Episode 57

Defining and Developing Job Competencies

The BizLibrary Podcast Team

Brought to you by your hosts:

Hannah Brenner
L&D Specialist
Derek Smith
L&D Specialist


This week on The BizLibrary Podcast, Hannah and Derek discuss defining and developing job competencies.

Competency-based training is an effective way to set L&D goals and define behaviors that you’d like to see changed through training. The first step of that, however, is to define these job competencies.

Hannah notes that most companies have already begun this process, by creating skill requirements on job postings.

Analyzing these job postings and defining a ‘why’ behind each skill is vital: take a skill like communicating on the phone.

“Phone skills” is a generic term, and could mean several things. For example, an account manager who helps clients strategize how to market a new product needs distinct skills: they need to know how to anticipate and answer questions, how to apologize at times, and identify and solve the unique needs of their clients.

That’s a distinctly different set of skills than what’s required for a sales cold call, who needs to be able to communicate a value quickly, gain the trust and attention of a potential buyer, and gain a commitment to set up a later meeting.

Going beyond a generic term like “phone skills” requires you to get very specific in order to accurately define the skills that will make your employees successful.

Hannah also stresses that having something in place to measure the results of your training is key to successfully accomplishing strong competency based training. The Kirkpatrick model is a great way to measure the results of your training, but having metrics that are tied to success is important as well.

For instance, for a sales rep who is in training to improve  measuring how many meetings booked will help you identify whether or not your training is effective.

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