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The competency model for the New HR Professional

Strategic Contribution , Personal Credibility , HR Delivery , Business Knowledge and HR Technology

The competency model for the New HR Professional

A competency model describes the combination of knowledge; skills and characteristics needed to effectively
perform a role in an organization and is used as a human resource tool for selection, training and development,
appraisal and succession planning. Identifying and mapping these competencies is rather complex. Skills can
range from highly concrete proficiencies like the ability to operate a particular machine or to write a sentence,
to far less tangible capabilities such as the ability to think strategically or to influence others. For example, a
competency model for HR Professionals

Role Competency Demonstrates Activity

Strategic Organizational Understanding of public service Interacts with customers in a way
Partner Awareness environment that shows customer concerns &
Problem Solving Knowledge of mission problems are heard, build confidence
Customer Service Knowde of organizational &trust
Stress Tolerance development principles Applies Organizational Development
Oral Communication Understanding on clients Principles.
organizational culture Adapts HR services to the clients
Knowledge of business system organizational culture
thinking Designs and/or carries out HR
Understanding of business process services that incorporate business
and how to change and improve system applications
efficiency and effectiveness Uses HR principles that change
Innovation and encourages risk business processes to improve its
taking efficiency and effectiveness
Leader Flexibility Analytic, strategic and creative Acts decisively
Teaching Others thinking Manages resources e.g. Human,
Learning Knowledge of staff and line rolesfunds, equipment
Interpersonal Skills Knowledge of business system and Applies conflict resolution methods
Oral Communication IT in organizational situations
Uses consensus & negotiation
coalition building skills to improve
overall communication
Technical Technical Competence Develops employee and agency Develops others talents to maximize
Experts Legal, Govtt and relationship human potential
Jurisprudence Understands values and promotes Mentors individuals to develop talent
Personnel & HR diversity Assesses and balances competing
Information Mgt Balances both agencies and values e.g. policies and mission
Arithmetic employees demands and resources needs
Mathematical Reasoning Builds trust relationships
Customer Service
Writing, Reading,
Attention to Detail
Oral Commn
Change Teamwork Knowledge of HR Laws and Applies expertise in the full range
Consultant Reasoning policies of the HR arena to support agencys
Knowledge of work life and
Influencing/ Negotiating mission and business needs
Integrity/Honesty organizational planning Uses surveys and other tools to
Creative Thinking Knowledge of Digital Technologyprovide information to help create
Oral Communication an effective and efficient work
Stress Tolerance environment
Adapts Digital Technology to HRM
Ulrichs Categorization of Competencies

HR competencies are the factors that define successful performance of HR practitioners in a business partner
role A distinction has also been drawn between strategic and functional HR competencies. Strategic HR
competencies are business-related competencies that enable HR practitioners to align HR strategies with
business strategies while functional HR competencies are related to the delivery of HR operations (e.g.
recruitment, employee selection and remuneration)
Ulrichs categorization of competencies are : Business Knowledge, HR Technology, HR Delivery,
Strategic Contribution, and Personal Credibility.

Ulrich and Brockbank (2005) also differentiated HR competencies into similar strategic and functional
categories, the former including strategic contribution and business knowledge. Strategic contribution refers to
an active involvement in strategic activities (e.g. strategic decision-making, organizational change and
development) and an ability to relate to customers.
Business knowledge refers to knowledge of the company and the industry in which it operates. Functional
HR competencies included personal credibility, HR delivery and HR technology.

Personal credibility refers to the achievement of results, effective relationships, and communication skills, HR
delivery refers to the ability to design and deliver basic and innovative HR practices, and HR technology
includes the ability to apply technology to improve efficiency and effectiveness of HR transactions.

Ulrich states that business knowledge is a key differentiator for the HR professional. They need to be able to
apply HR knowledge to effectively influence the value chain of the company for which they work.
Furthermore, it takes a solid understanding of technology and technology applications specific to HR so that
the function can move away from being overwhelmed in transactional activity. And lastly, he states, HR needs
to deliver results in addition to the tradition transactional and compliance activities. Some of the more
progressive HR deliverables include development activities such as career planning, HR measurement and
metrics, organizational structure, and corporate wide performance management.

Initially Ulrich has included the personal credibility into the area of business knowledge. Now it is
separated. And the last category, strategic contribution, is HR participating in strategy decisions, facilitating
fast change, managing culture and creating market-driven connectivity. While the causality between
credibility and strategic contribution has not been definitively determined, it is most likely a two way equation.
HR Technology
HR technology Any technology that is used to attract, hire, retain, and maintain human resources, support HR
administration, and optimize human resource management.
There is no doubt that technology has made it easier and faster to gather, collate, and deliver information and
communicate with employees. More importantly, it has the potential to reduce the administrative burden on the
HR department so it is better able to focus on more meaningful HR activities, such as providing managers with
the expertise they need to make more effective HR related decisions. Research has indicated that companies
who effectively use technology to manage their HR functions will have a significant advantage over those that
do not.

Stages in the Evolution of HR Technology

Step 1 : Paper Based
Initially HR systems were paper-based. These systems operated independently and did not integrate with any
other business-related functions. Features were added as needed. Data were typically stored on mainframe
computers, the reporting was very rudimentary, and HR was the sole custodian of the data. It was common for
managers during this period to send employees to HR to get their all their personnel questions answered.
Stage 2: Early Personal Computer (PC) Technology
In the next stage, there was a migration of the information resident in these paper-based systems to PCs and
local area network (LAN) systems. These HR databases were able to produce reports that simply listed
tombstone data, (List of Basic Employee Information) . Advances in database technology included payroll
and some very basic versions of employee tracking.
The HR data were typically stored on A network architecture in which each
computer on the network is either a client or a server.
Stage 3: Electronic Database Systems
The next stage began with the emergence of relational database technology. A relational database means that
a piece of data can be stored in more than one file, each one containing different types of data. The different
files can be linked so that information from the separate files can be used together. A relational database allows
databases to be established in several different locations and the information linked. This technology provided
organizations with the ability to develop more complex reports that integrated several data elements
With this move toward electronic databases, HR systems began to become integrated with other business-
related systems. Leading HR organizations began to purchase enterprise-wide systems that included HR-
related modules. An enterprise-wide system is defined as a system that supports enterprise-wide or cross-
functional requirements, rather than a single department or group within the organization.9 A popular
enterprise-wide system at the time was SAP.
At this point, HR entered fully into the digital world of electronic HR and the term e-HR began to appear.
Stage 4: Web-Based Technology
Applications that use a Web browser as a user interface (i.e., the front-end). Users can access the
applications from any computer connected to the Internet via a secure, password-protected login page and from
that point forward all the data are encrypted.

The role of the HR professional has changed fundamentally as a result of technology. The core competencies
that have developed are mastery of HR technology, strategic contribution, personal credibility, HR delivery,
and business knowledge.

HR Delivery

HR Delivery is the technical work of HR practitioners. This is the fundamental base of the HR profession, and
requires HR practitioners to keep up-to-date with innovation and developments in HR. It covers the full range
of HR activity required in an organisation to deliver effective people management.
Analyses, interprets and identifies resourcing strategies, workforce planning and capability requirements,
implements and measures resourcing and talent management initiatives within an organisation. Implement
a targeted recruitment strategy. Plans and implements understanding of the organisations internal and
external operating environment, business and capability needs for today and the future.

To meet their organisations needs for skilled and motivated people.

Learning and Development, Performance Management:

Identifies, designs and implements training, development and learning opportunities that are consistent
with the organisations strategic objectives f internal capability.

Develops and maintains an integrated performance management system that is aligned with the business

The system will reflect the needs of the business environment, supports the organisations needs for
development and training, and provides recognition for employee achievement to increase engagement.

It may involve identifying and developing talent management strategy and plan to support the
organisations strategic plan.

To manage employee engagement and performance; developing and growing skill and talent internally.

Human Resource Management Information Systems (HRMIS):

Manages the HRMIS lifecycle which includes: Analyse, plan and design the systems structures that are
linked to organisational requirements. Select, configure and implement appropriate systems to support
organisational strategic plans. Maintain and enhance the current system to ensure continuity of service,
maximum system value and business improvement.

Understands how HR metrics are developed and used for the measurement and wellbeing so that the
configuration of the system meets the needs of the organisation. The HR practitioner should have an
understanding of the principles of project management to ensure strategic implementation decisions are
implemented on to robust and stable platforms.

The HR practitioner should have knowledge and experience in systems that include: HRIS, Payroll,
portal/self service, remuneration, recruitment, talent management, performance management, learning and
development, health and safety reporting, and the internet. The HR practitioner has an understanding of the
business processes, policies and practices that contribute to business success.

To ensure that the client organisations are provided with accurate and up-to-date information about the
state of their people assets so that the HR function can be effectively managed.

Remuneration and Reward:

Develops, implements and monitors effective remuneration and reward strategies, policies and systems
directly aligned with the delivery of business objectives, rewards performance and retains talent.

To ensure that people are rewarded equitably and fairly for their contributions.

Cultural Awareness and Diversity Management:

Develops and implements strategies that are consistent with the organisations culture and values and
acknowledges cultural diversity in support of business objectives to meet business needs. This includes
promoting a culture that respects diversity and the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. Exhibits broad
experience of positively influencing and supporting employees at all levels of the organisation and
leadership. Requires knowledge of the factors that drive business objectives.
Change Management and Organisation Development:
Develops and maintains a planned and systematic approach to enabling sustained organisation development
is aligned with business /organisation strategy through developing the capability of its people.

Ensures that the desired outcomes of change are clearly expressed and shared. The HR practitioner will have
knowledge of organisation design and experience in developing and recommending structural changes to
meet the organisations evolving needs, managing the successful implementation of change within an
organisation, communicating changes and supporting employees through the change process.

To ensure that appropriate changes to the business direction and methods are planned, facilitated and
executed in such a way that they bed down quickly and produce intended benefits (e.g. culture change,
organisational performance and development to meet future needs) for expected cost.

Health, Safety and Wellbeing:

Identifies and implements health, safety and wellbeing strategies and policies to ensure compliance, and
contribution to the development and maintenance of a positive safety culture of wellbeing. Understands
how health and safety contributes to business success.

To ensure that the work of the organisation is undertaken in a way that does not compromise the health and
safety of employees and others. An aspirational goal might be to actively promote the wellbeing of

Legal Compliance & Employment Relations:

Operates within and is compliant with employment law and other relevant legislation pertaining to HR and
business needs by developing appropriate policies, processes and systems to meet legislative requirements.
Successfully undertakes and concludes individual or collective bargaining with unions. Identifies and
resolves employment relationship issues.

