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Competencies explained

Competencies explained

 

What are competencies?

Competencies are the underlying personal skills and qualities which guide a person’s behaviours and therefore their workplace performance.

Competencies cover areas such as attitudes, motivations, personality characteristics, skills, predispositions and aptitudes.

The competencies used by different organisations will vary slightly depending on corporate objectives. However, similar skills are crucial to the successful performance of many roles, so the competencies required are often remarkably similar across organizations.
 
For instance:

  • Any member of the team will need to convey their message clearly through their communication skills;
  • They will need to evaluate consequences and generate solutions, using their problem solving capabilities;
  • They need to be trusted to uphold the values of the organisation and display an ethical approach because of their honesty and integrity;
  • They will need to work with and support others through their positive approach to teamwork.

Technical, procedural and operational skills are trained and measured throughout your career through appraisals, courses and workplace coaching. But in addition to specific knowledge and experience you need to prove that you also have underlying behavioural aptitudes which the organisation is looking for.
 
Your assessment will test:

  • How you analyse information
  • How you share knowledge
  • How you recognise and manage the needs and behaviours of others

Luckily there are ways to develop the necessary competency skills so you can prove your capabilities in an assessment scenario. You need to learn specific skills and understand relevant techniques.

Selection activities like an application form, assessment centres, roleplays, interviews, written exercises, Situational Judgment Tests (SJTs), presentations, case studies etc are used to carefully examine your competencies; the competencies provide insights to potential employers about how you tend to behave when faced with work related problems. The person who demonstrates the most effective and organisationally sought-after behaviours will be offered the job.

 

Example competencies

Example competencies

There are some general competency categories which are common to most organisations. The language used might be slightly different but the themes will be consistent. Within each of these categories there will be a number of related behaviours. We have...

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