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Competencies Intro

Our offer on competencies covers a number of interventions.


  • Design of Competency Frameworks for specific roles or for the organisation as a whole.
  • Design of pay and reward strategies linked to competencies.


  • Competency interviewing.
  • Design of Assessment Centres linked to competencies.


  • Training needs analysis based on competencies.
  • Development Centres linked to competency frameworks.


  • Competency interview training.
  • Introduction to competencies.
  • Developing internal staff on competency design and use.

Competencies Introduction

Why use competencies?

Before turning to each of the above it is worth spending some time considering what competencies are and why your organisation might benefit from introducing them or increasing their use.

Firstly, an analogy to help to illustrate a point – if you go out shopping without first deciding what you need to buy – chances are you might end up with a good number of things that you want, but you may also end up with ‘impulse buys’ in your shop which might quite conceivably have increased the amount you wanted to spend and your trip might have taken longer than expected. Likewise – it is quite possible that you will realise that you have forgotten something when you return home. If you plan what it is you are going shopping for, the specific ingredients you will need for each meal, you are likely to be focused and targeted in your shop with a much increased chance of doing the shopping quicker and it is very likely that the cost will be as you had anticipated.  

If an ‘impulse and unplanned’ approach is used to search for skills for your business it is quite likely that you may not get exactly what it is that you need because you have not really sat down and given your ‘shopping list’ for skills much thought. A ‘hit or miss’ approach – which if you are recruiting for your business is ok if you get it right on instinct, but disastrous operationally and costly if you make a mistake.

Using a competency approach towards recruitment means that there is an increased chance of getting exactly what your business needs. Using competencies in recruitment also protects you from claims that your  process was discriminatory as you will be able to justify what you went out looking for and how you tested each candidate to establish if they had those skills.

A competency is an ability based on  ‘behaviour’ – so rather than just finding out if someone can do a functional task – it enables the organisation to establish and control how a task will be performed. Competencies then take not only what needs to be achieved but also focuses on how that task or function will be performed. To illustrate, one could look for someone who could type – but without defining how that typing would be done (accurately, to x number of words per minute, with a flexible approach to helping others) you will get what you ask for. In an extreme example you may then get someone who can type – but five words per minute with four of those words being spelt inaccurately. The candidate could reasonably argue that they have not misled you as they can type and you did not specify any further qualifying criteria.

Using competency frameworks for either a role or more widely in an organisational context can significantly increase the chances of getting the exact skills you need for your business.

Competencies can:

  • Save money through effective recruitment and retention using competency based schemes.
  • Ensure that you get the right people into your business.
  • Be used to retain staff through competency based pay and reward schemes which reward specific behaviours your business wants to encourage.
  • Give synergy in terms of culture throughout the organisation via reward schemes – giving a ‘collective pull’ towards organisational aims.
  • Ensure a fair and a transparent method of recruiting.
  • Encourage behaviours throughout the organisation thus influencing culture.
  • Support achievement of organisational goals.
  • Differentiate your business from those who do not use this approach.

Our view is that to get maximum benefit from competencies they should be introduced organisationally. Obviously this is easier for start up or small business with fewer roles to profile. However, many medium to large organisations make the choice to introduce competency frameworks having grown organically with informal structures or who now want to change organisational behaviour to differentiate themselves from the market.

Large or small – competency use can bring huge benefits and we can support the identification of what your business needs and help you start to access the benefits of competencies.

The following Competencies Packages cover some areas in which we can help your organisation apply competencies. Please give us a call to discuss any of these or any other needs which are not listed.          

Consultancy – Designing Competency Frameworks

Competencies in Retention and Reward (see RETAIN)
Competencies in Recruitment (see RECRUIT)
Competencies in Development (see DEVELOP)
Competencies in Training (see DEVELOP)