To ensure that client organisations operate within and comply with employment law and other relevant
legislation pertaining to the people side of the organisation.

HR Measurement and Policy Development:

Identifies and implements HR scorecards, produce statistics and measures that provide the organisation
with an accurate picture of the impact of HR practices and policies or has broader impact on the
organisation e.g. cost management, workforce planning etc. Identifies successes and areas of concern and
offers solutions to resolve or address.

Identifies, develops and implements HR policies and strategies to meet the organisations strategic plan
and intent. Develops a communications plan to communicate HR policies and procedures across the
HR practitioners will demonstrate HR Delivery competence and have the abilities in the following:

HR Delivery Developing Competent Advanced


Overall Context: Context: Context:

At this level, the HR At this level, the HR At this level, the HR practitioner will
practitioner will be practitioner will have gained perform all the Advanced level
developing their skills, a comprehensive functions across the entire organisation
competence and understanding of HR (in contrast to just some business
knowledge and gain Delivery functions and has units) as the senior HR practitioner for
exposure to the HR the ability to apply a medium to large-sized organisation
Delivery functions. knowledge with impact to the or for a significant plant or section of a
HR Delivery functions in large organisation.
HR practitioners at this business units of an
level are able to: organisation or across an HR practitioners at this level are able
organisation. to:

HR practitioners at this level

are able to:

Resourcing Assist and support the Advise and support the Identify recruitment and talent needs
organisation in the organisation in the through business and environmental
application of employee application of employee analysis and translate those needs into
recruitment and recruitment and selection process and policy design,
selection methodologies methodologies, including development and implementation
including job analysis, undertaking job analysis, strategies which contribute to business
writing job descriptions, writing job descriptions, success, effective talent management,
competency profiles and competency profiles and sourcing strategies , workforce
interviewing potential managing the recruitment planning, capability strategy and
candidates process planning

Learning and Assist with identifying Manage the training and Identify leadership/management
the training and development opportunities training and development needs; put in
Management development needs of against the organisations place the strategies to grow and
individuals in the identified needs and develop leaders, managers and
organisation. implementing effective employees across the organisation.
development programmes.
Assist with the Analyse the capability needs of the
application of the Manage and provide accurate organisation. Development and
organisations and relevant advice and implement a plan for the performance
performance support in the application of management system that directly links
management system the performance management performance objectives to the
system across the organisations strategy and supports
organisation the achievement of organisational

Human Resource Demonstrate an Understand the implications Is viewed as the expert contributor to
Management planning a coordinated systems
awareness and of alternative configuration
Information thinking response to organisational
System (HRMIS) understanding of how decisions through detailed problems (identify internal
HR systems can be used analysis interpretation and inconsistencies in policies and
to enhance the HR system knowledge to provide processes), resulting in smart HR
systems for the organisation.
deliverables within an the best HR systems to the
Lead the HR systems initiative by
organisation. organisation.
planning and developing business
May lead small
Assist with the cases for system changes and
implementation initiatives
maintenance, championing that change through to
and measures the impact of
configuration and organisation leadership/ Senior
system changes on the
implementation of organisation. Management team.
HRMIS systems
Identify system providers, Select, implement and maintain
implement and maintain appropriate systems that support the
appropriate systems that HR component of the organisation. Is
support the HR component of able to show the linkage between
the organisation. Understands business processes, HR policies/
the linkage between business procedures/practices and how the
processes, HR policies/ system can enhance the HR
procedures/ practices and deliverables
how the system can enhance
the HR deliverables

Remuneration Assist with the Manage and provide advice Develop remuneration strategies,
and Reward administration and on the application of policies and systems that contribute to
application of remuneration and rewards the achievement of business strategy,
organisational systems and administration of talent retention, performance rewarded
remuneration and remuneration systems and
reward systems and policies

Cultural Develop an Effectively communicate Lead key strategic cultural

Awareness and understanding of interventions and the integration of
information, experience and
Diversity organisational culture good practice people management to
Management and how to build a more knowledge across achieve organisational objectives and
effective culture through organisational boundaries to success and coaching leaders
interventions build a more effective

Understand the organisations

explicit and implicit cultures

Change Build an understanding Promote the need for change Analyse the capability needs of the
Management and
of the integral steps and manage the integral steps organisation. Development and
Development associated with change associated with the change implement a plan. The organisation
management processes management process. development strategy directly links the
to support the change performance objectives to the
management function. Ensure support for the organisations strategy and supports
expected business outcomes the achievement of organisational
Understand the need for
change. beyond the change process. success

Assist in change Act as a change champion Seek to ensure the organisations

management process and ensures change happens capacity for change keeps pace with
at an organisational level tothe external environment.
meet current business needs. Act as a change champion to ensure
change happens at an organisational
Build a case for change, level in anticipation of future and/or
engage key stakeholders and strategic business needs.
overcome/manage resistance. Manage the communications strategy
to build a case for strategic business
Manage the change process in
change, engage key stakeholders and
partnership with the
overcome/manage resistance

Health, Safety & Develop an Manage and advise on the Develop, lead and implement
Wellbeing understanding of application and management strategies that use health, safety and
compliance through the of organisational health, wellbeing to enhance business
application of safety and wellbeing systems effectiveness and achieve strategic
organisational health, to ensure organisational objectives
safety and wellbeing compliance with policies and
systems procedures

Legal Show awareness of Understand employment law Develop the organisational approach
Compliance &
employment law and its and apply the organisations to the management of employment
Relations application to the policies, processes and relations.
organisations policies, systems to achieve legal
processes and systems to compliance. Research, analyse and interpret the
achieve legal impact of legislation on the strategic
compliance. Use current legislation in direction of the organisation. This
developing policies, and includes mitigating or maximising the
Develop experience in provide legislative advice and effect of legislation or legislative
the use of current guidance to the organisation. change and eliminating risk through
legislation when the introduction or amendment of
applying policies and Apply understanding of the relevant policies and procedures
procedures across the collective or individual Develop organisation strategy and lead
organisation. bargaining or contracting plans for the conduct of negotiations.
arrangements that apply to Maintain positive working
Develop an the units/organisation, relationships with the unions and
understanding of including the relationships monitor the impact the relationship has
individual or collective with unions, and how these on the organisations ability to meet its
bargaining, including arrangements impact on the strategic objectives
relationships with achievement of goals
unions and how this
impacts the organisation
during bargaining

HR Measurement Develop an Apply working knowledge of Contribute to business outcomes as a

and Policy understanding of the the role HR plays within an
key member of the Senior
Implementation role that HR plays organisation, able to
within an organisation demonstrate where possible Management team and contribute to
the measurable outcome from the organisations strategic planning
an HR intervention and its process through planning,
impact on the organisation
implementing, monitoring and
reporting against key HR measures,
scorecards and triggers business
drivers e.g. cost management,
workforce planning that contribute to
organisational success

Strategic Contribution

HR practitioners think and act from the perspective of the business. They are aware of and able to
translate external business trends into internal organisation actions. They understand the general
business conditions (e.g. social, technological, economic, political, environmental and demographic
trends) that affect their organisation and sector.
HR practitioners target and serve key customers of their organisation by segmenting customers, knowing
customer expectations, and aligning the organisation actions to meet customer needs.
HR practitioners co-create their organisations strategic response to business conditions and customer
expectations by helping frame and make strategic and organisational choices.
Interpreting Business Context:

HR practitioners must understand social, technical, economic, political, environmental

and demographic trends as well as stakeholder management of suppliers, locally and
internationally competitor and strategic partners.
Understanding Customer Expectations:

HR practitioners must understand expectations of external customers and customer

buying criteria. HR practitioners must focus culture on meeting needs of external

HR practitioners must contribute to the building the brand of the organisation.

Participating in Strategic Development:

HR practitioners participating in strategic development must spot opportunities for

business success; forecast potential obstacles central to business strategy; identify and
manage risk; provide alternative insights on business issues; help the organisation have
strategic agility and respond to change.

HR practitioners will demonstrate Strategic Contribution competence and have abilities in the following:

Strategic Developing Competent Advanced


Overall Context: Context: Context:

At this level, the HR At this level, the HR At this level, the HR

practitioner will have an practitioner understands practitioner performs all the
awareness of the role that HR analyses and describes the Advanced level functions and
can play in meeting the connection between HR and has demonstrated the ability to
organisations strategic the organisations strategic contribute to the strategic
objectives. They may be objectives and how external decision making for the
involved in strategy factors impact the success of organisation, usually as a
implementation. the organisation. member of the Senior
Leadership team.
HR practitioners at this level HR practitioners at this level
are able to: are able to: HR practitioners at this level are
able to:

Interpreting Understand the links between Demonstrate and apply Lead the identification of the
people, systems, practices and knowledge and understanding business requirements and
policy and how this contributes of the link between people, implications for the
to organisational success. systems, practices and policy organisation.
and how these contribute to
Understand the link and organisational success. Be knowledgeable about the
integration between operational external economic political
imperatives and HR practice Demonstrate applied environment.
and policy. understanding and manage the
link and integration between Clarify social and
Assist with the development operational imperatives and environmental issues that may
and implementation of HR practice and policy to impact the sector and
guidelines that will encourage meet organisational strategic organisation.
greater commitment, objectives.
engagement and measurable Recognise demographic trends
outcomes for the organisation Develop and implement that influence the organisations
guidelines that will encourage employees and key
greater commitment and stakeholders.
measurable outcomes for the
Be knowledgeable about current
and potential government
Demonstrate applied regulations including, where
knowledge about the impact relevant, international business
of financial requirements on context and how this may affect
the organisation the organisation.

Be knowledgeable about the

financial requirements of the
organisation from the point of
view of investors

Understanding Show awareness of design; Understand design, develop Take organisational lead in
contribute to the development and implement strategies, design, develop and implement
and implementation of policies and initiatives that strategies, policies and
strategies, policies and build closer relationships and initiatives that achieve closer
initiatives to build closer better communication relationships and better
relationships and better between employees and their communication between
communication between customers. employees and their customers.
employees and their customers.
Recognise who the key Segment customers into target
Show an understanding of the customers are and develop
importance of building capability strategies to meet groups.
products, organisation, their needs.
leadership and employee brand Disseminate customer
of the organisation Contribute to building the information.
products, organisation,
leadership and employee Be knowledgeable about the
brand of the organisation requirements and expectations
of key stakeholders.

