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Successful organizations use competency models. They understand and emphasize the importance of putting processes in place for recruitment, training and career path planning for their employees. Not only do planned and maintained processes make the hiring process easier and more efficient for those in your HR department, these processes also make it easy for current employees to gain the skills they need to be successful in their current and future roles. That’s why implementing a competency model is so important for your organization’s success and advancement.

What is a Competency Model?

A competency model starts with a collection of data, usually including the skills, abilities and requirements needed for an employee to successfully perform any given work position. The skill sets an employee or potential hire has are considered competencies, and those also get added into the competency model. Companies use competency models to make decisions during the hiring process, to decide what training initiatives to implement and to make decisions regarding succession planning.

Types of Competency Models

There are several different types of competency models. How do you know what kind is right for you? Understanding what each competency model does and which model best aligns with your company’s goals can help you decide which competency model(s) to implement within your organization.

Organizational Core Competency Model

Most organizations have a baseline set of skills that they require all employees to have. With an organizational competency model, you can understand and keep track of these essential core competencies and strive toward a workforce that has each of those abilities.

One example of a company-wide core competency might be that all members of your workforce must have foundational communication skills. This competency would specify what is expected in terms of communication skills and would also give learning objectives in order to master that skill set.

Functional Competency Model

In addition to company-wide competency expectations, there are also functional competencies that are needed for an employee to perform positively within a function. These function-specific competencies are often technical. A few examples of functional competencies might be knowing certain programming languages, data analysis skills, record keeping skills, grant writing skills, and more. The skills within a functional competency model might be needed within a specific department of your company.

Job Competency Model

Unlike a functional competency model, the job competency model includes skill sets that are specifically needed within a job or role. This competency model zeros in on clearly defined needs within a role so that each employee can perform to the best of their ability. The skill sets chosen are usually based on the skills that someone performing well within that role is already demonstrating. The job competencies of one person within a department may differ greatly from another within that same department.

Leadership Competency Model

When hiring for leadership roles within your organization, there are typically some key competencies which are absolutely essential. Skills such as self-management and development, coaching and mentoring or understanding and enforcing ethics are examples of skills anyone in a leadership position would need to be effective in their role.

To promote the advancement of your company, leaders need to be a step above and constantly working to hone valuable leadership skills. With a leadership competency model implemented, your organization can be sure that these key competencies are both attained and maintained.

A Custom Competency Model

Each organization is different. Depending on your company, it may be pertinent to tailor various models to create your own custom competency model. No matter which type(s) you choose to implement, it’s important that your competency model(s) are aligned with your organization’s goals and core competencies.

Why Use Competency Models?

There are several reasons for using competency models within your organization. Successful companies strive for a sustainable solution for hiring, training, succession planning, and simply adding value to their workforce wherever possible. Here are a few reasons why implementing a competency model is essential for your growing business:

Better Hires

competency modelsWith the data gathered and analyzed through competency models, your HR department will thank you. Not only will your job descriptions be more detailed and easier for recruiters to work with, recruiters will also be able to distinguish between which skills are requested and which are absolutely essential, allowing them to choose the best candidates for interviewing.

A streamlined HR department means increased efficiency for recruiters as well as less time spent by upper management digging through resumes and conducting futile interviews.

Diversity and Inclusion

There are so many reasons to actively aim for diversity and inclusion within your workforce. Studies show that companies who have men and women more evenly represented in their teams earned 41% more revenue. Not only do diversified teams earn more revenue, they also think differently. With varied backgrounds, a diverse workforce is more likely to approach a problem from several angles instead of just one.

Having a competency model in place can help management build a more diverse workforce by clarifying several key factors, including: cultural sensitivity, negotiation and facilitation, continuous learning, complex group dynamics and more.

Organizational Goals and Objectives

After your competency model is in place, progress toward organizational goals and objectives becomes a painless process. Competency models can help everyone within the company get on the same page and gain access to valuable data used to make decisions on a daily basis.

Competency Models for a Sustainable Future

If you’re unsure about using competency models to advance your organization, consider scheduling a free demo. The Avilar Competency Model can help your organization better identify core competencies, understand your employees’ skillsets and build a valuable and sustainable workforce.

Learn more about the importance of competencies, competency models and competency-based learning, subscribe to the Avilar blog.


Original Post: September 26, 2016
Updated: August 3, 2022