What is a Competency Model?

A competency model is a guideline established by a Human Resources department that outlines the particular skills, knowledge, and behavioural criteria that enable employees to do their job correctly.

Competency models explain what success looks like in the company for each particular role. The approach is used in recruiting, personnel management, training, and performance evaluation.

What are the advantages of implementing a competence model?

Organisations with well-defined competence models have reported higher levels of performance success.

Implementing the competence model benefits companies in the following ways:

  • Establishes a clear path for employee performance consistent with company goals and strategy.

  • Provides HR with a clear overview of all employee talents and capabilities.

  • Allows HR and Training to define learning and development (L&D) requirements more precisely.

  • Enables workers to accept responsibility for the skills and behaviours expected of them in their employment.

  • Allows firms to keep track of their employees' skills so that strategy and planning may be directed toward future skills that may be required.

  • Provides a consistent and equitable measuring approach for performance evaluation.

Corporate Competency Model Example

Competency models may be as diverse as the businesses that utilise them, and not every company makes its models public. Here is IBM's competence model, which has proven to be successful.


The IBM Data Science Skills Competency Model defines the skills and competencies required for success in data science, machine learning, and AI positions.

There has been a lack of consistency in employment qualifications because data science is a burgeoning area that involves numerous talents spanning fields like statistics and computer science, as well as the field the firm falls within. This model is divided into seven sections that detail the outcomes, assessment criteria, and evidence types for each skill.

What are the Steps to Creating a Competence Model?

  • Gather Information

This method is not only myopic but also lacks the knowledge required to identify crucial competencies for a particular position. It is not sufficient to base your competency model creation on interviews with potential candidates. You will be able to get the additional information and improve the relevance of your HR competence model by collecting data from likely workers, leaders, and internal or external clients in a variety of formats.

  • Data Integration

While gathering data from many viewpoints is necessary, it is not sufficient. Data must be examined independently and then combined to form a cohesive story centred on the critical knowledge, skills, talents, and qualities that will ensure the success of your competence model.

  • Concentrate on Your Goals

When you focus on particular targets, you reinforce the alignment between the development of your competence model and the demands of your company, providing a feeling of urgency.

  • Make it Usable

Your competence model is useless unless everyone in the organisation can follow it. Avoid using technical jargon and fancy acronyms when explaining the abilities required for specific tasks within your firm. Making your competency model exciting rather than a tedious process elevates it to a level where action can be readily done.

  • Create a Strategy

Because your competence-based model can be used to determine whether you should hire new talent or conduct internal staff training to match essential HR competencies, it should also be used to assess the time, effort, and budget available to create a strategy that will provide your organisation with personnel who meet these requirements.

  • Establish Minimum Requirements

The minimally acceptable levels of performance for each skill in your HR competency model must be addressed in your model. Leaders and managers across the business cannot hire personnel who satisfy the standards of your competence model unless they understand the minor level at which individuals may perform and yet be successful in their positions.

  • Business Results

You may verify your HR competence model and demonstrate its direct business impact by tying it to your intended business goals. This is an important stage in establishing your competence model since it helps to drive your training, hiring, and performance initiatives because you now know which skills to focus on based on their significance to your bottom line.

  • Include Performance Standards

Making values and performance standards a fundamental aspect of your competence model is critical since these standards reflect a vital component of how the work should be performed.