Competency Assessment

Competency Assessment

Learn about competency assessments - what they are, the types, and why they matter in talent management. Read on for valuable insights.

What is Competency Assessment?

A competency assessment is an evaluation where an employee's skills and knowledge are tested to identify any gaps. The assessment goes beyond a resume or qualifications to judge their competencies better.

These assessments indicate how well employees can apply their skills and experience to real-life situations at work. They help the employer make better hiring decisions and help the employee identify their strengths and weaknesses to upskill. For instance, if an employee is interviewed for the post of a "sales executive," a competency assessment can ask practical questions and see how they respond to those.

A competency assessment is not a one-time process. They are consistently used as a competency assessment tool to grow an organization. They also help you with actionable insights to make informed decisions about your team. These can aid your growth mindset and personalized learning culture.

The Different Types of Competency Assessments

Here are the three different types of competency assessments based on who assess the employee skills and competencies.

  • Managerial assessments: These are the assessments where a manager reviews the performance of the employee.
  • 360-degree assessments: In this type of assessment, managers, subordinates, and colleagues examine the performance of an employee.
  • Self-assessments: This refers to the type of assessment which is undertaken by the employee to assess their own skills and find gaps to improve upon.

In addition to the aforementioned categories, these assessments can further be divided into three categories, reflecting the basis on which the employee is assessed regarding. These include the following:

  1. Knowledge-based assessments: These tests measure the understanding of a subject with multiple-choice or short-answer questions. They are ideal for testing fundamentals.
  1. Skill-based assessments: These tests measure a person's ability to perform specific tasks, like coding, writing, etc. They give a micro-view of the specific skill being assessed.
  1. Behavioral assessments: These tests help evaluate the situational behavior of the employee under specific scenarios. This might help assess whether the employee would be suitable for the organization's environment and work ethic.

Why Are Competency Assessments Important?

There are multiple ways in which a competency assessment can aid the organization. A few of these reasons include the following:

1. Helps Identify the Right Candidate for the Job: Competency tests help identify the most suitable candidate for the job by evaluating their skills and knowledge in a specific area. They can also help assess their behavior.

2. Bridges Skills Gaps and Improves Performance: The tests provide valuable feedback that can help employees improve their skills and knowledge, ultimately leading to better job performance.

3. Supports Career Growth and Reduces Turnover Rates: The results of the tests chart out a clear roadmap and make an employee feel that the organization is invested in their career growth. It also helps an organization create opportunities to develop its employees' skills and knowledge. This increases job satisfaction and increases turnover rates.

4. Promotes Data-Driven Decision-Making: These tests help with data that can be turned into actionable insights. The employees will know the right action to take for appraisals, upskilling, or placing candidates in the right profile.

5. Define and Ensure Quality Standards Within the Organization: Competency assessments ensure that employees meet the necessary quality standards, which helps maintain the organization's reputation and credibility. The organization can define what is expected, set goals, and then align.

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Terms Related to a Competency Assessment

  • Benchmarking: Comparing an individual's performance on an assessment to a set standard or benchmark/quality standards.
  • Performance Management: The process of setting expectations, evaluating performance, and providing feedback to improve employee performance.
  • Feedback: The information provided to an individual about their performance after a competency assessment, usually to improve future performance.

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