Tuesday 9 April 2013

Career Planning & Development Software, Part 2

Part 11 of 11 of the CompetencyCoreTM Guide to Career Planning & Development 

This is the tenth in an eleven part series that looks at:
  1. Making the Case for Competency-based Career Planning & Development
  2. Facts, Figures & Findings
  3. Career Planning & Development Defined
  4. Key Definitions of Career Planning & Development
  5. Framework for Competency-based Career Planning & Development
  6. Best Practice Tools & Processes
  7. Implementing Career Planning & Development – Part 1
  8. Implementing Career Planning & Development – Part 2
  9. Implementing Career Planning & Development – Part 3
  10. Key Considerations for Software, Part 1
  11. Key Considerations for Software, Part 2
Career planning and development can be a complex process typically involving multiple elements that are best supported through on an online system.  In the previous post, we looked at 3 key elements for consideration when selecting a Talent Management system.  In today’s post, we will delve into the remaining 5 key questions.
  1. Can you build learning plans to address competency gaps identified during the assessments?
  2. Does the tool have the ability to build employee competency and skill inventories?
  3. What are the capabilities to match employee competencies with the job competency requirements
  4. What is the reporting functionality?
  5. What additional information can be communicated to employees?

career planning and development software
Learning Plans and Learning Resources
A natural next step once you have looked at managing your competency data, how that data is structured and whether you can perform competency assessments is to determine whether the system in question will support employees in developing and implementing Individual Learning Plans.  In the case of CompetencyCore 5, this platform allows employees to automatically build a Learning Plan to address the competency and skill gaps identified during an assessment.  The employee can chose to either keep this information private and work independently on their plan, or share it with others, such as their supervisors or mentor / coach for support in defining a career development plan best suited to the employee.

As part of the Learning Planning process it is also useful to have catalogued learning resources organized by competencies in the Competency Library.  These resources can be specific to the organization (e.g., in-house or approved course offerings) or generic in nature (e.g., list of reference reading materials; etc.).  Regardless, the functionality in the software should allow the organization to map the resources to the competencies in the library, thereby providing accessible tools to employees that support planning for learning and career development. 

Employee Competency and Skills Inventories
Another important element that must be incorporated in the software functionality is the ability to record and manage information on employee skills, competencies and other important career-related information (e.g., geographic mobility; interest in advancement / promotion; etc.).  It is important for employees to be able to list and publish all of the validated competencies, skills and other qualifications they possess; not only those being used and displayed in the employee’s current job, but also those that the employee has accumulated during their career and may be required for other jobs in the organization.  However, there must some means built into the system to indicate that the published skills / competencies are valid – in other words, it has been determined through some objective means that the employee possesses the skill / competency (e.g., test results; successful course completion; a supervisor or other expert assessment; certificate from a regulatory body; etc.)

Such inventories are important for the implementation of effective career development initiatives and to support movement across chosen career paths.  They also allow managers and supervisors to gain an appreciation of who within the organization might have the skills and capabilities needed to fill current or future position vacancies.  These inventories are also extremely important for HR planning.  Compiled information on current strengths and gaps within the workforce allows the organization to plan and put in place career development programs to address high need / high risk job groups.

Employee / Job Competency Matching Tools
Assuming that the software incorporates a competency inventory function, it then becomes possible to match employee competencies with the job competency requirements.  This can be done in a couple of ways:
  • From the employee’s perspective, they are interested in finding out about the jobs within the organization that best match their competencies and career interests.  The tool should allow employees to search all or some jobs in the organization that best match their existing competencies, and identify where competency gaps exist.
  • From the organization’s perspective, the tool should allow managers to search the Employee Competency Inventory for those employees who best match a particular set of competency requirements.  This could be the competency profile for a particular job, or for example, competencies needed to ensure that a work team has the breadth of skills / competencies needed to meet a work demand. 

Reporting Functionality
It goes without saying that various reporting capabilities should be built into the software to allow for effective planning and decision-making.  This reporting capability should support not only individual managers in understanding the gaps and strengths on their team, but also broad-scale HR Planning to ensure that the organization has the necessary talent onboard to achieve its strategic vision and business goals.

Career Information, Guides and Manuals
Finally, an effective software system should support and communicate information about career development and career options within the organization.  This could include guides and manuals to support employees and managers as they undertake Career Planning and Development (e.g., self-help guides and tips on coaching for career development).  It could also include information on job opportunities and typical career paths and programs available to employees.  More advanced systems also incorporate social networking and knowledge management tools and processes to support collaborative learning and innovation with the workplace. 

The options are many, but the important thing is that the information available should be easy to access, user friendly and follow good principles for organizing and accessing this type of information consistent with best practices in web design.

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HRSG is a leader in Competency-based Career Planning and Development solutions. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

Want to learn more? Competency-based Talent Management, or CbTM, is the best practice for defining job requirements and building effective HR programs to develop skilled, engaged and productive workforces. Download this Best Practice Guide to learn how competencies can increase workforce effectiveness and improve business practices.

1 comment:

  1. Informative blog! I'd like to add. Competencies are the skills and behaviors that outstanding performers demonstrate more often, more skillfully, and with better results than do average performers. A Job Competency Model is a group of related competencies that together describe successful performance for a particular job or role, in a particular organization. Thanks.
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