Links organisation, HR and

leadership practices with
stakeholder expectations.

Contribute to building the

product, organisation,
leadership, and employee brand
of the organisation

Participating in Show awareness of the link Reinforce the link between Be knowledgeable about how
between people management effective people management the organisation creates wealth.
and the organisations and the organisations
competitive advantage. competitive advantage Define the key wealth creating
through all HR initiatives. positions within the
Contribute to promoting the organisation.
organisations vision. Contribute to promoting the Contribute to the business
organisations vision of the strategy and manage the process
future. of shaping the strategy.
Clarify the strategy and build
Align HR practices with strategy as a story.
desired strategy. Align HR practices with desired
Contribute to building strategy.
leadership behaviours with Align leadership behaviours
desired strategy. with desired strategy.
Contribute to strategic Promote the organisations
scorecard that links strategy to vision of the future.
metrics and rewards
Create a strategic scorecard that
links strategy to metrics and
Business Knowledge
HR practitioners need to create an effective and strong organisation which is not about structure or
process but is centred on a distinct set of capabilities. Capability represents what the organisation is
good at and known for. HR practitioners need to be able to invest in the creation of organisational
capabilities which can then be audited. These capabilities outlast the behaviour or performance of any
individual manager or system. Capabilities can be referred to as the organisations culture, process or
identity. HR practitioners need to ensure that line managers recognise the importance of the
organisations capabilities in sustaining an organisations success.

HR practitioners need to facilitate capability audits to determine the identity of the organisation. HR
practitioners work with line managers to create a meaning for that identity so that the capability of the
organisation reflects the deeper values of the employees.
Effective HR practitioners ensure they are aware of the latest insights on key HR practice areas related
to talent sourcing, talent development, performance management, work and organisation design, and
leadership brand. HR practitioners must also be able to turn these unique HR practice areas into
integrated solutions that match business requirements.
The HR practitioner supports the organisation to deliver excellent service to its customers. HR
practitioners need to understand the core business of the industry or sector in which they work, and
understand how external and internal factors influence the success of that business.

The HR practitioner understands the importance of the following:

Driving Organisational Capability:

HR practitioners understand how employees make a difference to an organisation,

including the effects that employment, engagement, retention, development,
employment legislation or unions can have on an organisation and its ability to achieve
its business objectives.

Business Value Proposition:

HR practitioners understand how an organisation achieves its business objectives. This

includes market capitalisation, financial matters, mergers and acquisitions (where
relevant), and work design and efficiencies through structural and relationship-based
improvement processes.
Business Value Chain:

HR practitioners understand the dynamics that are critical to the success of the
organisation. This includes understanding the impact of external suppliers on
organisational success, the criticality of the production or service delivery processes and
capacity, competitor analysis, and how internal financial management and information
systems impact on the value chain. This competency emphasises the importance of
environmental scanning to identify changing dynamics in the value chain.
HR practitioners will demonstrate Business Knowledge competence and have abilities in the following:

Business Developing Competent Advanced


Overall Context: Context: Context:

At this level, the HR practitioner At this level, the HR practitioner At this level, the HR
has an awareness of aspects of clearly understands and accurately practitioner performs all
operations that are critical to the expresses the aspects of operations the Advanced level
performance of the business that are critical to the performance functions for the entire
units where the HR practitioner of the business units where the HR organisation (in contrast to
is the Line Managers advisor, or practitioner is the Line Managers just some business units).
of the entire business if it is a advisor, or of the entire business if
small organisation. it is a small organisation. HR practitioners at this
HR practitioners at this level are level are able to:
able to: HR practitioners at this level are
able to:

Driving Demonstrate an awareness of Demonstrate and apply knowledge, Articulate strategy in clear
strategy and how the understanding and application terms.
measurement systems that focus about how the measurement
on individual and organisational systems that focus on individual Design measurement
behaviours impact the and behaviours impact the systems that include
organisation. organisation and align to desired individual and
strategies. organisational level
Demonstrate awareness of links measures focused on both
to measures of financial and Link measures to financial and behaviours and outcomes.
non-financial rewards. non-financial rewards for
Provide follow-up and feedback individuals, teams and business Align measures to desired
(forward) to employees so they units. strategies.
know what is expected of them.
Contribute to the performance Ensure follow-up and feedback Link measures to financial
and accountability culture of the (forward) so employees, teams and and non-financial rewards
organisation business units know how they are for the entire organisation.
Ensure follow-up and
Implement performance and feedback (forward) so
accountability culture in the employees, teams and
organisation business units know how
they are doing.

Develop performance and

accountability culture in
the organisation

Business Value Understand the importance of Demonstrate and apply knowledge, Build the case for
leadership capability for the understanding and application of leadership capability in the
organisation and how this ties to leadership capability in the organisation tied to clear
the business results. organisation and how that ties to business results.
the business results.
Identify potential leadership Promote leadership with
talent within the organisation Promote leadership standards and explicit standards and
expectations. expectations.
Identify and invest in building
future leaders. Assess leaders against the
Measure the impact of leadership desired standards.
and leadership investments.
Invest in building future

Measure the impact of

leadership and leadership

Create a leadership
reputation for the
organisation that is
understood by key

Business Value Demonstrate an awareness of the Understand the organisations Fully understand the
organisations capabilities and capabilities and its competitors in organisations capabilities
that of the competitors in the the sector or industry. and its competitors in the
sector or industry. sector or industry.
Participate in the preparation of Participate in the
Contribute to ensuring the annual plans and reports at the preparation of
people contribution and business unit level or organisational annual
organisational capabilities are organisational level and ensure plans and reports and
effectively communicated people contribution and ensure people contribution
organisational capabilities are and organisational
effectively communicated capabilities are effectively

Business Technology
Business technology is the delivery tool for business services when implementing strategies. There are
three major areas to the Business Technology Competency that HR practitioners will display:

Improving Utility of HR Operations:

Has strategic awareness of technologys linkage to the business plan and the strategic
application of e-knowledge including how, where, and when to deploy for maximum
benefit. This relates mainly to the design of technological applications and their linkage
to business and HR practices.
Effective Data Analysis and Leveraging Social Media Tools:

Has evidence of rigorous and effective data analysis being used to make HR business
decisions (e.g. presenting a business case to Senior Management Executives and
managers to acquire and implement new technology/strategies that will improve
Connecting People Through Technology - Facilitation Skills:

Facilitates the use of business systems by the workforce, effectively communicates the
use of them and has a realistic grasp of the technological applications that exist
throughout the organisation, from both theoretical and applied perspectives.
HR practitioners will demonstrate Business Technology competence and have abilities in the following:

Business Developing Competent Advanced


Overall Context: Context: Context:

At this level, the HR At this level, the HR At this level, the HR

practitioner is developing skills practitioner clearly practitioner performs all the
to understand the linkage demonstrates their ability to Advanced level functions, and
between technology and understand the linkage in addition, scopes the
business plans. between technology and technology needs for the HR
business plans. function across the
HR practitioners at this level are organisation.
able to: HR practitioners at this level
are able to: HR practitioners at this level
are able to:

Improving Utility Demonstrate applied awareness Manage HRMIS capability Demonstrate evidence of
of HR Operations and use of HRMIS to support and delivery to support system reviews and upgrades
business information and business strategies, such as being carried out to ensure
reporting needs the development of HR and compliance and business
business metrics and the use efficiency
of social media

Effective Data Demonstrate knowledge, Understand how the range of Demonstrate evidence of
Analysis and
understanding and awareness of business metrics across all business metrics being used to
Leveraging Social
Media Tools the range of business metrics operational functions can be inform business decisions and
across all operational functions used when making HR influence the strategic
and how metrics can be used business decisions. planning process.
when making HR business Capture metrics as part of a
decisions. Leverage the use of business plan.
technology as a Apply current and emerging
Understand and use technology communication and technologies to improve HRM
to benefit the organisation relationship building tool, efficiency and effectiveness
both inside and outside the within the organisation and
organisation. enable the business to position
Use current and emerging itself for future growth
technologies to meet current
business needs

Connecting Demonstrate awareness of how Deploy electronic HR to Manage and implements

People Through electronic HR positively positively influence business electronic HR to positively
Technology - influences business plans plans influence business plans to
Facilitation Skills achieve the organisations

Personal Credibility

HR practitioners act as role models and are seen as credible business partners in the organisation and
with stakeholders. HR practitioners earn credibility and respect through their actions and service
deliverables, and doing what they say they will do. There are three major areas to the Personal
Credibility competency:
Effective Relationships:

Builds sustainable relationships of trust and credibility based on effective delivery that
leads to engagement with a customer-focused business model of HR across the

Achieving Results:

Meets commitments and has a proven track record of achieving results.

Delivers work with a high degree of business and professional integrity. Professional
integrity means operating in a professional and ethical manner and maintains up to date
HR, business and industry knowledge.

Personal Awareness and Communication:

Ability to self-regulate and communicate effectively at all levels, both internally and

Has a point of view, not only about HR matters, but also about business demands more
generally. Influences people in positive ways.
HR practitioners will demonstrate Personal Credibility competence and have abilities in the

Personal Developing Competent Advanced


Overall Context: Context: Context:

At this level, the HR At this level, the HR At this level, the HR practitioner
practitioner has the practitioner creates effective performs at the Advanced level
ability to create effective relationships externally and across the entire organisation (in
relationships in their internally across the contrast to just some business units)
business unit or across organisation and uses them to as the senior HR practitioner for a
the organisation. influence positively. Has medium-sized organisation or for a
established credibility across significant business unit/section of a
HR practitioners at this all levels of the organisation. large organisation.
level are able to:
HR practitioners at this level Has significant influence with the
are able to: CEO and Executive Team.

