Competency Based Assessment and Organizational Processes

We have explored quite comprehensively the objective and process of competency based, now we come to the point where it would be interesting to explore how competency based assessment can be linked to organizational process and how it can influence the traditional methods.

Let us begin with the starting step of the employee’s life cycle in an organization, the selection and hiring process. Competency based assessment of a candidate for a particular job profile leads to an objective decision rather than one based on gut feeling or instincts. Competencies also provide information regarding the organizational fit of the candidate and also about the diversity of skills, knowledge and aptitude he/she possesses which can be used diversely by the organization.

Taking up, performance appraisal next which is another important process for an organization, competency based assessment lends transparency and credibility to the process. In absence of clearly defined criteria on which the performance is evaluated, the entire appraisal process is treated as unfair and opaque by employees.

Competencies and subsequently assessments based on them ensure that an employee is being evaluated on criteria which are relevant and applicable to his/her job and he/she is aware of those criteria, which gives them not just a sense of transparency but empowerment as well.

Training and development initiatives of the organization also get realigned to address strategic business needs with the implementation of competencies and assessments based on them. Competencies provide a clear picture of the organizational requirement of the level of skills and expertise required by a particular cadre of management and assessments give information regarding what are the gaps. This information further helps in understanding the talent pool the organization has and what are the areas where the skills and expertise need to be enhanced. Training and developmental programs can thus be aimed at focus areas and yield tangible results for the organization rather than conducting initiative which have little or no relevance.

A comprehensive competency framework provides direction to the senior management team of the organization as well. The processes of succession planning and leadership development find a solid foundation in competency frameworks to build and strengthen the second line of the organization. With a clearly defined competencies required at senior level and the assessments done to find out the current level provide information regarding the nature of coaching, guiding and mentoring required to create a leadership pipeline. This pipeline created out of the existing employees ensures their alignment to the organizational values, culture and processes thus creating acceptance within the organization. It also helps when external people are hired at senior levels as the guidelines and requisites are already there in the form of competency frameworks.

Competency based assessments and their reviews also accredit prior learning through work experience or educational qualification etc. It helps motivate people when, what they know and can do, is acknowledged by the competency based assessment.

Competence based assessment also help in evaluating the training and other development initiatives conducted for the employees. It helps create a detailed before and after picture to be compared based on displayed behaviors and examples. It also gives information whether training provided is relevant for a particular role or level or not as well as helps create such programs which actually address the core issue rather than beat around the bush.


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