List of Competencies

Menu of Success Traits for Job Descriptions, Job Postings & Performance Reviews

Provide Your Managers and Staff with the Tools to Measure Successful Performance

List of Competencies

This document is a template that provides your company with a ‘menu’ of categorized behavioral competencies/success traits.

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This template provides your company with a ‘menu’ of behavioral competencies/success traits in the following categories: core company success traits expected of all employees, behavioral competencies, aptitude competencies, management competencies and leadership competencies. 

Providing staff with a standard menu of competencies is a critical HR fundamental, but only if you have implemented complimentary documents or processes that require the input of competencies or clarify requirements for a position – for example, job descriptions, job postings, or performance reviews.

Why use a List of Competencies

  • The ‘soft’ skills of a position are equally as important as ‘hard’ or technical skills, and are often minimized or excluded because they may be seen as being too difficult to define   
  • By providing a list of standardized company competencies, your staff will feel confident about including them and will use them consistently  
  • Job descriptions, job postings, and performance reviews will include measurable criteria, which can then be used to define, hire, and manage the performance of your staff 
  • Clear expectations about behaviors will guide your employees’ actions 

What you risk by not using a List of Competencies

  • Your staff (particularly inexperienced managers) will inevitably focus on the technical skills required for a position, which may be their comfort zone. This will ultimately result in costly hiring mistakes if you hire people whose soft skills do not match the job, and acceptance of sub-standard performance if there is no focus or conversation on how the work is done. 

HR Tips for Small Business

  • It is recommended that your company articulates the 4 or 5 Core Company Success Traits that align with your company’s values, and which are minimum requirements and success factors for everyone. In other words, in order for someone to succeed in your company, all staff members are required to demonstrate those success traits.
  • These Core Company Success Traits are typically listed in all job descriptions, job postings, and performance reviews.
  • While not ideal, if you decide not to identify core company success traits due to time constraints, you can still use this list of competencies. You can define separate competencies for each position individually.  
  • Copy and paste Core Company Success Traits, and any other applicable behavioral competencies from the list when completing job descriptions, job postings, and performance review forms.
  • It is recommended that you are bold about clarifying what your company stands for and what type of individual will fit in your culture. There is a proven cost attached to not being clear.
    • If your culture is smart and highly intellectual, don’t be shy about making 'intellectual horsepower' one of your core success traits.
    • If being highly ethical is important, say so!
  • There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to your culture or core success factors. Only right or wrong hires. 

Can I preview & download this HR template?

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List of Competencies

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Which HR kit is it included in?

The List of Competencies can be used on its own as a stand-alone tool, or as part of the Job Evaluation Kit.


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