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Dear Workforce How Do I Develop A Competency Model For Recruiting

After identifying general strengths needed to perform in the organization, examine what separates an excellent performer from someone who is not successful.
March 13, 2002
Related Topics: Workforce Planning, Dear Workforce

Our medium-size company has a workforce of 1,900 employees scatteredthroughout India. I have been asked to develop a competency model to be used asa part of the recruitment process to help us bring in the right person to matcha specific job. How do I develop this model?

- Human Resources Manager, services, Mumbai, India.

A Dear Developing:

First, remember that a competency model is a "worker-focused" view.It is not a detailed task analysis of what is done on the job. To maintain aworker-focused view, ask the question: What worker characteristics are mostlikely to lead to successful performance on the job? Therefore, the first stepis to make sure one understands the most important results, or outcomes, fromthe job.

Once you identify general strengths needed to perform in the organization,you must examine what separates an excellent performer in this job, job family,or organizational level (such as senior executive, regional manager, salesmanager, etc.) from someone who is not successful. Can the person gatherinformation and develop solutions that support customer needs, businessprocesses, or financial outcomes better than others? Can they relate to people,get them to do things, and develop partnerships and relationships that keepresults flowing even when they are not present? Do they understand their ownlimitations, change their approach, or learn new ways to deal with challenges?Are they persistent, able to overcome barriers and not give up when there is noone giving them support?

We often gather this information using interviews, or focus groups, withmanagers and incumbents who understand what it takes to be successful. We alsotry to get information from those who have a strategic view of the organizationand who know what kind of performance will be required to achieve success as theorganization's strategy unfolds in the future.

The analysis of these interviews typically provides a prioritized list ofcompetencies that should be the focus of the recruitment and selection process.Sometimes cognitive or intellectual capability is most important. Other times,especially when individuals work independently, personality attributes thatenable them to develop partnerships -- yet work without guidance -- are mostimportant. Since hiring in most countries has legal ramifications related tonon-discriminatory practices, you must make sure which competencies are, infact, related to successful performance on the job. We recommend successfulemployees in the job be evaluated, using appropriate tools, to determine if theyhave more strength in these competencies than those who are not as successful.

Finally, the recruitment screening and selection process must include toolssuch as biographical data, behavioral questions, personality and cognitive tests-- those tools that are most likely to differentiate the degree of competence incandidates. In our studies, we have found that using a comprehensive,competency-based selection system results in the selection of higher-performingindividuals, and lowers overall costs that can result from bad hires.

SOURCE: Dr. James Warner, Ph.D., director of strategic performance modelingpractice at Personnel Decisions International (PDI), Minneapolis, Minnesota,Sept. 17, 2001.

LEARN MORE: See "How MetLife Measures Core Behaviors forLeaders, Managers and Employees"

The information contained in thisarticle is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, butshould not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember thatstate laws may differ from the federal law.

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DearWorkforce Newsletter


 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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