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Competencies are demonstrable characteristics of a person that enable the person to perform the job (Dessler, 2008). Competencies refer to abilities, attributes or skills that will leads to effective performance of a job (HR Strategic Partners Inc, n.d.). Competency can apply at individual, team or organization. It is guidance for us to differentiate between the poor performance and good performance.
Generally, competencies are described in terms of behaviors (HR Strategic Partners Inc, n.d.). For instance, someone who serves the customers must always meet or exceed the customer's expectations and meet the changing customer needs at the same time.
Competencies emphasize not on what an employee can do but on what an employee can learn. Competencies can be developed with effort and support among the employees which will leads to effective performances. Competencies help people to perform effectively and meeting job expectations.
Competencies required for employees may differ from one another. Some examples of competencies are communication skills, interpersonal skills and leadership.
Core competencies define the behaviors which are the keys for organization success (HR Strategic Partners Inc, n.d.). Core competencies are defined following the main goals and strategies of the organization (HR Strategic Partners Inc, n.d.). So, the company's goals, mission, vision and values must be fully understood first before defining the main competencies required. All employees must demonstrate all the skills and abilities defined in core competencies in order to achieve effective job performance as well as the organization's goal and objectives (HR Strategic Partners Inc, n.d.).
According to Jim Riley, core competencies are those capabilities that are very important for a business to be competitive in the market (Riley, 2012). We can know what competencies are expected to be possessed by the employees from the core competencies defined by the organization. The main purpose of the core competencies is to ensure the employees able to perform different tasks in different positions in the organization (Riley, 2012). For instance, an accountant should be expert in doing account whereas marketing personnel should be expert in marketing products.
A core competency should enable a company accesses to a broad variety of markets and provides basic customer benefits and it should be hard for the competitors to simulate (Riley, 2012). This will ensure the company continues to grow and survive in the market.
Core competencies are not fixed and they need to be changed with the changes in the changes in organization's environment (Riley, 2012). So, core competencies have to be altered when the business grows and adapts to the new situation.
An organization should build up a competency model in order to benefits from competencies (Dargai, 2010). A competency model is an organizing framework that states the competencies required for effective performance in a particular job (Dargai, 2010). The competencies can be grouped into many types. Each type of competencies has their own importance at different application levels.
The first type of competencies is behavioral competencies (Georgia's Behavioral Competency Framework , 2008). Behavioral competencies refer to the competencies which are required in the aspects of behavior in order to perform the job successfully (Georgia's Behavioral Competency Framework , 2008). So, it is more specific to a person instead of a job (Georgia's Behavioral Competency Framework , 2008). For instance, for an employee who works in a typing group in an organization, team working is the competency required by him. This is because when there is more works, he might need to help others in order to get the work done within the specified period.
The second type of competencies is threshold competencies (Management Study Guide, 2008-2013). Threshold competencies refer to the quality needed by an individual to carry out a job (Management Study Guide, 2008-2013). It is the minimum qualification needed to perform a job. For instance, for a typist, the threshold competency will be the knowledge about typing.
The third type of competencies is functional competencies (Management Study Guide, 2008-2013). Functional competencies refer to the competencies which are needed for particular functions (Management Study Guide, 2008-2013). The functional competencies for different jobs are different. For instance, the competencies required for an accountant are different from the competencies required for marketing personnel.
The fourth type of competencies is leadership competencies (Management Study Guide, 2008-2013). Leadership competencies refer to the skills and characteristics of the leaders that we expect (Deloitte Development LLC, 2013). For instance, the leader in an organization should be capable in managing execution.
Competency-based training is an approach to learning which focuses on what an employee can do in the workplace as a result of training (Commonwealth of Australia, 2012). Generally, competency-based training is based on the performance standards which have been set by the company. Employee who has the skills and knowledge required to carry out the activities and achieves the job performance expected in an organization can be considered as an employee who has successfully achieve competency (Commonwealth of Australia, 2012).
Competency-based training system includes not only the training courses which are related to job performance but also identification of level of competences required for different job level in an organization (Learning Designs Inc, 2011). For instance, competency-based training system of a company determines the competencies needed for the marketing manager and the competencies needed for the secretary.
Employees can try to improve themselves so that they can achieve the goals by looking at the competencies required for different job levels (Learning Designs Inc, 2011). For instance, an employee who wishes to be a manager would work harder to achieve the competencies required by a manager.
Job skills analysis is required in order to develop competency-based training. Firstly, we need to look into every job descriptions in an organization (Learning Designs Inc, 2011). Next, we need to identify the knowledge and skills and level of competence required to perform a job (Learning Designs Inc, 2011). After that, training can only be organized to support performance at different levels. At the same time, we can come out with the level of competence required for the performance as well (Learning Designs Inc, 2011). Competency-based training system will help an organization achieve results.
Competency-based job analysis
Competency-based job analysis means defining a job in terms of measurable, observable, behavioral competencies that an employee doing the job must show to perform the job well (Dessler, 2008). Competency-based job analysis emphasizes on what an employee can do instead of the duties that he has to carry out. Traditional job analysis is job focused as it focuses on what is accomplished on duties whereas competency-based job analysis is worker focused as it focuses on how an employee accomplishes the work and what an employee must be competent to do (Dessler, 2008).
The competency-based job analysis is used in order to improve the morale of employees, motivate them and encourage them to move freely from one job to another (Dessler, 2008). This is different from the traditional job analysis which lists down the duties that the employees must carry out. This cause the employees to do only their work and do not cares about others as they think that other jobs are not their jobs.
Besides, describing the job in terms of skills, knowledge and competencies the worker needs is more strategic (Dessler, 2008). If the company focuses on certain aspect, employees should develop themselves in that particular aspect to achieve the results.
Competency-based recruitment and selection
Competency-based recruitment and selection emphasizes on finding the candidates with the characteristics that will leads to superior performance in the role that the company wants to fill (Resilient Individuals, Communities and Organisations, 2010).
In order to know better whether the candidate is suitable for a particular position in an organization, several references should be used instead of relying only one reference in recruiting and selecting candidates (Resilient Individuals, Communities and Organisations, 2010). For instance, the company recruits and selects the candidates based on their application form, work sample tasks and verbal comprehension test (Resilient Individuals, Communities and Organisations, 2010).
By applying competency-based recruitment and selection, this will avoid the company from selecting only the candidate who has similar background, personality and style which will cause the organization to lose the innovative candidates (Resilient Individuals, Communities and Organisations, 2010).
Besides, it is result-oriented (Dargai, 2010). This will help the organization to achieve the business result. Performance levels of employees will be higher by using the competency-based recruitment and selection this method as the candidates recruited and selected will be those who have the competencies required to perform the jobs in an organization. So, competency-based recruitment and selection will be a good way for the organization to find the best suited employees and thus achieve the organization's goals.
Legal Issues in Job Analysis
The legal issue determined by Thompson and Thompson is job analysis must be carried out and it should be in written format (Gatewood, Field & Barrick, 2010). The procedures involved for the job analysis should be described in detail by the job analysts (Gatewood, Field & Barrick, 2010).
In the job analysis, the tasks, duties and activities should be included (Gatewood, Field & Barrick, 2010). Besides, the most vital tasks should be represented in the selection device (Gatewood, Field & Barrick, 2010). Last but not least, for entry-level jobs, the competency levels of job performance should be stated clearly as well (Gatewood, Field & Barrick, 2010).