HR practitioners at this level are

able to:

Effective Display awareness of the Act in a manner that drives the Create, deliver and build robust and
Relationships importance of the sustainable relationships with
business to achieve optimum
stakeholders to the internal and external stakeholders
organisations operation performance. across the organisation that
convinces Senior Management of
Understand the importance of personal integrity and executive
stakeholder needs to their
operations and acts accordingly

Achieving Hold a relevant tertiary Hold a relevant tertiary Hold a relevant tertiary
qualification and/or qualification and/or experience qualification and/or postgraduate
experience at HR at Senior HR Advisor level or diploma. Has experience at Senior
Advisor level. HR Manager in a small Management level where a
Identify and build organisation. significant contribution has been
enduring and productive made to connect HR with
relationships that Build enduring and productive organisational capability.
engender high levels of relationships that engender
trust. high levels of trust and respect. Build enduring and productive
Perform in a manner that Perform in a manner that relationships with Senior
demonstrates their demonstrates their personal Management, including the CEO
personal integrity. integrity. that engenders high levels of trust
Understand the deliverables and respect.
Demonstrate awareness and how their personal
of how their personal contribution and interventions Be recognised by senior managers
contribution and impact the strategic success of within the organisation as a key
interventions impacts the the organisation. contributor to the personal
strategic success of the credibility of the rest of the HR
organisation. Maintain up-to-date HR team.
Understand the knowledge and practice skills,
and continuously looks for self Consistently deliver to a high
importance of
improvement opportunities standard and know how their
professional development
personal contribution and
to build and maintain
interventions impacts the strategic
their HR skills at an
success of the organisation.
acceptable level, that is
relevant and current
Set HR professional development
objectives for self and others in the
HR team.

Maintain knowledge, skills and

demonstrate good practice skills
that are current and relevant.
Proactively look for innovative
ways to remain current with HR
concepts, leadership and practice

Personal Communicate advice Consistently communicate Present or facilitate tertiary level

Awareness and
effectively, both verbally advice effectively, both courses, or professional
and in writing. verbally and in writing. development workshops, or
Be aware of when issues Display a good level of self- seminars and publish significant
need to be addressed or awareness and emotional research on ethical business
escalated intelligence. practices for the HR community, or
Challenge and influence to
achieve better outcomes speak at HR related conferences.

Apply self-awareness and emotional

intelligence to achieve good
outcomes in complex situations.

Behave as a positive activist,

challenging and influencing better
business outcomes.

Contribute to the credibility of the

HR profession

Concepts of competency, competency at work , Types of competencies behavioural and technical
Competency description & Competency levels
Designing competencies dictionary
Measuring of mapping competencies
Assessment centre
Conducting and operating assessment centre
Role of assessors in an assessment centre
Designing tools in an assessment centre
Feedback mechanism

Over the past 10 years, human resource and organizational development professionals have generated a lot of
interest in the notion of competencies as a key element and measure of human performance. Competencies are
becoming a frequently-used and written-about vehicle for organizational applications such as :
* Defining the factors for success in jobs (i.e., work) and work roles within the organization
* Assessing the current performance and future development needs of persons holding jobs and roles
* Mapping succession possibilities for employees within the organization
* Assigning compensation grades and levels to particular jobs and roles
*Selecting applicants for open positions, using competency based interviewing techniques.

Competencies include the collection of success factors necessary for achieving important results in a
specific job or work role in a particular organization. Success factors are combinations of knowledge,
skills, and attributes (more historically called "KSA's") that are described in terms of specific behaviors, and
are demonstrated by superior performers in those jobs or work roles. Attributes include: personal
characteristics, traits, motives, values or ways of thinking that impact an individual's behavior.

Chanakya's Arthshastra, an ancient Indian script/ book on Political Science and Administration, written some
3000 years ago. Other names of Chanakya were Mr. Kautilya, and Mr. Vishnu Gupt. Constitutions of all the
major countries have origin in this book. It could be Indian Constitution, Irish, Canadian, USA, Australian, etc.
and even British unwritten constitutions have roots imbibed in this book. It is the towering book in which you
find the basics and applications of Management Sciences, Chemistry, Physics, Military and War techniques,
Basic Engineering and Technologies, Ethics, Legal and Judiciary and Fiduciary system, Values, Psychology,
and Anthropology, Organization Behavior, Human Resource Management. In fact major basics of all
Marketing Management, Human Resource Management, basics of Management Models, are been directly
lifted with some modification from this book. Great efforts of Chanakya by all means; and one of the greatest
contributions to the world. You may call Arthshastra as a Classical book once if you read, you will find other
subjects easy any time in your life.

Competence is a standardized requirement for an individual to properly perform a specific job. It encompasses
a combination of knowledge, skills and behavior utilized to improve performance. More generally, competence
is the state or quality of being adequately or well qualified, having the ability to perform specific role.

For instance, management competency includes the traits of systems thinking and emotional intelligence, and
skills in influence and negotiation. A person possesses a competence as long as the skills, abilities, and
knowledge that constitute that competence are a part of them, enabling the person to perform effective action
within a certain workplace environment. Therefore, one might not lose knowledge, a skill, or an ability, but
still lose a competence if what is needed to do a job well changes.
Thus, Competency mapping identifies an individual's strengths and weaknesses. The aim is to enable the
person to better understand himself or herself and to point out where career development efforts need to be
Difference between Competence and Competency

The competencies have five characteristics

* Motives: Things a person consistently thinks about or wants that cause action, motives drive, direct and
select behavior towards certain actions. Example achievement motivation people consistently set challenging
goals for themselves, take responsibility for accomplishing them and use the feedback to do better

* Traits: Physical characteristics and consistent responses to situations. Good eyesight is physical traits of a
pilot. Emotional Self Control and initiative are more complex consistent responses to situations.

* Self Concept: A person's attitude value or self image. A person's values are reactive or respondent motives
that predict what a person would do in the short run. Example: A person who values being a leader would be
more likely to exhibit leadership behavior.

* Knowledge (Information a person has in a specific work area) Example: An accountant's have knowledge of
various accounting procedures.

* Skill (is the ability to perform certain mental or physical tasks) Example: Mental competency includes
analytical thinking. The ability to establish cause and affect relationship.

The four general Competence are :

Meaning Competence: Identifying with the purpose of the organization or community and acting from
the preferred future in accordance with the values of the organization or community.
Relation Competence: Creating and nurturing connections to the stakeholders of the primary tasks.
Learning Competence: Creating and looking for situations that make it possible to experiment with
the set of solutions that make it possible to solve the primary tasks and reflect on the experience.
Change Competence: Acting in new ways when it will promote the purpose of the organization or
community and make the preferred future come to life.

Types of Competencies
The four fundamental Competencies are :
1. Organizational competencies unique factors that make an organization competitive
2. Job/Role competenciesthings an individual must demonstrate to be effective in a job, role, function, task,
or duty, an organizational level,
or in the entire organization.
3. Personal competenciesaspects of an individual that imply a level of skill, achievement, or output

Other Types of Competencies

Competencies which are considered essential for staff with managerial or supervisory responsibility in any
service or program area, including directors and senior posts.

Some managerial competencies could be more relevant for specific occupations, however they are applied
horizontally across the Organization, i.e. analysis and decision-making, team leadership, change management,


Competencies which are considered essential for all staff, regardless of their function or level,
i.e. communication, program execution, processing tools, linguistic, etc.

Specific competencies which are considered essential to perform any job in the Organization within a defined
technical or functional area of work, i.e. environmental management, industrial process sectors,
investment management, finance and administration, human resource management, etc.
Levels of Competencies
1. Practical competency - An employee's demonstrated ability to perform a set of tasks.

2. Foundational competence - An employee's demonstrated understanding of what and why he / she is


3. Reflexive competence (An employee's ability to integrate actions with the understanding of the
action so that he / she learn from those actions and adapts to the changes as and when they are required.

4. Applied competence - An employee's demonstrated ability to perform a set of tasks with

understanding and reflexivity.

The steps involved in competency mapping are presented below:

1. Conduct a job analysis by asking incumbents to complete a position information questionnaire(PIQ).
This can be provided for incumbents to complete, or used as a basis for conducting one-on-one
interviews using the PIQ as a guide. The primary goal is to gather from incumbents what they feel are
the key behaviors necessary to perform their respective jobs.
2. Using the results of the job analysis, a competency based job description is developed. It is developed
after carefully analyzing the input from the represented group of incumbents and converting it to
standard competencies.
3. With a competency based job description, mapping the competencies can be done. The competencies of
the respective job description become factors for assessment on the performance evaluation. Using
competencies will help to perform more objective evaluations based on displayed or not displayed

Taking the competency mapping one step further, one can use the results of ones evaluation to identify in
what competencies individuals need additional development or training. This will help in focusing on training
needs required to achieve the goals of the position and company and help the employees develop toward the
ultimate success of the organization.

Competency Description
Competencies are derived from specific job families within the organization and are often grouped around
categories such as strategy, relationships, innovation, leadership, risk taking, decision making, emotional
intelligence etc.
So far as the way to go about for Competency Mapping is concerned the first step is job analysis, where the
company needs to list core competency requirements for the job concerned. The next step should be
development of a competency scale for the job on the parameters previously identified
The actual mapping of employees can be self done exercise or done by others like superiors. It can also be
done by suing the 360 degree feedback method where peers, first reports and customers also rate the employee

Behavioural Event Interview (BEI) is an interview technique based on the premise that the best predictor
of future behaviour is past behaviour. BEI allows the interviewer to:
Gain detailed job-related examples
Assess past performance
Assess competencies
The aim is to improve the fit between the candidate and the Position

Fortunately, there are techniques that help improve the effectiveness of interviews. Often referred to
under the name of structured interviews, these techniques represent a variety of ways to improve
fairness and accuracy in predicting performance. In fact, the degree to which the interview is structured
is less important than the core principle of focusing on job-related criteria. Questions asked usually
facilitate the gathering of information relevant to key job requirements. Judgements are formed by
evaluating this evidence against criteria that have been established through analysing the job or role
rather than by directly comparing candidates on the basis of the interviewer/s overall impressions.

Assessment centre
An assessment centre is an alternative to validate the competencies with the help of various tools. This is
the most important step in mapping the competencies once they have been identified.

The assessment centre is a method or an approach that is used to make decisions about peopleto
choose them, promote them or to put them on a fast-track scheme. The objective is to obtain the
best possible indication of peoples current or potential competence to perform at the target job or job
level. The assessment is observed by a team of assessors. It is a combination of methods, which
comprises of simulations of the key elements of the job under the headings of various companies, the
assessment through all methods/ techniques is brought together to indicate what is crucial for high

An assessment center consists of a standardized evaluation of behavior based on multiple inputs. Any
single assessment center consists of multiple components, which include behavioral simulation
exercises1 , within which multiple trained assessors observe and record behaviors, classify them
according to the behavioral constructs of interest, and (either individually or collectively) rate (either
individual or pooled) behaviors. Using either a consensus meeting among assessors or statistical
aggregation, assessment scores are derived that represent an assessees standing on the behavioral
constructs and/or an aggregated overall assessment rating (OAR).

