Competency | Meaning and Definition

What are competence or HR competencies?

Competency is the ability to use skills for a specific work that needs critical task functions. It usually refers to the ability to carry out complex tasks. The term can also describe specific areas of knowledge needed for a particular job. Generally, companies want competent employees to ensure that their business runs smoothly. 

Common HR competencies for employees

  •   Accountability
  •   Adaptability
  •   Self-Confidence
  •   Communication skills
  •   Problem-solving
  •   Quick thinker
  •   Initiative
  •   Resource management
  •   Project Management
  •   Conflict management
  •   Technology or special skill
  •   Collaborative skills
  •   Setting goals
  •   Leadership
  •   Developing Others
  •   Self-development 

Why does HR care about Employee Core Competencies?

Human Resources (HR) departments care about employee core competencies for a few key reasons: 

  • First and foremost, these skills and abilities are directly related to an employee’s ability to perform their job duties. HR Competencies can identify training and development needs, improve recruiting efforts, and measure an individual’s performance against specific job requirements. 

  • Additionally, tracking core competency can help organizations benchmark trends within their industry and ensure that they are adequately prepared to meet future challenges. 

  • Ultimately, HR cares about employee core competencies because they are essential ingredients for organizational success. 

How to identify Employee Core Competencies?

One way to identify employee core competencies is by using the SMART framework. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. When assessing employee core competencies, ask yourself these five questions: 

  1. What specific skills or knowledge does this employee have, that are relevant to the job?
  2. Can this skill or knowledge be measured?
  3. Is this skill or knowledge achievable?
  4. Is this skill or knowledge relevant to the job?
  5. How time-bound is this skill or knowledge?