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Perform Human Resources Activities

Audience: Human Resources professionals, managers, and supervisors may find this page helpful.

Competency models support human resource functions such as recruitment, hiring, and performance management by serving as benchmarks to match candidates' qualifications to employer requirements.

A hiring manager can use a competency model to identify the knowledge, skills, and abilities that are most important to his or her organization. These competencies can then be included in a job description. This will ensure that potential candidates have a realistic idea of the work required. To identify your organization's needs, see the Communicate Workforce Needs guide.

Competency models can also be used to gauge the knowledge, skills, and abilities of prospective hires during an interview. By using the organization's list of critical competencies, hiring managers can ask behavioral questions to prospective candidates. Can a candidate name specific instances where he or she has demonstrated the competencies needed for the job?

Furthermore, consistent use of competency models throughout an organization provides employers with the means to measure employee performance, and employees with a clearly-stated list of performance expectations. When reviewing employee performance, employers can compare the employee's record of accomplishments with the organization's competency model. Do these accomplishments reflect attainment of the necessary competencies? Employees who do not possess the necessary competencies can be referred to targeted training or professional development activities.

Clipper Windpower, a California-based wind turbine manufacturer and wind project developer has customized the Advanced Manufacturing Competency Model and is using it as a framework for recruitment, employee development activities, and skill gap analysis. Clipper is also in the process of linking the competencies to existing curriculum and job profiles in an effort to link them with individual development plans and employee evaluations.

Read more about Clipper Windpower here.

Visit the Models in Action to learn about the many additional ways competency models are being used.

  1. If you have not already done so, select or customize an industry competency model which identifies the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for successful performance within the industry. For assistance developing a competency model, see the CMC User Guide - Competency Models.
  2. When writing a job description, use the key behaviors and technical content areas from your model to identify essential functions and responsibilities and required skills or technical proficiencies.

    Competency Model Pyramid Image

  3. Use the knowledge, skills, and abilities from your competency model to measure the qualifications of job candidates during interviews. Ask behavioral questions that require the candidate to give examples of times when they've used these key competencies. The Gap Analysis may be used to identify any gaps in skills or knowledge. For more information, click on the Worksheet tab below.
  4. When reviewing employee performance, compare your organization's competency model to the employee's record of accomplishments using the Gap Analysis. For more information, click on the Worksheet tab below.

A gap analysis compares the competencies of an individual, group, or organization to those necessary to perform a task or tasks effectively, thereby identifying any missing knowledge, skills, or abilities.

To download and use the Gap Analysis worksheet, follow the directions below:

  1. Worksheets are available to download from each industry model page. After choosing an industry model, click "Download" in the Helpline section on the left. You will then have the option to download that model as a worksheet.
    You can also download your own customized model as a worksheet during the "Stop and Save" step of the Build a Model process.
  2. Edit the text or column headings as desired; suggested headings are provided.
  3. Use the worksheet to identify the knowledge, skills, or abilities.
  4. Analyze the results.

Below is an example of a completed Gap Analysis worksheet.

Gap Analysis Worksheet - Example

Do you have advice on using competency models for Performing Human Resource Functions that you would like to share? If so, e-mail

For assistance applying your model in some common situations, select another guide.