By Jorge H. Atehortua Ramirez, Martha Cecilia Rendon Morales, & Jaime Eduardo Ortiz C.
When assessing and measuring human capital, companies face a dilemma: Should they measure the competencies or measure the results? The search for answers to these questions led the authors of this article to a research process that resulted in models, methodologies, and software, to the publication of a book* and the process of Certified Performance Technologist (CPT) certification.
Traditional Competencies Management Models
The two most universally applied competency models are the functional or job competency system (FJCS; Mertens, 1996) and the behavioral or competency level model (BCLM; McClelland, 1972).
The practical results of the application of both FJCS and BCLM methods have been disappointing. A 10-year research conducted by the authors of this article revealed that the difficulties experienced in implementating FJCS and BCLM in different worldwide companies led consultants, academics, and organizations to lose interest and trust “competencies management.”
A New Alternative Based on Results
Our research has enabled us to propose a new model, the competencies scoring model, which takes some of the positive elements of previous competencies models, but also is complemented with new premises as significant contributions to the state of the art in the subject.
Figure 1: Methodological Process to Get to the Premises of a New Approach (Source: Authors)
This new proposal focuses on the premise that people in the workplace achieve goals that result in products or deliverables that add value and contribute to the achievement of larger organizational objectives. Consequently, the measurement and development of competencies must be associated with results and not with potential. Therefore, the central hypothesis of competency score is the profiling, measurement, and development of competencies must focus on individual contributions to business processes, generating added value.
Obviously a competency includes the personal potential to apply an underlying characteristic to your work or social life. But the desire or the will is not enough to guarantee that characteristic is used in practice. A competency is recognized when you look at the evidence of everyday behaviors in workplace performance.
The logical conclusion from this analysis is that a new conceptual and methodological model should focus on measuring competencies not on people potential (values, motivations, attitudes, personality traits, knowledge, and skills), but in results-delivered attributes assessment by the person who holds the position (performance criteria) to each of its internal and external customers as a contribution to the value chain of the company.
Figure 2: Conceptual Framework of the New Approach–Competencies Scoring Model (Source: Authors)
In this way, 360 degree competency assessment is given through work behaviors associated with specific results rather than assumptions about the potential that the person could or should have. Each evaluator of performance criteria is an internal or external customer who receives products or specific results of the person who occupies the position, creating an evaluation system based on observable and objective evidences
*Ortiz, J. E., Rendon, M. C., & Atehortua, J. H. (2012). Score de Competencias: cómo transformar el modelo de competencias de su empresa en un sistema de ‘scores’ asociado a los procesos clave de su negocio. Bloomington, USA: Palibrio. Link on Amazon.
About the Authors