A competency framework is a structure you can use to define the behaviors, skills, and characteristics (competencies) necessary for employees to perform well in their role. This can be advantageous at every level of recruitment, evaluation, and employee development – enabling you to make choices for hiring, performance evaluation, and employee development that will bring out the best in every team member.
This will, in turn, enable you to develop a highly competent team, capable of adding real value and contributing to organizational performance in a meaningful way.
Create the Right Competency Framework
To be effective, a competency framework must be tailored to the company and to the job role depending on whether your organization uses organizational competencies, role level competencies, or both. However, in either case, the framework must reflect the company as it is, and as it is moving forward – so that employees are a good fit for current roles.
- Defining behavior that contributes to the success of the role in the current and future environment
- Defining behavior that contributes to organizational goals in the current and future environment
- Define hard and soft skills which contribute to success in the current and future environment
If competencies aren’t relevant to the role, the framework is not valuable. Most organizations save time by using a predefined list of competencies – but it is important to customize this to meet specific needs using an outside consultant in combination with internal HR.
Define How to Look for Behaviors
Oral interviews, presentations, assignments, and reference checks are the most common methods of looking for competencies. For example, interviews, where candidates are expected to share examples of past work and/or answer behavioral questions, are extremely valuable for this purpose.
However, competency frameworks should extend to current employees. You should have an effective way to assess, maintain, and monitor the competencies of your existing team. By identifying specific behaviors and skills needed for each role, you can make the best hire, but also identify skill gaps in existing employees and plan for training, which will improve the strength and competency of your team.
Use Your Competency Framework
Once you’ve adopted a competency framework, you must work to ensure that it is incorporated, that recruiters and interviewers are aware of it and of why they should use it, and that implementation is as straightforward as possible.
For example, in the hiring process, creating a list of words and phrases to look out for that exhibit the behaviors you are want would be helpful. Similarly, creating a list of qualities that you no longer find important, such as having a degree from a prestigious university, can also be helpful.
Incorporating a competency framework enables you to build the strength of your current team, while ensuring that new team members brought on display the competencies that enable them to be successful in the role. This, in turn, benefits the organization as a whole.