Conducting and operating assessment centre

All assessment center programs must contain ten essential elements:

1. Systematic Analysis to Determine Job-Relevant Behavioral ConstructsThe focal
constructs assessed in an assessment center have traditionally been called behavioral
dimensions or simply dimensions within assessment center science and practice, and
are defined as a constellation or group of behaviors that are specific, observable, and
verifiable; that can be reliably and logically classified together; and that relate to job
success. The term dimension is sometimes used synonymously with competency or KSA
(knowledge, skills, or ability). Other assessment center applications have classified
relevant behaviors according to tasks or job roles. Regardless of the label for the focal
constructs to be assessed, they must be defined behaviorally, and as such are referred to
hereafter as behavioral constructs.
Behaviors in any definition of a behavioral construct may be either broad or
specific in relation to a particular context or job. Further, these behavioral constructs
must be derived via a rigorous and systematic process (e.g., job analysis, competency
modeling) that considers how the construct manifests in the actual job/organizational
context, and documents the job relevance of the final behavioral constructs incorporated
into the assessment context. The type and extent of analysis will depend on the purpose
of the assessment; the complexity of the job; the adequacy and appropriateness of prior
information about the job; and the similarity of the job to jobs that have been studied
previously. If past research/analyses are used to select behavioral constructs and
exercises, evidence of the comparability or generalizability of the jobs must be provided.
When the job does not currently exist, analyses can be done of actual or projected tasks
or roles that will comprise the new job, position, job level, or job family. Analysis of the
organizations vision, values, strategies, or key objectives may also inform identification
of appropriate behavioral constructs. The behavioral constructs must be defined precisely
and expressed in terms of behaviors observable on the job (or within the job family) and
in the simulation exercises used within the assessment center. Behavioral constructs must
also be shown to be related to success in the target job, position, or job family.
2. Behavioral ClassificationThe behaviors captured within the assessment context (e.g.,
trained assessors behavioral observations of assessees participating in simulation
exercises), must be classified according to the behavioral constructs. Further
classification might also take place, such as into broader performance categories or an
overall assessment rating (OAR).
3. Multiple Assessment Center ComponentsAny assessment center must contain
multiple assessment components, some of which consist of behavioral simulation
exercises. As such, assessment centers may be entirely comprised of multiple behavioral
simulation exercises, or some combination of simulations and other measures, such as
tests (referred to in some countries as psychometric tests), structured interviews,
situational judgment tests, questionnaires, and the like. The assessment center
components are developed or chosen to elicit a variety of behaviors and information
relevant to the behavioral constructs. Self-assessment and multisource assessment data
may also be gathered as assessment information. Each assessment component must be
pretested to ensure that it provides reliable, objective, and relevant behavioral
information for the organization in question. Pretesting might entail trial administration
with participants similar to the intended assessees, thorough review by subject matter
experts as to the accuracy and representativeness of behavioral sampling, and/or evidence
from the use of these techniques for similar jobs in similar organizations.
4. Linkages Between Behavioral Constructs and Assessment Center ComponentsA
matrix mapping what behavioral constructs are assessed in each assessment center
component must be constructed. This is most commonly referred to as a dimension-by-
exercise matrix. Evidence must be established supporting the inferences made as the
assessment center developer moves from job analysis (or competency modeling)
information to the choice of behavioral constructs, and then to the choice of assessment
components to measure each construct in multiple ways.
5. Simulation ExercisesAn assessment center must contain multiple opportunities to
observe behaviors relevant to the behavioral constructs to be assessed. At least some job-
related simulation exercises must be included. A simulation exercise is an assessment
technique designed to elicit behaviors representative of the targeted behavioral constructs
and within a context consistent with the focal job. They require assessees to respond
behaviorally to situational stimuli. Examples of simulations include, but are not limited
to, in-box exercises, leaderless group discussions, case study analyses/presentations, role
plays, and fact-finding exercises. Stimuli can be presented via a variety of formats,
including face-to-face interaction, paper, video, audio, computers, telephones, or the
Internet. The format used to present stimuli should,3 as far as possible, be consistent in
nature to how such information would be delivered in the actual job environment. For
simple jobs, one or two job-related simulations may be used if the job analysis clearly
indicates that one or two simulations alone sufficiently simulate a substantial portion of
the job being evaluated. If a single comprehensive assessment technique is used (e.g., a
computer-delivered simulation that simulates a number of tasks and situations), then it
must include distinct, job-related segments. Simulation exercises must be carefully
designed and constructed such that a large number of behavioral construct-related
behaviors can be reliably elicited and detected by assessors. Behavioral cues (i.e.,
prompts provided by role players or via other stimuli provided within the context of a
simulation exercise, incorporated for the purpose of creating opportunities for displaying
behavior relevant to the behavioral constructs) should be determined and documented
prior to or during exercise development, and incorporated into both assessor training and
scoring protocol. The stimuli contained in a simulation must parallel or resemble stimuli
in the work situation, although they may be in different settings. The desirable degree of
fidelity is a function of the assessment centers purpose. Fidelity may be relatively low
for early identification and selection programs for non-managerial personnel and may be
relatively high for programs designed to diagnose the training needs of experienced
managers, executives, and other professionals. Assessment center designers must take
steps to ensure that the exercise content does not unfairly favor certain assessees (e.g.,
those in certain racial, ethnic, age, or sex groups). To qualify as a behavioral simulation
for an assessment center as defined herein, the assessment method must require the
assessee to overtly display certain behaviors. The assessee must be required to
demonstrate a constructed response (i.e., as opposed to choosing among predetermined
behavioral options). Assessment procedures that only require the assessee to select
among provided alternative responses (e.g., multiple-choice tests, situational judgment
tests, and some computerized in-baskets and 3D virtual games) do not conform to this
requirement. Similarly, a situational interview that calls for only an expression of
behavioral intentions would not be seen as conforming to this criterion. Whereas such
techniques may yield highly reliable and valid assessment ratings, they would not be
classified as a behavioral simulation exercise.
6. AssessorsMultiple assessors must be used to observe and evaluate each assessee.
When selecting assessors, where appropriate, the assessment center program must strive
to have diverse assessors, both in terms of demographics (e.g., race, ethnicity, age, sex)
and experience (e.g., organizational level, functional work area, managers, psychologists,
etc.). The maximum ratio of assessees to assessors is a function of several variables,
including the type of exercises used, the behavioral constructs to be evaluated, the roles
of the assessors, the type of data integration carried out, the amount of assessor training
conducted, the experience of the assessors, and the purpose of the assessment center. The
ratio of assessees to assessors should be minimized where practicable in the interests of
reducing cognitive load (and for group simulation exercises, the number of assessees an
assessor must assess simultaneously should be kept to a minimum). To minimize
potential bias, an assessees current supervisor should not be involved in the assessment
of a direct subordinate when the resulting data will be used for selection or promotional
7. Assessor TrainingAssessors must receive thorough training and demonstrate
performance that meets pre-specified criteria. Training must include instruction on the
purpose and goals of the assessment center; behavioral constructs to be assessed and
associated behaviors; the assessment center components to be utilized; the materials and
rubrics with which to document, classify, and evaluate behaviors, as well as the rights
and responsibilities of assessees, assessors, and the host organization and affiliated
consulting bodies. It must also include instruction on making ratings and calibrating
scoring levels associated with specific behaviors and behavioral constructs (often referred
to as frame of reference training). Assessors must only be allowed to assess actual
assessees after demonstrating their competence and reliability, both individually and as a
group. If assessors also serve as feedback providers, then training should also address
strategies for enhancing feedback acceptance and behavior change. More information on
assessor training is provided in Section VII below.
8. Recording and Scoring of BehaviorsA systematic procedure must be used by
assessors to record (and if appropriate, rate) specific behavioral observations accurately at
the time of observation. This procedure might include the use of note-taking, behavioral
observation scales (BOS), behavioral checklists, or behaviorally anchored rating scales
(BARS). Observations may also occur post hoc by accessing audio and/or video
recordings taken as assessees complete simulation exercises. Assessors must prepare a
record/report of the observations made during each exercise before the integration
discussion or before statistical integration takes place. Behavioral categorization, scoring,
and reporting must always be according to the predetermined/validated set of behavioral
constructs that form the foundation of the assessment center.
9. Data IntegrationThe integration of observations and/or ratings of each assessees
behaviors must be based on a discussion of pooled observations and ratings from various
assessors and/or a statistical integration of assessors ratings. The process used must be
carried out in accordance with professionally accepted standards. Depending on the
purpose of the assessment center, integration may result in exercise-specific
dimension4 scores; exercise scores; across-exercise dimension scores; and/or an overall
assessment rating (OAR). If an integration discussion amongst assessors (also known as a
consensus discussion) is used, assessors must consider the behavioral construct-
relevant information collected from the assessment components, and not consider
information obtained outside the documented processes of the AC. Regardless of method
of integration, the scores yielded by the integration process must be reliable. In both
computing and interpreting assessment center scores, consideration of how assessees
perform across diverse situations should be considered. Depending on the purpose and
design of the assessment center, this might include weighting behaviors based on the
extent to which they manifest themselves on the job (e.g., the number of critical job tasks
that a particular behavioral dimension is linked to based on a job analysis); providing
feedback on exercise-specific dimension performance; considering split ratings (when
performance on a given behavioral construct is high in one situation but low in another)
as potentially meaningful information; or providing exercise-specific feedback.
10. StandardizationThe procedures for administering all aspects of an assessment center
must be standardized so that all assessees have the same opportunities to demonstrate
behaviors relevant to the behavioral constructs. Standardization is especially important
for high-stakes assessment centers, where the outcomes are used to make decisions about
the employment status of individuals (e.g., assessment centers that inform selection and
promotion decisions). Standardization may be compromised in many aspects of AC
administration, including the instructions given, time allowed for completion of
exercises, materials available, the room and other facilities, the composition of groups in
group interaction exercises, the behavior of role players, follow-up questions asked by
assessors after a presentation, differing sequences of assessment components, etc. Other
considerations for standardization are discussed in Sections X and XII. Exceptions to
strict adherence to standardized procedures may be allowed in response to legitimate,
documented requests for accommodation for a disability (e.g., more time for a person
with a reading disability). Similarly, the requirement for strict standardization does not
apply to individually customized assessments used in developmental settings (although
even in such settings, when assessees participate in the same assessment components,
these components should be carried out in a standardized way)

