How to Choose Your Competencies

Using these two groups of competencies helps to list out specific traits. There is nothing on those lists that an employer would not want in his or her workforce. But choices must be made, so how do you choose the competencies for your team?

Bringing it all together

What can be taught, what must be innate, the right skills and the right attitude. This is where it all comes together.

A strong job spec and interview process requires a solid definition of the role to be filled, from all points of view. Write a detailed spec to use internally and ensure everybody involved in the process is well versed in what you are looking for.

First make a list of all possible Basic, and Professional competencies, whether they are important to the role or not. Start with your comprehensive list.

To work in your company

Certain competencies are required to work well in your company. This speaks to the broader company culture and expectations of your workforce.

Review your two lists, one at a time, and determine which competencies are universal to your work place. What do you expect of all employees to work well within your company values and standards?

The challenge is not to list them all. All competencies my sound positive and worth having: your job is to prioritize and be down to earth about your selection.

To work in the role

Perform the same exercise for the specific role. One at a time, list both Basic and Professional competencies needed to be successful in the role you are hiring.

Again: be selective. Consider must haves over nice to haves.

Your Competencies List

Compare your two lists. Some competencies will (and should) show up in both lists.

Combine the two now and then prioritize. Determine the deal-breaker competencies, and everything else.

This is what you will use to build your point system, determining the importance of these qualities in your new candidates.

The highest points are for deal-breaker competencies and assign a sliding scale to others. Any competencies which are worth zero points – meaning the candidate having that competency or not holds no weight on your decision – should be removed from you list.


Now you have your competencies list. In the next post we will look at incorporating these with the rest of your spec. Subscribe to my newsletter to get these posts to your inbox.