Competency Mapping

Competency Mapping as a tool for success.

When you’ve been working for your employer for a few years, and an opportunity for a promotion has opened, you know that your managers need to choose which member of the team is ready to take the step up; the HR team have said they’ll be using competency mapping as part of the recruitment process, and you’ve been asked to fill in some questionnaires.

So, what does it mean, how can it help them to pick the right person for the job, and how can you be sure that you’ve got what they need?

What is “competency mapping?”

This is a question we’ve been asked a lot, and it’s such an important tool for taking any business or organisation forward that we want you to understand how it works, and how your leadership will benefit from utilising it.

Competency mapping is a way of identifying which competencies matter to you as an organisation, what competencies you want to see in specific roles, and how to develop those competencies within your workforce. It identifies the strengths of each individual in your team, in their skills and behaviours, and where they can improve and develop areas they aren’t as strong.

“What do you mean by competencies?”

Competencies are skills – but more than that, they are behaviours and strengths. When writing a job description, the business skills are easy to list – a role might need someone skilled in accounts, in IT, in marketing or someone who is legally qualified or has had medical training. Listing those competencies in your job description is simple.

But recruiting successfully for a role in your organisation requires much more than the right qualifications – it requires the right behaviours and instinct – so you also need to consider what core competencies you are looking for. Things like emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, ethical judgement, motivation and risk management. The skills which aren’t as easily taught, but which come with experience, instinct and the right guidance throughout a career.

“How do we map competencies?”

By assessing people – by asking a range of questions which assess their responses to various situations and what their opinions are on those reactions. Rather than testing someone’s knowledge, what they’ve studied, it looks at how they adapt to change, how they respond to failure, how they set goals for themselves and motivate themselves to reach them, and how they respond to outside influence from their co-workers. It can also include asking the people around them – peers and leaders – to answer questions about them, offering a wider range of information to create a more in-depth picture of that person and their skills and behavioural competencies.

This data is then used to map out which areas a person is most strong and where they can be supported to grow and develop, and this information can be used to align the right skills to a role, making sure that the right person is positioned.

“Who uses competency mapping?”

Most medium to large companies now invest in competency mapping, in particular for leadership roles; the importance of recruiting the right person to maintain a successful culture and to benefit the team they are entering, bringing innovation and motivation as well as meeting the needs of the workforce, can’t be overestimated.

If you want to learn more about competency mapping, and about how we can work with you to understand your workforce better and build the success of your organisation, call today.