Competencies assessment has positioned itself as an alternative or complementary method to performance or objective assessment. Through this technique, we eliminate the influence of external factors and obtain a truer picture of the abilities of each employee. For this reason, many companies are betting on this model.

Below, we explain how it works, what advantages it has and how a competency assessment is carried out.


Competencies are those knowledge, skills or practices that are required to correctly exercise a trade or professional activity.

Therefore, competency evaluation consists of analyzing and qualifying the skills and abilities of an employee based on the intrinsic requirements of their position. In other words, it is about measuring how the worker executes the tasks that he must carry out on a daily basis.

This list of essential tasks or skills is known as a competency model. Only the activities or knowledge critical to the success of that role should appear in them.

Assessing skills is based on the long term and the future of the worker, since it is based on the assumption that a professional with better skills will be more efficient than one who only stands out for their experience. So, the focus is on the future and not only on the past.


Competency performance evaluation offers great benefits for organizations. Next, we mention some of them:

  • It allows to detect in which areas each employee needs to improve and create personalized and effective training plans.
  • It is a very useful system to know the effectiveness of training and act accordingly.
  • The evaluation is individual since the powers of the position are taken as reference.
  • Therefore, the obtained information is of great value and helps to know the employee better.
  • Facilitates the definition of the individual objectives of each worker according to their real abilities.
  • In competency evaluation, attention is paid to the methodology of work applied by each employee instead of just taking into account the objectives.
  • Promotes the creation of a comparison of the performance of those employees who perform the same function.
  • Increases the level of commitment of workers as it shows that the company values its efforts and is on their side to help them improve day by day.
  • Sets up a continuous improvement system internally


 Although both are closely linked to each other, performing performance evaluation and competency evaluation is not the same.

As we have already said, the competences represent a person’s capabilities in a certain activity and their evaluation indicates what, based on these competences, can do the employee, how much information has and how a certain project is carried out.

The competences are the basis of performance. However, a person’s performance is conditioned by many other factors such as the resources he has to carry out his work, the quality of the equipment, the effectiveness of the training received or the work environment, among others.

Therefore, the final performance of a worker results from combining their competences and the organizational context.


To carry out an evaluation by competencies, it is necessary to put into practice a series of steps that will allow defining the quality of each worker:

1. Define the skills you want to evaluate

The first step in the evaluation is to create the competency model in which the most important tasks, skills or knowledge to perform the job that is going to be assessed are listed.

Among these competencies it is important to introduce both soft skills and hard skills that can be assessed. For example, productivity, the ability to solve problems, employee commitment, communication with other colleagues, etc.

It is also advisable to divide them between:

  • Basic skills: those that are strictly necessary to perform any job.
  • Specific skills: the skills that have to do with the position held by the worker.
  • Generic skills: those that can be applied to the entire team or company.

2. Determinate which level of competence the worker must reach

Within the skills that appear in your competency model, you can set different degrees and decide to what extent each one is necessary. That is, you can estimate that the worker must have a maximum score of, for example, 10 in “teamwork” and 7 in “problem solving”.

3. Observe the worker and ask for feedback


Once the competency model is clear, it is necessary to move on to the evaluation phase. It can be carried out by the HR team, although the most advisable thing is for the direct supervisor or the team that works with that person to give their feedback. Their comments will be the most valuable since they are the ones who know the work of the evaluated person closely.

At this point, it is important to plan the dates of the evaluation so as not to overload the people involved, since the ideal is to carry them out in times of lower volume of work.

4. Develop an action plan


After analyzing the results obtained in the evaluation, the HR team, together with the direct supervisor, must detect which are the skills to improve. As we have mentioned before, this information should be used to create an action plan that helps the worker develop the necessary skills and reach optimal levels for their position.

5. Communicate the result

When evaluating an employee’s skills, we have a responsibility to pass on the results in a constructive way. It is important that during the conversation, which should always be in private, both parties provide data and arguments on which to base their comments in order to establish concrete solutions through the action plan.

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