competency frameworks allow you to assess an individual’s capability and potential and are an essential way to achieve high organisational performance.

A competency framework outlines the knowledge, skills and attributes required in a role or the organisation more broadly. They measure both the soft skills and technical abilities of a candidate, and the level of detail included is important. If they are too general, they risk becoming meaningless and not measurable. If they are too detailed, they become excessively bureaucratic and may lose credibility. 

Competency frameworks also look at employees’ strengths and match them to types of work that enhance the individual’s performance. By creating competency frameworks around your organisational values, you can recruit people who match your culture. 

HR experts cite the top competencies as:

  • Communication skills
  • People management skills
  • Team skills
  • Customer service skills
  • Results-orientation
  • Problem-solving skills

Required competencies must not breach the Fair Work Act 2009, and employers shouldn't look solely at the employee’s history but assess what they are capable of achieving in the future. Competency frameworks should be regularly reviewed so they keep pace with organisational needs.

A man and a woman conversing in the workspace
A man and a woman conversing in the workspace

finding the right fit.

To effectively utilise a competency framework, you must first evaluate your organisational needs and get a sense of the type of candidate you're looking for.

to do this you must:

  • Understand the current marketplace and what talent your organisation may need in the short and long term.
  • Have a clear understanding of your organisation’s targets, projects and relevant timescales and how these link to future vacancies.
  • Know your employer brand – what attracts and retains talent in your organisation and ensure your recruitment process, marketing and branding all connect to achieve your goals.
  • Have a consistent process that specifies the job, salary and benefits.
  • Develop a job specification that explains where the role fits into the organisation’s structure and reporting chain and indicates the salary band. 
  • List the key job responsibilities and key performance indicators.
  • Create a person specification that profiles the essential and desired characteristics; behaviours, personality, qualifications, skills, knowledge and experience required. Avoid descriptions that breach discrimination legislation. 

you also need to understand the needs of the candidates you're targeting.

This can be determined by:

  • Measure and report: conduct regular reviews with existing employees to understand what attracted them to your organisation and why they stay.
  • Ensure your website offers recruitment pages with interesting and detailed information to attract a wide range of potential candidates – information about your organisation, why it’s unique and why they should work there.
  • Create an innovative learning and development strategy to retain and attract candidates to progress within your organisation.
  • Develop a standard feedback form and complete this for all candidates.

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