How to build a job competency profile

Written by marcia moore, mssw
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How to build a job competency profile
Word processing competencies include typing. (at work image by sasha from

Job competencies are built on the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform a certain job description. Competencies are used to standardise (use industry-wide) job descriptions and companies use them to hire the right people for their jobs. Sometimes competencies may change as a job description changes. For example, a receptionist position may change to require filing as well. Therefore, the knowledge, skills, and abilities to file become one of the competencies of the receptionist job description.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Written list of job description tasks
  • Written list of task competencies

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  1. 1

    Write the job description title and job summary (what this job does). A job title is very important as it is used to determine levels of responsibility and authority in an organisation. Sometimes job titles are associated with various levels of responsibility. For example, an Executive Vice President title may carry more authority and require more competencies than a Vice President position. Job summaries will describe the job responsibilities. For example, a job summary of a telephone customer service representative may be to answer all inbound calls and resolve the customer issues with the best-available solution.

  2. 2

    Brainstorm with other managers and supervisors the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) needed for the job description. When determining the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the job, consider the level of the job description. Levels can range from entry level to a senior position. The competencies for an entry-level accountant will be much different from an assistant accounting controller. Some employees start out in an entry-level job and progress up the ladder, building competencies along the way.

  3. 3

    Create a work sheet with three columns. Column one will be labelled knowledge. List the actual knowledge required to perform the job description. For example, an accountant would need knowledge of accounting practices, mathematics, and legal terminology. The second column will be labelled skills. The skills required for an accountant may be analysis and spreadsheet creation. The third column will be labelled abilities. An ability for an accountant may be to explain mathematical information in a manner that is understandable to all levels.

  4. 4

    Add the job qualifications to the competency profile. For example, an accountant may require a college degree in accounting or related subject. A customer service representative working with a foreign country client base may need other language skills. Some insurance and real estate agents require a license, so these requirements should be added to the competency profile.

Tips and warnings

  • Research the job competencies for the job description to ensure the correct requirements.
  • Consistently review the job descriptions and competencies for required modifications or changes.
  • Don't just develop a "wish list" for a competency profile.
  • Don't include non-essential qualifications in the competency profile.

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