High-performing people are critical for high-performing organisations. Whether driven by the need to improve efficiency, productivity, or profitability, or by the desire to provide outstanding customer service, the combination of two components is critical: selecting talented and high-potential people to carry out the organisation’s mission and creating a culture that supports them (Donna Rodriguez et al., 2002).

To meet these challenges that most of the organisations are facing, CATRO Bulgaria perceives competency models as one of the most crucial instruments for assessing employees’ performance on the job against well accepted standards in order to constantly improve it by maximizing the potential of human capital in your organisations. Thus, competency models are often directly linked to the corporate goals and strategies in organisations providing insight on their core values, mission and vision.

Benefits of competency models

CATRO Bulgaria assists its clients in setting up and aligning competency models to their overall business strategy. This will help them not only to recruit and select the most appropriate employees for their organisations, but also to distinguish superior from average performance, to set clear goals for training and development, to ensure succession planning etc.

Competency models are not meant to just describe, but actually to influence behaviour by defining behavioural indicators, that are critical for the organisational success. Our role as Organisational Development consultants is to show the pathway between the day-to-day employees’ behaviour and broader strategic organisational goals, to ensure consistency by using common language that makes the core organisational anchors clear and understandable for everybody in the entity.

Here are some of the main benefits of Competency Models for the organisations:

Selection:

The use of competence-based interviewing and testing, where appropriate, to screen job candidates based on whether they possess the necessary key job competency profiles (e.g. Assessment Centers for executive positions are usually based on competency models):

  • Provides a complete picture of the job requirements
  • Minimizes the investment (both time and money) in people who may not meet the company’s expectations
  • Enables a more systematic, valid and fair interview and selection process
  • Helps distinguishing between competences that are trainable after hiring and those that are more difficult to develop

Training and Development:

Development of individual learning plans for employees, based on measurable “gaps” between job competences or competency proficiency levels required for their jobs and the current competency staff portfolio.

  • Focusing training and development plans to address missing competences or to raise level of proficiency
  • Enables people to focus on skills, knowledge and characteristics having the most impact on job effectiveness
  • Ensures that training and development opportunities are aligned with organisational needs
  • Creates the most effective use of training and development time and budget

Performance Management:

Provides regular measurement of targeted behaviours and performance outcomes linked to job competency profile critical factors.

  • Provides a shared understanding of what will be monitored, measured and rewarded
  • Focusing and facilitating performance appraisal discussion on performance and development
  • Emphasizing on gaining more objective and structured information about a person’s performance on the job
  • Facilitates effective and meaningful goal-setting linked to required development efforts and performance outcomes

Career Paths:

Developing “stepping stones” necessary for promotion and long-term career growth.

  • Clarifies the skills, knowledge and characteristics required for the job or role in question as well as for the follow-up jobs (jobs either higher in the hierarchy or such with greater responsibilities)
  • Identifies necessary levels of proficiency for follow-up jobs
  • Allows for the identification of clear, valid and achievable benchmarks for employees to progress upward
  • Increases transparency and objectivity of career progression discussions

Succession Planning:

Careful, methodical preparation focused on retaining and growing the competency portfolios is critical for the organisation survival and prosperity.

  • Provides a method to assess candidates’ readiness for their job roles.
  • Focusing training and development plans to address missing competences or gaps in the demonstrated levels of competency proficiency
  • Allows your organisation to measure its “bench strength”—the number of high-potential performers and what they need to acquire to step up to the next level
  • Provides competency framework for the transfer of critical knowledge, skills and experience prior to succession, allowing to prepare candidates for these transfers using training, coaching and mentoring

Compensation and Incentives:

Compensate employees by using the competency model to structure the payroll scale between jobs or to evaluate employees for salary increase. Due to the link between business objectives and performance levels, competency models are also seen as relevant benchmark for payroll purposes and the so-called “performance-related-compensation”.

Organisational change:

Supporting organisational change efforts by developing broad systematic basis of future-oriented competences. The ability to train, assess, select, promote and reward employees in line with a desired future state can help speed up the transition of your organisation.