. IV. Non-Assessment Center Activities - There is a difference between an assessment center and the
application of assessment center methodology more generally. Various features of the assessment center
methodology are used in procedures that do not meet all the Guidelines set forth herein, such as when a
psychologist or human resource professional, acting alone, uses a simulation as part of an individuals
evaluation. Such personnel assessment procedures are not covered by these Guidelines; each should be
judged on its own merits. Procedures that do not conform to all the Guidelines herein should not be
represented as assessment centers or imply that they are assessment centers by using the term
assessment center as part of the title. The following kinds of activities do not constitute an assessment

1. Assessment procedures that do not require the assessee to demonstrate overt behavioral
responses are not behavioral simulations; thus, any assessment program that consists solely of
such procedures is not an assessment center as defined herein. Examples of these are
computerized in-baskets and situational judgment tests marketed as simulations calling only
for closed-ended responses (e.g., rating the effectiveness of behavioral response options, ranking
potential behavioral responses, and multiple choice responses), situational interviews calling
only for behavioral intentions, and written competency tests. Note that procedures not requiring
an assessee to demonstrate overt behavioral responses may be used within an assessment center,
but must be coupled with some simulation exercises requiring the overt display of behaviors.
2. Panel interviews or a series of sequential interviews as the sole technique.
3. Reliance on a single assessment component (regardless of whether it is a simulation) as the sole
basis for evaluation. This restriction does not preclude a comprehensive assessment that includes
distinct job-related segments (e.g., large, complex simulations or virtual assessment centers with
several definable sub-components and with multiple opportunities for observation in different
4. A test battery (lacking any behavioral simulation exercises), regardless of whether the scores on
the individual tests are combined via a statistical or judgmental pooling of scores.
5. Single-assessor evaluation (i.e., measurement by one individual using a variety of techniques,
such as paper-and-pencil tests, interviews, personality measures, or simulations). Even if
multiple assessors are used to assess multiple assessees, if each individual assessee is not
evaluated by multiple assessors over the course of the assessment, the program cannot be
referred to as an assessment center.
6. The use of several simulation exercises, which incorporate multiple assessors, but that does not
pool the assessment data in any way (i.e., across assessors, exercises, dimensions, and/or
alternative constructs).
7. A physical location labeled as an assessment center that does not conform to the
methodological requirements noted above.
8. A website or catalog that warehouses various tests, measures, and assessments.
9. Fully automated, computerized assessments that either do not elicit overt behavior on the part of
the assessee or do not require assessor observation and evaluation of overt behavior.

Role of assessors in an assessment centre

Definition of Assessor
An Assessor is an individual trained to observe, record, classify and make reliable judgements about the
behaviours of those being assessed.'
Source: Lewis Rowe, Tina; A Preparation Guide for the Assessment Center Method; (2006) Charles C
Thomas Publishers Ltd, Illinois, USA.

Who are your assessors?

They are usually people one level above the position you have applied for. They will be ambitious and
successful individuals within their own departments. These people will have a very clear idea of the
qualities they expect to see in an individual performing the new role.
Many agencies have a preferred list of assessors they like to use and the human resources department
will have key people they call upon for the assessment centre days. For senior roles, assessors who are
external to the organisation may be used to bring a broader perspective to the assessment.

Many organisations like to include an exercise in assessment centre where they use multiple assessors,
usually a minimum of three people, and they will be at least one level above the position you are
applying for. In these exercises the panel will be made up of diverse individuals, some may be external
to the organisation or department. So it is necessary for assessors to have different priorities and adapt to
the behaviours accordingly.

There are three things you need to remember about the assessors:
1. They know nothing about you.
2. They can only give you marks for behaviours you show them during the exercises.
3. They are only concerned with how well you display the behaviours applicable to the role.
Role of Assessor in AC:

For success of the centres, assessors have to demonstrate the capability to observe and record the
behaviour of candidates. This is demanding as assessors have to understand the difference between
merely looking for concrete verbal and non-verbal behaviours and interpreting these behaviours. They
should be able to withhold early judgements. These days video is frequently used to aid assessors in
gathering behavioural information.

Assessors should be able to organize their behavioural observations by job-related dimensions. This
means indicating to which dimension each behaviour belongs. Another skill involves accurate rating of
candidates on dimensions. They should have the ability not to make comparative judgements. This is

The training an assessor receives, whether they are internal or external to the organisation will equip
them with the skills to observe, classify and record candidates behaviour during the exercises. They will
also have a thorough understanding of the requirements of the role and have studied the job
specification. From this knowledge a list of key behavioural areas will be drawn up, each having a more
detailed description to ensure consistency among the assessors when scoring candidates.Assessors
should demonstrate the ability to integrate information from various exercises and be able to discuss the
ratings with fellow assessors. Finally, they have to write formal reports and give feedback.

In short, during each test, a group of assessor will rate you on a range of set indicators, using a
prescribed performance scale. Results are then cross compared against the same indicators, which are
measured in other tests. Following test completion, assessors meet to discuss the test results and reach a
group consensus about your ratings.

The process carried out by the individual assessor in assessment centre:

The steps which individual assessor takes to observe, classify and evaluate behaviours of candidates in
separate exercises carried out in assessment centre.

Assessment centre may vary in specific steps carried out by individual assessors. That is, individual
assessor may or may not assign ratings to participants on each dimension, and if they do assign ratings,
this may occur at different times in the assessment process.
1. The first duty carried out by trained assessors is to observe the assessees as they participate in the
stimulation exercises. While observing, assessor take detailed, non-evaluative notes of
behavioural aspects of assessees.
2. After the stimulation has been completed, assessors classify the behaviours listed in their notes
into the dimensions being assessed in that particular exercise.
3. Then, the assessor might prepare a summary sheet to be used to report to the assessor group or,
alternatively, the assessor may assign ratings to each dimension assessed in the exercise.
4. After all the assessees have completed all exercises, either assessor come together to discuss and
determine the final ratings, or the ratings are combined statistically.
5. Depending upon the purpose of the AC, assessor may provide assessees with oral or written
feedback on their performance.

The assessor experience

For many organisations their Human Resources department will have drawn up their own specific
scoring sheet which they will modify as appropriate for the role in question. There is space for the
assessor to write in how participant exhibited certain behaviour & then a column for participants score.
This scoring is usually from 1-10; 1 being poor or unsatisfactory and 10 being totally capable and suited
to role.

A key part of the assessors training will be to understand the scoring mechanism being used for your
assessment centre. The assessors themselves often perform the exercises they are going to observe, with
half of their group playing the role of candidates and the other half actually being assessors. In this way
the organisation ensures that the assessors are all measuring and marking behaviours in the same way.

As well as practising the exercises and their observation skills, the assessors will follow each exercise
with a discussion. This discussion will give them all an opportunity to say what they observed and how
they've marked this behaviour and then to gain a consensus from the group to award the candidate a final
score for an exercise.

This ensures that each candidate is judged fairly and that the company or organisation has a thorough
record of how a final decision was made. This enables a candidate requesting feedback on their
performance to receive an objective overview of their performance on the day.

Another essential part of the assessors training will be in how to use the scoring sheets or rate cards that
your assessment centre will be using. Each agency, organisation or company have minor variations in
their scoring and assessors need to be familiar with the method being used at your centre. Examples of
the scoring sheets are given in the next section.

Some organisations prefer that the assessors use a legal pad to make their notes on and these are then
used during the discussions and retained by the organisation once the assessment centre is completed.

Designing tools in an assessment centre

Assessment Centers (AC) rely on well-structured assessment tools. All simulation exercises and role
plays contain two sheets: one for the candidate and another for the assessor.
1. Prerequisite form (sample): This document marks the beginning of the process and is used to
validate the candidates access to the Assessment Center. It has to be filled in by the HR Manager during
the 1st interview and then addressed to theAssessment Center Manager. It is the latter who will then
forward it to all theassessors before the Assessment Center process begins, so that they may dispose of a
common source of general data on the assessed person.
2. Reference profile with the job's required competencies (sample): Though generally omitted, this
tool is essential in order for the Assessment Center to be successful, as it will yield the precise
definitions of all the criteria that are absolutely necessary for the targeted position (technical,
professional and language skills, experience, know-how, personal skills, values, etc.). The annexed table
also details the tools that will be used to assess the diverse skills that are required for the position.
3. Calibrated and validated computer tests: Such tests aim to provide an objective basis for the
orientation and structuration of the assessment interview, so that it may provide a comparison with the
reference grid. Please note that, in order for them to be reliable, such tools will have to be calibrated and
validated on thepopulation of reference (U.S. or U.K., for instance) and measure the candidatesdegree
of compliance with the test. This is for instance the case with the Sigmund Potential assessment tool.
4. Presentation exercise (sample): This is an exercise in which candidates are handed out a sheet that
provides them with information on a real-life situation. They must understand it, extract its essential
data and analyze it quickly, so as to present a solution to their manager. The limited preparation
time should put the candidate under a certain amount of pressure, so as to be able to observe some of the
criteria defined in the reference grid such as the understanding of key issues, self-confidence or active
listening, for instance.
5. Role play (sample): In its principle, this exercise is very similar to the presentation. The difference
lies in the fact that, in this case, the candidate is confronted to another person (colleague, employee,
customer) rather than to a written statement. Here again, the limited preparation time shall allow for
the observation of diverse criteria, such as: self-confidence, impact and influence, initiative,
communication and negotiation skills.
6. Questions and Answers (Q&A) exercise (sample): This exercise takes the form of a structured
interview in which the assessor asks a series of questions, in order to allow the candidate to discuss
professional issues related to the position for which the Assessment Center is designed. The main aim of
this exercise is to lead candidates to express themselves as much as possible, in order to observe such
criteria as: active listening, market-orientation, the knowledge of the job, of the company, etc. In this
case, the time pressure should allow verifying whether the candidate answers coherently and whether
his/her level of resistance to stress is acceptable.
7. Final individual assessment form (sample): This sheet presents the synthesis of the assessors'
observations. Every assessor individually consigns his/her appreciation of each candidate.
8. Final assessment form (sample): Finally, the individual assessments made at point 7 are discussed in
common and regrouped onto the same sheet. This allows gaining a global vision of the whole
assessment program by providing a ranking of all candidates and refining, if necessary, the
appreciations. This sheet shall be signed by all assessors.

Feedback Mechanism

The importance of feedback in the assessment process cannot be minimized. The reports given to either the
individual or management both reflect the real cost of assessment. Feedback mechanisms historically wre seen
as an afterthought-an appendage to the centre itself. What appears to be needed is a concerted effort to train
the users of assessment data on how to receive and use this information.
Reasons for establishing a feedback mechanism The reasons most often given for establishing a feedback
mechanism are to support accountability, transparency, empowerment, monitoring and evaluation, and
programme improvement, and to provide early warning of impending problems.

