Competency Modelling

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Competency modelling: A better approach in contemporary HRM practice?

Introduction

In the contemporary human resource management (HRM) practice, the process of human resource assessment and selection is shifting from the traditional job-based system of HRM to a newly-established competency approach. According to Dubios’ work (1998), more and more medium-sized and larger organizations are adopting the competency approach to replace the traditional job-oriented method to select and assess their employees in the USA and around the globe. This change happens mainly for the reason that the traditional job-based personnel management systems have shown a tendency to break down when jobs are dissolving under more flexible working conditions and simplification of the bureaucratic hierarchies of the contemporary organizations (Lawler, 1999).

Based on the works of Nyboe (2004), in principle there are two distinct approaches to align work and competencies: to start with the work and adjust people and their qualifications to work requirements (job or production approach) or, alternatively, to start with the worker and assign tasks to workers according to their skills (competency or training approach). On one hand, in the job approach, tasks are grouped into individual jobs according to what is regarded a rational division of labor, and workers are recruited and trained to meet the requirements of those tasks. On the other hand, a competency approach has a shift of focus from the job to the individual and his or her competencies (Nyboe, 2000). People are not assigned tasks according to the position they hold, but according to the knowledge and skills they possess. The change in the way of human resource selection and assessment will probably give rise to the change of the whole system and process of HRM.

To facilitate the application of competency approach in…...

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