One of the most valuable resources that companies have is the talent of their employees. That is why it is not surprising that companies need to assess the capabilities of their workforce regularly. The benefits of competency assessment are obvious. This evaluation is essential to be able to make the right decisions regarding human resources.
Competencies can be intrinsic to a specific job position. These types of skills can be trained, and workers typically master them as they gain experience.
But more and more importance is given to transversal competencies. Useful skills and aptitudes for different jobs. These tend to be less related to training and more linked to the character of each person. However, that does not mean that they can not train and develop.
Benefits of competency evaluation during the personnel selection process
Specific skills are necessary for each job or career path. And the sooner it is known whether a candidate has these skills, the better. That is why the evaluation of competencies is an essential aspect of the selection process.
Each selection process is different, but they are often divided into stages. One of these stages can be a technical test or exam to verify that the candidate has the knowledge and technical skills that the position requires.
Another phase can assess the personal skills that the ideal candidate would need. This type of evaluation is more diverse. Although the ability to work in a group is an important competence in many positions, one of its most prevalent forms is group dynamics.
Finally, there is a very common form of evaluation, self-evaluation. It usually takes a job interview, but it can also be presented as a questionnaire. In this evaluation form, the candidate is asked directly about their competencies and a decision is made based on their answers. Of course, steps must be taken to ensure that the candidate is as sincere as possible. For example, asking the same question in different ways to try to detect inconsistencies in the answers. Or, more commonly, observing the candidate’s tone and non-verbal communication.
Knowing the skills of the candidates is a good starting point. But the benefits of competency evaluation mean that evaluation must be done periodically among all workers.
What are the benefits of competency assessment for companies?
After investing in a selection process and giving experience to its workers, it is normal for a company to consider improving the skills of its professionals instead of starting a new selection process at the first change.
In principle, companies are interested in the retention of talent and the continuous improvement of their workers. That is why companies take advantage of the benefits of competency assessment:
- It ensures that investing in training is useful. Imagine that a competency test reveals that a worker is excellent except for one small detail. You could be provided with a training and education system specifically to solve that unfinished business.
- Improves communication between the worker and the company. In other words, when evaluating specific competencies, the worker will understand the importance of these competencies for their work. This will allow you to work according to the objectives of the company.
- It can be recognized that the worker has the ideal skills to occupy another job where it would be more useful. Therefore, unified talent management can be done within the company.
In addition, the company receives indirect benefits since the evaluation of skills also helps workers. And higher worker satisfaction often translates into lower absenteeism and higher productivity. So competency assessment is a useful tool for team management and motivation.
What are the benefits of skills assessment for workers?
Workers should not see competency assessment as a threat but rather a way of putting their cards on the table. In this way, they will be able to see the benefits of competency assessment:
- First, it allows you to get recognition for the skills you already have. And this recognition is officially registered, which ensures that the company takes these skills into account in the future.
- As in the case of companies, communication is improved. It is clearer to the worker what the company’s goals are and can act accordingly to ensure they remain of value.
- It opens the door to further education and professional development and a position that makes full use of personal skills, which helps stay motivated.
But of course, all the benefits of competency assessment are only possible if it is done properly. So you have to take into account.
The requirements of a good competency assessment:
Many important aspects could be identified in competency assessment. But broadly speaking, they all pursue the following four objectives:
- Validity: The system that is established to evaluate competencies must be valid. That is to say. It really must be able to bring out the competencies of the workers. This means that purely practical skills should be measured with tests in the environment where the work is carried out and not in written form, for example. In addition, the skills analyzed should be skills that are relevant to the job of the worker. For example, it is of little use to require a salesperson to fix a pipe.
- Reliability: The evaluation must be designed so that the results obtained cannot result from chance, for example. The results must be replicated; if the same worker obtains completely different results each time it is tested, this can be an indicator that the test is poorly designed.
- Flexibility: The evaluation of competencies must be an agreement reached between the workers and the company. The idea is that it is a collaboration between both parties to improve communication and worker skills. If one of the parties does not consider the appropriate form of assessment, an effort should be made to adapt it to their needs.
- Impartiality: All workers must have the same opportunities to demonstrate their competencies. The evaluation system must be inclusive, fair and not based on prejudice or favouritism.
The Human Resources department of companies has many responsibilities. And one of the most relevant is to ensure that workers feel valued according to their skills. And this has a great impact on companies since low-motivated workers have a greater tendency to absenteeism and much lower productivity.
Fortunately, many useful techniques are known for evaluating workers’ competencies. Both to find out if they need to participate in a training program and evaluate the training programs’ results.