Competencies Definition, Types, Assessment, And More

competencies definition

With the growth of a firm, it becomes important for a firm to hire candidates with the right competencies for a given position. At the time of hiring, many companies often assess new candidates to ensure that these candidates are competent enough for their positions and can perform efficiently. Hence, it is important for you to understand the competencies in the field that you work in so that you can highlight them effectively.

In this article, we will first look at competencies definition, as well as how competencies work for an individual. Apart from that, we will also look at the major types of competencies based on functioning and roles. Next up, you will also learn about competency assessment, where we will discuss how to perform it in business and hiring. Hence, to learn more about competencies, read on through to the end of the article.


Competencies Definition – What Are Competencies?

According to,

Competency is the ability of an individual to apply related skills, knowledge, and abilities to perform professional duties successfully in a defined work setting. For instance, you may have the required competency in coding after completing relevant educational degrees. A professional may have multiple competencies depending on their work experience, educational background, and other training programs they undertook.

Hiring managers and companies assess the competencies of employees against the employees’ job requirements and duties. They test applicants for the job, where they examine whether an employee is able to perform all their job duties with the least amount of help or interference. By assessing the score of competencies, hiring managers can get a complete analysis of the probable performance of an employee.

Companies set these competencies as a benchmark and evaluate bonuses, salary increases, and potential achievements in the company. Apart from that, companies also consider the negative consequences of incompetence. Basically, employers test the job duties of each of their employees and hence create a score or rating for each of their skills, duties, and requirements.

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What Are The Major Types Of Competencies?

According to,

Competencies have been understandably very important in terms of how it shapes an individuals thought process. These have been used as a detailed framework to help the employees’ in focussing their behaviour on tasks that are critical to an organisation and therefore, helps drive success. The benefits are clear for employees and managers, and ultimately, the organisation.

The following are the major types of competencies you need to know of:

Types Of Competencies Based On Functions

Here are the types of competencies based on functions:

Core Competencies:

These include the abilities and skills that provide an individual with a competitive advantage. It is important for the individual to identify, develop, and capitalize on the core strengths.

Cross-functional Competencies

These competencies are those that are not your core competencies, but they are necessary to deal with a variety of roles and occupations.

Functional Competencies

In most cases, functional competencies are the ones that are exclusive within a given field, job category, or division. To succeed, a business might need a set of individuals with specialized skills and significant subject knowledge.

Types Of Competencies Based On Roles

Here are the types of competencies based on roles:

Organizational Competencies

These are the skills that organizations need to have to excel and maintain their position as market leaders.

Job Competencies

It consists of the skills that, when you display them, lead to efficient work or task performance.

Technical Competencies

It is about how you can apply your particular abilities to a particular job within the given framework.

Personal Competencies

Here, the emphasis is on the performance or output from the job and the individual’s ability to carry out tasks required by the job function.

Behavioral Competencies

Behavioral competencies are the knowledge, abilities, behavior, and attitude of individuals that help them complete tasks effectively.

Management Competencies

Management competencies are the abilities, professional goals, routines, and the approach required to manage people.

Leadership Competencies

A leader is an individual with leadership skills and a variety of versatile skills to complete jobs effectively.

How To Perform Competency Assessment?

Regarding competency assessment, adds –

Determining your competency at work is an employer’s way of deciding whether you’re a good fit for your position. Competency assessments are a measure of employee fitness and often determine both their place in the organization and the possibilities of their career. Understanding what a competency assessment is can help managers and company leaders design better tests and learn what to expect.

Here are the steps you can take to do a competency assessment of an employee or a group of employees:

1. Be Honest

Being honest can help you build trust with the employees, and in the case of competencies, employees expect honest answers from competency tests. You will need to provide honest feedback to the employees even if the test produced negative results. Here, you will need to focus on improvement rather than criticizing them.

2. Perform Individual Assessments

Performing individual assessments can make the process feel more personal for the employee. This will help you find the talents and skill gaps of each of the employees.

3. Discuss Career Objectives

Discussing the career objectives for employees can allow you to get more context about the skill gaps and talents of the employees.

4. Keep A Positive Attitude

If you keep a positive attitude at the time of assessment, you can help in enhancing the morale and confidence of employees in their position. Even if the results of the assessment are negative, establish a plan to address outcomes by involving the employee.

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Wrapping Up

Hope this article was helpful for you in getting a better idea of the competencies definition and its working at the time of hiring. Competencies include a set of demonstrable skills and characteristics so as to enable and improve the performance and efficiency of a job. The difference between competencies and skills is that individuals inherently possess the former.

Companies and HR managers use competencies as benchmarks during job interviews and assessments so as to evaluate new candidates for given roles. Do you have anything more to add regarding the application of competencies in hiring? Share your ideas and opinions with us in the comments section below.

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