1. Accountability and rights

Some organisations implement feedback mechanisms to comply with internal or external requirements
and standards. Others seek feedback out of respect for beneficiaries rights, including the right to have a
voice and be heard and so that beneficiaries may hold organisations to account against the promises
and commitments made to the communities they support and other stakeholders
2. Transparency and trust Feedback mechanisms offer beneficiaries the opportunity to approach an
organisation to ask questions and receive a response, increasing their understanding of the program,
reducing potential tensions and potentially developing their trust in the organisation . The resulting trust
and respect also help improve and maintain relationships with the affected. Some organisations have
noted that feedback mechanisms improved their credibility not only with beneficiaries but also with the
local government, donors and other NGOs and enhanced the organizations public standing by
allowing it to be seen as a listening organisation
3. Empowerment World Vision sees feedback and complaint mechanisms as promoting community
empowerment and participation Along these lines, the vast majority of organisations that participated
in a HAP training on complaints and response mechanisms (CRMs) reported that after they
implemented this mechanism, beneficiaries were more willing to contribute feedback during open
forums and get involved in the organisations activities IFRC found that a questions and complaints
line can build trust in an organization. To the beneficiary, it suggests the organization cares enough to
listen to their concerns
4. Monitoring and evaluation In a few cases, feedback and complaints mechanisms have been observed
to help improve monitoring and evaluation activities by feeding beneficiaries views and perspectives
into monitoring, assessment and reporting practices. A complaints and feedback mechanism provides a
means for stakeholders to provide comment and voice complaints about the IFRCs work. It is a
particularly important data collection topic worth special mention. Complaints and feedback
mechanisms provide valuable insights and data for the ongoing monitoring and periodical evaluation of
a project/programme
5. Programme or project improvement Another of the expected benefits that motivate agencies to
establish a feedback mechanism is that they can provide unique and invaluable sources of information
to be used for better project management and outcomes. They can help identify and address mistakes
or shortcomings, improving the quality of the programme or project These changes and the uptake of
other suggestions from beneficiaries may lead to increased effectiveness and efficiency For example,
targeting can be improved through identification of inclusion and exclusion errors and any factors
inhibiting affected populations access to the programme or project can be minimised Feedback
mechanisms can also be useful for informing management of issues faced and support needed in the
field, which can also lead to improved effectiveness. Getting peoples feedback through the information
centres has proved valuable to project staff, as theyve been able to make small but significant
improvements to strengthen implementation and, ultimately, the impact of our activities. And as an
organisation, weve been able to learn lessons that can inform our future activities.

Different Methods of Competency Mapping

1) Assessment Centre
Assessment Centre is a mechanism to identify the potential for growth. It is a procedure (not location) that
uses a variety of techniques to evaluate employees for manpower purpose and decisions. It was initiated by
American Telephone and Telegraph Company in 1960 for line personnel being considered
Step 1:Gathering facts: The methodology usually employed through an open-ended questionnaire, gathering
retrospective data. The events should have happened fairly recently: the longer the time period between the
events and their gathering, the greater the danger that the users may reply with imagined stereotypical
responses. Interviews can also be used, but these must be handled with extreme care not to bias the
user. sidered for promotion to supervisory positions. An essential feature of the assessment center is the use of
situational test to observe specific job behavior. Since it is with reference to a job, elements related to the job
are simulated through a variety of tests. The assessors observe the behavior and make independent evaluation
of what they have observed, which results in identifying strengths and weaknesses of the attributes being

It is, however, worth remembering that there is a large body of academic research which suggests that the
assessment centre is probably one of the most valid predictors of performance in a job and, if correctly
structured, is probably one of the fairest and most objective means of gathering information upon which a
selection decision can be based. From the candidates perspective it is important to be natural and to be oneself
when faced with an assessment centre, remembering always that you can only be assessed on what you have
done and what the assessors can observe. The International Personnel Management Association (IPMA) has
identified the following elements, essential for a process to be considered as assessment center:

a) A job analysis of relevant behavior to determine attributes skills, etc. for effective job performance and what
should be evaluated by assessment center.
Techniques used must be validated to assess the dimensions of skills and abilities.
Multiple assessment techniques must be used.
Assessment techniques must include job related simulations.
Multiple assessors must be used for each assessed.
Assessors must be thoroughly trained.
Behavioral observations by assessors must be classified into some meaningful and relevant categories
of attributes, skills and abilities, etc.
Systematic procedures should be used to record observations.
Assessors must prepare a report.
All information thus generated must be integrated either by discussion or application of statistical

Data thus generated can become extremely useful in identifying employees with potential for growth.
Following are some of the benefits of the assessment center:
It helps in identifying early the supervisory/ managerial potential and gives sufficient lead time for
training before the person occupies the new position.
It helps in identifying the training and development needs.
Assessors who are generally senior managers in the organization find the training for assessor as a
relevant experience to know their organization a little better.
The assessment center exercise provides an opportunity for the organization to review its HRM

Assessment Centre is a complex process and requires investment in time. It should safeguard itself from
misunderstandings and deviations in its implementation. For this, the following concerns should be ensured:
Assessment Centre for diagnosis is often converted as Assessment Centre for prediction of long range
The assessors judgment may reflect the perception of reality and not the reality itself.
One is not sure if the benefits outweigh the cost.

Assessment Centre comprises a number of exercises or simulations which have been designed to replicate the
tasks and demands of the job. These exercises or simulations will have been designed in such a way that
candidates can undertake them both singly and together and they will be observed by assessors while they are
doing the exercises. The main types of exercises are presented below. Most organizations use a combination of
them to assess the strengths, weaknesses and potential of employees.
a) Group Discussions: In these, candidates are brought together as a committee or project team with one or a
number of items to make a recommendation on. Candidates may be assigned specific roles to play in the group
or it may be structured in such a way that all the candidates have the same basic information. Group discussion
allows them to exchange information and ideas and gives them the experience of working in a team. In the
work place, discussions enable management to draw on the ideas and expertise of staff, and to acknowledge the
staff as valued members of a team.

Some advantages of group discussion are:

Ideas can be generated.
Ideas can be shared.
Ideas can be tried out.
Ideas can be responded to by others.
When the dynamics are right, groups provide a supportive and nurturing environment for academic and
professional endeavour.
Group discussion skills have many professional applications.
Working in groups is fun!

A useful strategy for developing an effective group discussion is to identify task and maintenance roles that
members can take up. Following roles, and the dialogue that might accompany them in a group discussion
have been identified.

Positive Task Roles: These roles help in reaching the goals more effectively:
Initiator: Recommends novel ideas about the problem at hand, new ways to approach the problem, or
possible solutions not yet considered.
Information seeker: Emphasises getting the facts by calling for background information from others.
Information giver: Provides data for forming decisions, including facts that derive from expertise.
Opinion seeker: Asks for more qualitative types of data, such as attitudes, values, and feelings.
Opinion giver: Provides opinions, values, and feelings.
Clarifier: Gives additional information- examples, rephrasing, applications about points being made by
Summariser: Provides a secretarial function.
Positive Maintenance Roles : These become particularly important as the discussion develops and opposing
points of view begin to emerge:
Social Supporter: Rewards others through agreement, warmth , and praise.
Harmonizer: Mediates conflicts among group members.
Tension Reliever: Informally points out the positive and negative aspects of the groups dynamics and
calls for change, if necessary.
Energiser: Stimulates the group to continue working when the discussion flags.
Compromiser: Shifts her/his own position on an issue in order to reduce conflict in the group.
Gatekeeper: Smoothes communication by setting up procedures and ensuring equal participation from

b) In Tray: This type of exercise is normally undertaken by candidates individually. The materials comprise a
bundle of correspondence and the candidate is placed in the role of somebody, generally, which assumed a new
position or replaced their predecessor at short notice and has been asked to deal with their accumulated
correspondence. Generally the only evidence that the assessors have to work with is the annotations which the
candidates have made on the articles of mail. It is important when undertaking such an exercise to make sure
that the items are not just dealt with, but are clearly marked on the items any thoughts that candidates have
about them or any other actions that they would wish to undertake.

c) Interview Simulations/Role Plays: In these exercises candidates meet individually with a role player or
resource person. Their brief is either to gather information to form a view and make a decision, or alternatively,
to engage in discussion with the resource person to come to a resolution on an aspect or issue of dispute.
Typically, candidates will be allowed 15 -30 minutes to prepare for such a meeting and will be given a short,
general brief on the objective of the meeting. Although the assessment is made mainly on the conduct of the
meeting itself, consideration are also be given to preparatory notes.

d) Case Studies / Analysis Exercises: In this type of exercise the candidate is presented with the task of
making a decision about a particular business case. They are provided with a large amount of factual
information which is generally ambiguous and, in some cases, contradictory. Candidates generally work
independently on such an exercise and their recommendation or decision is usually to be communicated in the
form of a brief written report and/or a presentation made to the assessors. As with the other exercises it is
important with this kind of exercise to ensure that their thought processes are clearly articulated and available
for the scrutiny of the assessors. Of paramount importance, if the brief requires a decision to be made, ensure
that a decision is made and articulated.

2) Critical Incidents Technique

It is difficult to define critical incident except to say that it can contribute to the growth and decay of a system.
Perhaps one way to understand the concept would be to examine what it does. Despite numerous variations in
procedures for gathering and analyzing critical incidents researchers and practitioners agree the critical
incidents technique can be described as a set of procedures for systematically identifying behaviours that
contribute to success or failure of individuals or organisations in specific situations. First of all, a list of good
and bad on the job behaviour is prepared for each job. A few judges are asked to rate how good and how bad is
good and bad behaviour, respectively. Based on these ratings a check-list of good and bad behavior is

The next task is to train supervisors in taking notes on critical incidents or outstanding examples of success or
failure of the subordinates in meeting the job requirements. The incidents are immediately noted down by the
supervisor as he observes them. Very often, the employee concerned is also involved in discussions with his
supervisor before the incidents are recorded, particularly when an unfavourable incident is being recorded, thus
facilitating the employee to come out with his side of the story.

The objective of immediately recording the critical incidents is to improve the supervisors ability as an
observer and also to reduce the common tendency to rely on recall and hence attendant distortions in the
incidents. Thus, a balance-sheet for each employee is generated which can be used at the end of the year to see
how well the employee has performed. Besides being objective a definite advantage of this technique is that it
identifies areas where counseling may be useful.

