Competency modeling

Competency modeling
See also

Competency modeling is a process which describes a required competency. The description of required competencies may concern a single workplace, the whole department or a job category. Therefore, some kind of models are created. They describe individual tasks in the workplace, how the employee should behave and the characteristics required of them (W.J. Rothwell 2004, s.34). That is why competency modeling is mainly used when selecting candidates for a specific job position, planning further employee development and planning changes in the structure and strategy of the company (B. Gaddis, B. Ferrel 2018, s.30). There are two types of competency modeling. One of them is defined and described as individual competencies like skills, abilities and knowledge which are required of each employee. The second type is defined and described competencies which dependent on the organizational culture of the entire company. Individual competency requirements must be combined with the company's broader goals (E. Biech 2011, s.181). 7 steps or stages can be distinguished in the process of competency modeling. There are (A.F. Marrelli, J. Tondora, M.A. Hoge 2005, s.539-558):

  • defining goals - the objectives should be described clearly and in detail. Each competency should also be defined, as it can be a single skill, personality trait, knowledge or a group of two or more factors,
  • finding a sponsor - the sponsor, in this case, maybe the general manager, department manager or the general board. It is important that it has an impact on the right units and can provide the necessary support by engaging various types of resources,
  • elaborating and implementing plans of communication and education - everyone involved in this plan must be convinced that they will benefit. Therefore, people should be kept informed of actions taken and their effects,
  • planning the methodology - should be selected by the group of people on whom the methods are to be used on a later stage of the task. They will provide important information for the project,
  • identifying competencies and creating the Competency Model - matching competencies in groups based on various criteria and creating a model,
  • applying the Competency Model - the model should be used in all aspects of management for objective assessment,
  • evaluating and updating the Competency Model - assessment and possible correction of the model.

Differences between competency modeling and traditional job analysis

Competency modeling is sometimes considered as an identical concept or development of traditional work analysis. However, there are some differences between them. They concern, among others (J.I. Sanchez, E.L. Levine 2009, s.54):

  • reason – in traditional job analysis behaviour is described, while in competency modeling behaviour is influenced,
  • view of the job – traditional job analysis is aimed at describing an external object, competency modeling – a role,
  • time orientation – traditional job analysis focuses on what was in the past, competency modeling focuses on, what will happen in the future,
  • performance level – traditional job analysis focuses on typical capabilities, norms, in turn, competency modeling focuses on maximum possibilities.

Traditional work analysis also focuses on the work itself and the tasks it performs. He mainly takes into account hard skills and focuses on the differences that exist between individual positions. Competency modeling, in turn, focuses mainly on employees. Soft skills and personality traits of employees that are taken into account here. Competency modeling also looks for similarities between tasks at individual workplaces (C. Cooper, S. Cartwright 2008, s.156).


Author: Paulina Jurusik, Justyna Niemiec, Aleksandra Marcinkowska