Competency modeling: what is it and how to manage it in HR

Competency modeling in Human Resources allows you to carry out a thorough, objective, and quantifiable analysis of your company’s actual...
23 March 2023

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Competency modeling: what is it and how to manage it in HR

Competency modeling in Human Resources allows you to carry out a thorough, objective, and quantifiable analysis of your company’s actual needs based on the existing capabilities in your teams and those that you need to develop or integrate to drive your project.

This process promotes talent retention and improves your selection processes, as well as practically and realistically determining the strengths and weaknesses of your teams.

Intending to provide you with all the necessary information about this human capital management methodology, we have prepared the following content in which you will discover what competency modeling is and how you can manage it.

What is competency modeling?

Competency modeling is a human capital management method that, based on the personal attitudes, aptitudes, and skills of the members of a company, provides solid criteria to drive performance and continuous development of teams while respecting the organization’s strategy.

This management model evaluates the requirements of each job position and focuses on developing the additional competencies needed to drive the teams and improve the organization’s overall results.

When applied to personnel selection in Human Resources (HR), the competency model is a talent acquisition strategy that allows you to detect the types of profiles that need to be integrated.

At this point, it is pertinent to note that competencies are the abilities, experiences, aptitudes, and skills necessary for developing a specific task.

Specifically, the competency model focuses on:

  • Knowing: Related to the knowledge acquired through personal and work experience.
  • Knowing how to do: Refers to technical competencies or hard skills that allow a person to perform a specific task.
  • Knowing how to be: Relates to soft skills, that is, the communication and interaction capacities and routines with other members.
  • Wanting to do: The interest and motivation shown by the person.

As you can see, it is a very comprehensive model that allows for a deep analysis of the competencies your company requires in a contrasted and updated context.

Competency modeling

HR competency models

There are 5 different HR competency models in a company:

  • Organizational or generic model: It focuses on the essential competencies that teams must have not to compromise the organization’s functioning.
  • Specific model: Refers to the competencies intrinsic to the company’s sector.
  • Leadership model: It refers to the competencies necessary for leaders and managers of the company to carry out their mission successfully.
  • Job or functional model: It gives importance to the skills that employees need to carry out a specific task and that correspond to the job description of each position.

In education, you can find an educational competency model that analyzes students’ skills in each subject to adapt to the pace of learning.

This is something that you can also put into practice in your training or capacity-building programs.

What is the purpose of a competency model?

Working with a competency model offers a series of benefits that justify its use both in recruitment and in the internal talent management of organizations. In this sense, thanks to the methodology of this type of model, you can:

  • Have a global view of the competencies of your teams and be aware of the ones you need to develop or integrate.
  • Implement effective methods for detecting and evaluating the required skills to define the profiles you need precisely.
  • Create detailed job descriptions that exactly correspond to the activities of your company.
  • Optimize resources in recruitment and personnel selection processes.
  • Reduce the turnover rate of your teams by promoting talent retention.
  • Define training and development needs.
  • Simplify the integrated management of HR.

Thanks to this method, from the first contact with the candidate, they are clearly aware of the company’s expectations regarding their capabilities and future performance.

What is a competency modeling?

How to manage competency modeling in Human Resources?

If you intend to implement competency modeling in the HR management of your company, you must pay attention to the following sections.

Support from company management

This is an essential condition without which the project cannot be carried out. The company management should express its commitment to this methodology and actively participate in its implementation and monitoring, allowing it to reinforce the corporate culture.

Creation of the work team

Competency modeling requires qualified people who are familiar with their methodology and are specialists in behavior analysis and observation techniques.

Situation analysis

Analyzing the situation, from the starting point to the end goal, is essential to establish a roadmap. Tools such as SWOT analysis, that is, an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, can be handy.


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Creation of competency frameworks

This document identifies the capabilities and skills needed for each role within the company.

Implementation of a feedback process

Feedback in a company allows for addressing a matter from different perspectives and, in competency modeling, provides the possibility of refining the analysis of the capabilities and responsibilities of each job position.

As you have just seen, this methodology requires a structured organization that may initially seem complicated. Remember that technology can become your ally and help you automate many of the processes while offering agility and respectful environments for your collaborators or candidates.

To help you add security to the implementation of competency models, at Smowltech, we have developed a series of flexible and scalable proctoring products to carry out your competency-based interviews or evaluations optimally.
Check it out by requesting a free demo where we will explain how we can help you.


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