In real world of task performance, users are perhaps in the best position to recognize critical incidents caused
by usability problems and design flaws in the user interface. Critical incident identification is arguably the
single most important kind of information associated with task performance in usability -oriented context.
Following are the criteria for a successful use of critical incident technique:

Data are centred around real critical incidents that occur during a taskperformance.
Tasks are performed by real users.
Users are located in their normal working environment.
Data are captured in normal task situations, not contrived laboratory settings.
Users self report their own critical incidents after they have happened.
No direct interaction takes place between user and evaluator during the description of the incident(s).
Quality data can be captured at low cost to the user.

Critical Incidents Technique is useful for obtaining in-depth data about a particular role or set of tasks. It is
extremely useful to obtain detailed feedback on a design option. It involves the following three steps:
There are two kinds of approaches to gather information:
1) Unstructured approach: where the individual is asked to write down two good things and two bad things
that happened when one was carrying out an activity.

2) Moderate structured approach: where the individual is asked to respond to following questions relating to
what happened when he/she was carrying out an activity.

What lead up to the situation?

What was done that was especially effective or non- effective?
What was the result( outcome)?
Step 2: Content analysis: Second step consists of identifying the contents or themes represented by the
clusters of incidents and conducting retranslation exercises during which the analyst or other respondents
sort the incidents into content dimensions or categories. These steps help to identify incidents that are judged to
represent dimensions of the behaviour being considered. This can be done using a simple spreadsheet. Every
item is entered as a separate incident to start with, and then each of the incidents is compiled into categories.
Category membership is marked as identical , quite similar and could be similar. This continues until each item
is assigned to a category on at least a quite similar basis.Each category is then given a name and the number
of the responses in the category are counted. These are in turn converted into percentages (of total number of
responses) and a report is formulated.
Step 3: Creating feedback: It is important to consider that both positive and negative feedback be provided.
The poor features should be arranged in order of frequency, using the number of responses per category. Same
should be done with the good features. At this point it is necessary to go back to the software and examine the
circumstances that led up to each category of critical incident. Identify what aspect of the interface was
responsible for the incident. Sometimes one finds that there is not one, but several aspects of an interaction that
lead to a critical incident; it is their conjunction together that makes it critical and it would be an error to focus
on one salient aspect.

Some of the advantages of critical incident technique are presented below:

Some of the human errors that are unconsciously committed can be traced and rectified by these
methods. For example, a case study on pilots obtained detailed factual information about pilot error
experiences in reading and interpreting aircraft instruments from people not trained in the critical
incident technique (i.e., eyewitness or the pilot who made the error)

Users with no background in software engineering or human computer interaction, and with the barest
minimum of training in critical incident identification, can identify, report, and rate the severity level of
their own critical incidents. This result is important because successful use of the reported critical
incident method depends on the ability of typical users to recognise and report critical incidents

Some of the disadvantages of critical incidents method are presented below:

It focuses on critical incidents therefore routine incidents will not be reported. It is therefore poor as a
tool for routine task analysis.

Respondents may still reply with stereotypes, not actual events. Using more structure in the form
improves this but not always.

Success of the user reported critical incident method depends on the ability of typical end users to
recognise and report critical incidents effectively, but there is no reason to believe that all users have this
ability naturally.
3) Interview Techniques Competency Mapping
Almost every organisation uses an interview in some shape or form, as part of competency mapping.
Enormous amounts of research have been conducted into interviews and numerous books have been written on
the subject. There are, however, a few general guidelines, the observation of which should aid the use of an
interview for competency mapping.

The interview consists of interaction between interviewer and applicant. If handled properly, it can be a
powerful technique in achieving accurate information and getting access to material otherwise unavailable. If
the interview is not handled carefully, it can be a source of bias, restricting or distorting the flow of

Since the interview is one of the most commonly used personal contact methods, great care has to be taken
before, during and after the interview. Following steps are suggested:

Before the actual interviews begins, the critical areas in which questions will be asked must be
identified for judging ability and skills. It is advisable to write down these critical areas, define them
with examples, and form a scale to rate responses. If there is more than one interviewer, some practice
and mock interviews will help calibrate variations in individual interviewers ratings.

The second step is to scrutinize the information provided to identify skills, incidents and experiences in
the career of the candidate, which may answer questions raised around the critical areas. This procedure
will make interviews less removed from reality and the applicant will be more comfortable because the
discussion will focus on his experiences.

An interview is a face-to-face situation. The applicant is on guard and careful to present the best face
possible. At the same time he is tense, nervous and possibly frightened. Therefore, during the interview,
tact and sensitivity can be very useful. The interviewer can get a better response if he creates a sense of
ease and informality and hence uncover clues to the interviewees motivation, attitudes, feelings,
temperament, etc., which are otherwise difficult to comprehend.
The fundamental step is establishing rapport, putting the interviewee at ease; conveying the
impression that the interview is a conversation between two friends, and not a confrontation of
employer and employee. One way to achieve this is by initially asking questions not directly related to
the job, that is, chatting casually about the weather, journey and so on.

Once the interviewee is put at ease the interviewer starts asking questions, or seeking information
related to the job. Here again it is extremely important to lead up to complex questions gradually.
Asking a difficult, complex question in the beginning can affect subsequent interaction, particularly if
the interviewee is not able to answer the question. Thus it is advisable for the pattern to follow the
simple-to-complex sequence.

Showing surprise or disapproval of speech, clothes, or answers to questions can also inhibit the
candidate. The interviewee is over-sensitive to such reactions. Hence, an effort to try and understand
the interviewees point of view and orientation can go a long way in getting to know the applicant.

Leading questions should be avoided because they give the impression that the interviewer is seeking
certain kinds of answers. This may create a conflict in the interviewee, if he has strong views on the
subject. Nor should the interviewer allow the interview to get out of hand. He should be alert and check
the interviewee if he tries to lead the discussion in areas where he feels extremely competent, if it is
likely to stray from relevant areas.

The interviewer should be prepared with precise questions, and not take too much time in framing

Once this phase is over, the interviewers should discuss the interviewee, identify areas of agreement and
disagreement, and make a tentative decision about the candidate. It will be helpful if, in addition to rating the
applicant, interviewers made short notes on their impression of candidates behavior responses; which can then
be discussed later. If the interview is to continue for many days, an evaluation of the days work, content of
questions and general pattern of response should be made for possible mid-course correction.

4) Questionnaires
Questionnaires are written lists of questions that users fill out questionnaire and return. You begin by
formulating questions about your product based on the type of information you want to know. The
questionnaire sources below provide more information on designing effective questions. This technique can be
used at any stage of development, depending on the questions that are asked in the questionnaire. Often,
questionnaires are used after products are shipped to assess customer satisfaction with the product. Such
questionnaires often identify usability issues that should have been caught in-house before the product was
released to the market.

a) Common Metric Questionnaire (CMQ): They examine some of the competencies to work performance
and have five sections: Background, Contacts with People, Decision Making, Physical and Mechanical
Activities, and Work Setting. The background section asks 41 general questions about work requirements such
as travel, seasonality, and license requirements. The Contacts with People section asks 62 questions targeting
level of supervision, degree of internal and external contacts, and meeting requirements. The 80 Decision
Making items in the CMQ focus on relevant occupational knowledge and skill, language and sensory
requirements, and managerial and business decision making. The Physical and Mechanical Activities section
contains 53 items about physical activities and equipment, machinery, and tools. Work Setting contains 47
items that focus on environmental conditions and other job characteristics. The CMQ is a relatively new

b) Functional Job Analysis: The most recent version of Functional Job Analysis uses seven scales to describe
what workers do in jobs. These are: Things, Data, People, Worker Instructions, Reasoning, Maths, and

Each scale has several levels that are anchored with specific behavioral statements and illustrative tasks and are
used to collect job information.

c) Multipurpose Occupational System Analysis Inventory (MOSAIC): In this method each job analysis
inventory collects data from the office of personnel management system through a variety of descriptors. Two
major descriptors in each questionnaire are tasks and competencies. Tasks are rated on importance and
competencies are rated on several scales including importance and requirements for performing the task. This
is mostly used for US government jobs.

d) Occupational Analysis Inventory: It contains 617 work elements. designed to yield more specific job
information while still capturing work requirements for virtually all occupations. The major categories of items
are five-fold: Information Received, Mental Activities, Work Behavior, Work Goals, and Work Context.
Respondents rate each job element on one of four rating scales: part-of-job, extent, applicability, or a special
scale designed for the element. Afterwards , the matching is done between competencies and work

e) Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ): It is a structured job analysis instrument to measure job
characteristics and relate them to human characteristics. It consists of 195 job elements that represent in a
comprehensive manner the domain of human behavior involved in work activities. These items fall into
following five categories:

Information input (where and how the worker gets information),

Mental processes (reasoning and other processes that workers use),
Work output (physical activities and tools used on the job),
Relationships with other persons, and
Job context (the physical and social contexts of work).

f) Work Profiling System (WPS): It is designed to help employers accomplish human resource functions. The
competency approach is designed to yield reports targeted toward various human resource functions such as
individual development planning, employee selection, and job description. There are three versions of the WPS
tied to types of occupations: managerial, service, and technical occupations. It contains a structured
questionaire which measures ability and personality attributes.

5) Psychometric Tests
Many organizations use some form of psychometric assessment as a part of their selection process. For some
people this is a prospect about which there is a natural and understandable wariness of the unknown.

A psychometric test is a standardized objective measure of a sample of behavior. It is standardized because the
procedure of administering the test, the environment in which the test is taken, and the method of calculating
individual scores are uniformly applied. It is objective because a good test measures the individual differences
in an unbiased scientific method without the interference of human factors. Most of these tests are time bound
and have a correct answer. A persons score is calculated on the basis of correct answers. Most tests could be
classified in two broad categories:

a) Aptitude Tests: They refer to the potentiality that a person has to profit from training. It predicts how well a
person would be able to perform after training and not what he has done in the past. They are developed to
identify individuals with special inclinations in given abilities. Hence they cover more concrete, clearly defined
or practical abilities like mechanical aptitude, clinical aptitude and artistic aptitude etc.

b) Achievement Tests: These tests measure the level of proficiency that a person has been able to achieve.
They measure what a person has done. Most of these testsmeasure such things as language usage, arithmetic
computation and reasoning etc.