Competencies in human resources refer to the knowledge, skills, abilities and other qualities that an individual possesses which influences his or her performance at work. These competencies are typically assessed during a job analysis where the appropriate competencies for the role are identified and included in the position specifications. These competencies can be utilized during recruitment and selection to identify applicants who possess the qualities necessary for future success in the positions. They can also be utilized as indicators for tracking performance during the performance management processes.
Competencies can also be used for training and developmental purposes to identify potential competency gaps. These gaps refer to differences between the given level of ability and performance in a certain area and the expected level of ability and performance for that area. Through the identification of such competency gaps, remedial action can be taken through the application of training to address these gaps and ensure that the individual is provided with the necessary knowledge, skills, abilities and other qualities to perform at the expected level.
Another potential area for utility of competencies in development is that of talent management and development. In such cases, an individual may be in the process of being groomed for higher level positions within an organization. Having identified the competencies necessary for that position and assessing the individual’s current competencies, it would be easier to address his or her developmental needs and provide a map to track the progress. This would allow organizations to determine the potential of the individual as well as when that individual would be able to fulfill the requirements of the future position.