Competency-based interviews are the most used selection method across all sectors, and competency frameworks are now often seen as an essential way to achieve high organisational performance through individual capability and potential. 

Competency frameworks originally measured the behaviours or ‘soft skills’ employers want but have evolved to include technical skills. All skills and behaviours included should have the capacity to to be measured and CIPD recommends no more than 12 elements - preferably fewer - should be included for any role, with an explanation and example(s) of each element included.

Striking the right balance of detail is important: if requirements are too general, they risk becoming meaningless and, arguably, not measurable; but if they are too detailed, they become excessively bureaucratic and as a result may lose their credibility. 

Increasingly, competency frameworks look at employees’ strengths and match those strengths to types of work that enhance individual performance. Competency frameworks around organisational values can also ensure you recruit people who match your organisation’s culture.

According to CIPD, the top competencies are: 

  • communication skills
  • people management skills
  • team skills
  • customer service skills
  • results-oriented
  • problem-solving skills.

It’s important that required competencies don’t breach the Equality Act and that organisations do not solely look at what an employee has achieved in the past, but also at what they are capable of achieving in the future. Competency frameworks should be regularly reviewed so they keep pace with organisational needs. 

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