Employee ExperienceRecruitment

Competency Mapping & Assessment

4 Mins read

The aim of competency mapping & assessment is to enable individuals to better understand themselves and to identify where their efforts need to be directed for career development. Competency mapping (also referred to as competency modelling or competency inventory) is a method used by HR professionals to identify the personal skills, knowledge and experience levels of individuals.

The results are used for several purposes including:

  • Competency refers to an observable or demonstrated behavior(s) that is considered necessary by the organization in order for the employee to be successful at their job.
  • Using results from a competency mapping session, usually with one person, the competencies for a position are determined and listed out.
  • These competencies are then written into job descriptions and used as the basis for hiring, career development and promotion decisions.

Competency Mapping & Assessment

Competency Mapping

There are many benefits in using competency mapping to determine the skills, knowledge and capabilities of an individual. When competencies are mapped, it results in a complete picture of an employee’s set of abilities. This information can be used by managers when planning training programs, planning work for employees, arranging development opportunities and identifying areas where further education is required. Competency Mapping helps show how the person fits with the overall objectives of the organization.

How does it work? 

This process is carried out by employees themselves through self-profiling exercises to gain a clearer picture of their strengths and weaknesses. Competencies are then listed out that are necessary for the job role. These competencies are then written into job descriptions and used as the basis for hiring, career development and promotion decisions.

They use it to determine the skills, knowledge and capabilities of an individual. When competencies are mapped, it results in a complete picture of an employee’s set of abilities and the company may know exactly what kind of employees it needs. 

Competency Mapping Questionnaire For Employees

Competency Mapping Tools

Employees completing self-assessment activities through self-profiling exercises or developing their own personal profiles gain an increased sense of job satisfaction. A competency profile constructed by employees themselves gives them a clear indication of strengths and weaknesses that they can improve upon by their own personal development plans. When determining competencies, organizations create a profile of the specific skills and knowledge that are required for the business to function successfully. 

Developing a document that defines these requirements provides a clear picture of what is needed from employees within their current role as well as a development path for those who want to take on new roles in the future. Competency mapping enables employees to identify areas of improvement, leading to a more satisfied and motivated workforce.

Competency Mapping & Assessment Tools 

There are a number of tools that can be used when compiling competencies, including 

  • On the job observation
  • Direct feedback from manager and others
  • Self-assessment by employees themselves
  • Checklists of behaviors associated with specific roles and responsibilities 

Application of Competency Mapping

It is important to note that in order for competency mapping to work correctly, it must start at the entry level of an organization. If you have existing employees in place already, it is important to map their skills and capabilities before making any further hiring decisions. A good way to do this is conduct a group competency map where all new hires participate in a group activity which allows them to share information about each other and compile a Competency Map as a team. This map which comes from an external source such as the job description, is not as reliable and must be made clear to employees that this assessment is not personal and is only related to the position applying for.

Competency Mapping & Assessment can help you with a number of things, such as:

  • Increase productivity by ensuring your employees are working in roles where they excel and tasks they do poorly are left to people who will succeed at them.
  • Ensure your employees have all of the skills necessary to perform their jobs.
  • Control training costs because you will know exactly what training is needed before making any investment decisions.
  • Predict potential future success by analyzing specific patterns among successful candidate profiles 

Is there some kind of template I can use for my own self-assessment?

There are many other tools that you can use to map your own competencies. You can write them out on notecards or post-it notes and then group like cards together. Another way is to use an online tool which takes your information and categorizes them for you (you input the data, it does all the work). Most templates are similar but, all have a unique feel to them. Some key focus points of each template are:

  • Employee basic information, name, job title and department
  • Current employee responsibility
  • Performance goals
  • Core values 
  • Additional notes

What are the benefits of team competency mapping?

competenacy mapping & assessment

Successfully mapping your employees has a few benefits, such as:

  • Helps you identify training needs
  • Gives you an objective way to group your employees by skills and experiences
  • Creates a shared understanding of where everyone fits into the organization
  • Provides common vocabulary that can be used when discussing tasks and projects 

Can managers also benefit from using Competency Mapping tools?

Yes, managers will benefit greatly from participating in these activities because it helps them gain a higher-level understanding of their individual roles and how they contribute to the overall success of the team. It allows them to see what skills and strengths their employees have as well as where they can improve. 

How do I ensure that the assessment is only related to the position? 

When creating these tools, you must include the job description in your criteria. This ensures that future hires will not be measured against what you suspect your current employees could or should be doing rather than what they actually are doing. It is also helpful for employers with many different departments and little crossover between roles and responsibilities because it allows them to compare apples to apples when making decisions about training and work allocation.

Further Reading

Internal Mobility Metrics
Replacement Chart in HRM
Walt Disney Human Resources Case Study

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