KM Spotlight: What Is a Competency Management System?

Is Competency Management System software right for your company?

Competencies can be described as the job skills, work activities and behaviors that help an organization meet its strategic objectives. Just as knowledge management systems exist to facilitate knowledge management, competency management software packages help organizations to:

  • define and track the activities necessary for organizational success
  • track employees’ skills, experience and knowledge
  • perform gap analysis
  • train employees in needed competencies
  • plan for role succession

By doing so, they contribute to sustainable business success.

What Competency Management Systems Do

Competency management software systems track the skills an organization needs as well as the skills its employees have. By identifying the gaps, they help organizations train existing employees in a timely fashion, recruit new team members who have needed competencies, and plan for role succession. By tracking employees’ experience and achievements, they serve to provide evidence of their learning, qualifications and certifications.

Competency management systems permit skill searching and reporting, thereby allowing organizations to assess their team capabilities. They clarify what employees should do to succeed and be rewarded by defining desired skills and behaviors. They can also cut expenses by reducing the amount of time spent interviewing candidates who don’t have the desired competencies.

Who Competency Management Systems Help

Large organizations are far more likely than small ones to purchase a competency management system. They are often used to track qualifications that are required by law in order to maintain regulatory compliance.

Health care organizations, for example, use competency management systems to track the currency of employees’ CPR and First Aid training status. Financial organizations use them to track employees’ testing and licensing certifications.

Competency Management and HR

HR’s responsibilities include finding, hiring and retaining individuals who have the competencies necessary for organizational success. By defining and tracking those competencies, a competency management system helps link the HR team directly to the organization’s strategic plan.

But to optimize the hiring process, these skills must first be properly defined. While standard skill set definitions exist for some industries (and may be pre-loaded into competency management software), many organizations create their own competency dictionaries. This is often done by speaking with SMEs and identifying desired behaviors.

How Competency Management Systems Can Work For You

Managing the knowledge and skills of your employees helps define and sustain the core competencies and competitive advantages of your business. It’s important to have competency management practices in place, however, before purchasing a competency management system. To learn more about content and knowledge management, contact the experts at StyleMatters.

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