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What is Competency Mapping?

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In order for a business to perform well it needs to get the most from its assets. One of the most important assets of any business will be employees and competency mapping is all about using this resource as effectively as possible. Competency mapping is based on the work of psychologists and the aim is to help the individual perform as efficiently as possible; this benefits not only them but also the organization they work for.

How Does Competency Mapping Work?

Competency mapping is often made up of two components: emotional quotient (EQ) and emotional intelligence. The act of competency mapping will evaluate the individual’s personality traits, personal constitution (for example are they more of a team player or lone wolf), knowledge, skills, and self concept. The goal is to find the employee’s strengths and weaknesses so that they can be put in the best possible position within the organization. Hopefully this should avoid trying to make a square shape fit into a round hole.

How Does Competency Mapping Occur?

Some organizations take competency mapping more seriously than others. There are also services available that allow the individual to conduct competency mapping for personal improvement and career planning. There have been a number of popular books on the subject in recent years. These books can be a great resource but there have been criticisms that attempting to judge your own competencies is difficult. It is hard to be objective about ourselves; we will either over value or under value our abilities.

The Usefulness of Competency Mapping

Competency mapping can be very useful for human resources departments. It is used a lot when trying to find people to fill certain roles within an organization. It seems to work particularly well in regards to judging people’s emotional abilities; something that is becoming increasingly important. If a person has the right knowledge and skills for a position they could still fail miserably at it because they weren’t emotionally up to the challenge.

The Drawbacks of Competency Mapping

Competency mapping is not a perfect tool and it still can’t guarantee that the best person will get the job. The success of the test is going to depend on the abilities of the individual conducting it and the honesty of the person undergoing it. There are also questions about the value of the results of these tests; some critics claim that they don’t go far enough to judge competency for the different types of positions within a company. Another criticism is that these tests can be time consuming and that it takes qualified people to conduct them.

Conclusions about Competency Mapping

It is not a perfect tool but it can be a very useful one. This is why more and more businesses seem to be using it. The survival of a company may depend on their ability to get the right person into the right job so it is understandable why they would employ such methods. The most successful companies in the world rely on competency mapping as part of their human resources strategy.

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Meet the Author

Anthony Carter currently resides in Fife, Scotland with his wife Lisa, and their three wonderful children. As a senior editor for various publications, if he's not reading and writing, you would find him photographing and traveling to some of the most far-flung locations around the world.


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