Thursday 23 June 2011

The Ongoing Debate: DIY Competencies or Off-the-Shelf Competency Dictionary

Competency Dictionary defined: Competency Dictionaries include all or most of the general competencies needed to cover all job families as well as competencies that are core or common to all jobs within the organization (e.g., Teamwork; Adaptability; Communication).  They may also include competencies that are more closely related to the knowledge and skills needed for specific jobs or functions (e.g., IT skills, financial administration skills). .

Building your Own versus Purchasing a Dictionary
Organizations may choose to create their own competency dictionaries, or purchase one that has been developed by experts in competency profiling and competency-based management.  The advantage of developing your own competency dictionary is that it will reflect the breadth of competencies that are required for success in the organization expressed in a way that reflects the values, vision and way of communicating within the organization.  On the other hand, this option is very costly and time-consuming, and most do not have the internal expertise to embark on such a venture.

Purchasing a Competency Dictionary from a reputable company has the advantage providing the organization with a well-developed and researched Dictionary that can be used in a timely manner to support profile development and implementation.  The disadvantage is that the Dictionary may not reflect the full range of competencies needed, nor reflect them in a language that is suitable for the organization.

Organizations often achieve a compromise by customizing a purchased Competency Dictionary (e.g., adding competencies; modifying the language slightly to reflect the organization’s style of communicating; including additional behavioural indicators to reflect performance expectations of the organization).  This provides a more expedient and cost-effective solution, and results in a Competency Dictionary that is targeted to the organization’s specific needs.

Learn more about HRSG’s Competency Dictionary.

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