of the different competency assessment types include:

  • Tests: Used to reliably assess knowledge, skills, and abilities against a pre-defined standard. They are often used in recruitment and selection, and are often the basis for certification or compliance programs. 
  • Competency-based interviews: Used to assess job candidates to determine if they are qualified for a particular job. Competency-based interviews can assess both technical ability and behavioral qualities, and the questions are structured prompt candidate to share examples of past experiences, rather than discuss hypothetical scenarios.
  • Skills gap analysis: Skills gap analyses can identify gaps in training programs and employees’ skills.
  • 180 or 360-degree feedback: 360-degree is where your feedback comes from people at various levels in the organization, for instance your boss and colleagues. In comparison, 180-degree feedback comes from individuals at the same level as you in an organization. These are often used for performance appraisal or development. 
  • Self-assessment: A self-assessment is a way for an employee to learn about themselves by answering targeted questions about work-related values, personality, interests, abilities, and more. 

What are the benefits of competency-based assessments?

Competency-based assessments are an effective means of ensuring that everyone in an organization is capable of performing the tasks required for success. But competency-based assessments also provide specific benefits at each stage of the talent management cycle. For instance, in recruitment they can help meet important job-specific or organizational competencies.  

Competency-based assessments are also crucial in ensuring effective employee development programs. Incorporating competencies into development programs can help keep your business competitive by ensuring alignment of individual personal development goals with organizational objectives. 

Finally, competency-based assessments are key to ensuring employees stay motivated and engaged in their jobs. By recognizing the skills and knowledge they have, as opposed to just identifying areas that are lacking, you’re empowering employees to take control of their careers.

Acquiring new competencies is a great motivator that encourages improvement, and the more competencies gained, the higher the performance level. Overall, you can expect a higher retention rate and job satisfaction. 

Want to learn more about using competencies? Get started with our Competency Toolkit:

Download your Competency Toolkit using the form below.



Post last updated: June 20, 2019.

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