Carefully follow these steps to successfully implement competency management through a competency test in your organization. It contributes to a strong company structure and a team that is ready for future challenges.
Case Study: Implementation of TestGroup's Competency Test at GP Groot
GP Groot is a versatile organization active in various market segments such as collection and recycling, fuels and oil trade, and infrastructure and engineering. With nearly a thousand colleagues and a shared mission for a circular, energy-neutral, and climate-resistant future, GP Groot places great value on assembling a team where each individual’s personality contributes to realizing their ambition to be the best in their field.
The challenge for GP Groot was to optimize their recruitment and selection process to avoid mismatches that were not necessarily based on education or skills, but on personality differences and cultural fit within the organization. Past experiences showed that newly hired staff left the organization because they did not have the right personality for their role or did not feel at home in the company culture.
Since late 2014, GP Groot has implemented TestGroup's competency test in their recruitment and selection procedure. This choice was made due to the clarity and accessibility of the reports generated from the test, which match GP Groot's approachable and pragmatic company culture.
Use of the Competency Test within GP Groot
Test as Standard Procedure
The competency test from TestGroup has become a standard part of the application process for office positions within GP Groot. Candidates invited for a second interview take the test online. The results are then discussed during the interview with the hiring manager.
Depth and Relevance
The outcomes of the test allow interviewers to ask more targeted questions and delve deeper into relevant competencies. This offers candidates the opportunity to better explain their skills and personality, and enables GP Groot to evaluate the intrinsic motivation and personal fit of the candidate.
If the test results indicate that a candidate particularly values detailed planning, GP Groot uses this information to explore how the candidate reacts to unforeseen situations. This aids in assessing whether a candidate is truly suitable for the role and the organization.
The use of the competency test has led to more insight into the personality and intrinsic motivation of candidates. It has helped GP Groot make better staffing decisions, which has increased efficiency and satisfaction within teams. This has also contributed to reducing turnover, as the match between person and role is more accurate.
The introduction of TestGroup's competency test at GP Groot has shown that a thorough understanding of both the skills and personality of potential employees is essential for a successful match. This benefits not only the organization but also the personal and professional growth of the candidate. Through the implementation of this testing method, GP Groot has taken a step forward in strengthening their teams with the right people who contribute to their mission for a sustainable future.
This case study illustrates the value of a thoughtful selection process and highlights how tools like TestGroup's competency test can be used to address organization-specific needs and also enrich the candidate experience.
Guide: How can you use a competency test for a training courses and workshops?
A competency test, also known as a competency assessment, serves as an official gauge of an employee's qualifications in relation to their job requirements. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development(CIPD) characterizes these as the essential behaviors and technical attributes required for effective job performance. Competencies are typically outlined by HR experts for every role within an organization. However, as professionals in learning and development, it's imperative for us to engage in the dialogue concerning competencies and their influence on our training offerings.
When implemented prior to training initiatives, a competency test can pinpoint an individual’s performance level by juxtaposing their skills or knowledge with the job’s specifications. This becomes the foundation upon which tailored training interventions and recommendations are constructed, ensuring alignment with the client's needs.
1. How does a competency test work?
A well-designed competency test measures both the behavioral aspect of a role and the proficiency level of the performance, setting it against expected standards. The outcomes of such assessments can unveil existing skill gaps or areas requiring improvement. For instance, conducting an evaluation within a new employee's initial 100 days—and sharing the insights—can define what constitutes job excellence. Applied during onboarding, these tests can substantially decrease the time it takes for a new hire to reach full competency.
This is crucial since an employee's sense of proficiency profoundly affects their engagement and job satisfaction.
2. The importance of competency tests in training courses and workshops
As an expert training consultant, you're aware of the substantial investment associated with workshops and trainings. Not everyone requires the same level of skills enhancement. Indeed, it's common to find individuals in workshops who might not benefit as much, while others who need training aren't present. When training isn't precisely aligned with competencies, the results can be inconsistent. Envision a client needing to secure highly skilled individuals to maintain their competitive edge; they may seek to cultivate business acumen as a key competency. When you design training to bolster the critical skills employees require for their roles, you bolster your clients' strategic goals.
Clients seek a return on investment—they aim for tangible outcomes. By correlating training with the necessary competencies, you facilitate the achievement of these objectives.
3. Other applications of competency tests
Competency tests are integral to processes such as recruitment, skills development, and career advancement. They're also utilized to establish internal certification benchmarks for particular positions. For example, an organization might develop role-specific certifications for new managers, as seen with some of my clients. A well-crafted competency model assists in identifying the competencies new managers must possess. Once assessed and deemed proficient, they can be designated as 'certified.' It's a robust process.
4. Neglecting competencies: what's the impact?
We aspire to believe that individuals are selected for roles that align with their skillsets and experiences, yet studies indicate this isn't always the case. On paper, candidates may seem suitable, but without thorough assessment, the risk of a poor hiring decision increases. Optimal hires are those who are both fully competent and highly motivated. Nonetheless, sourcing the ideal candidate can be time-consuming and costly. If the trainees lack the necessary competencies, it can make your training initiatives significantly more challenging.
Therefore, if a client isn't conducting a training needs analysis or utilizing a competency test, it's worth explaining the benefits of these practices.
5. Frequency of competency testing
Understanding where training is most needed is impossible without insights into skill levels. Data from skills assessments is vital for identifying and addressing skill gaps. Some organizations may adopt a 'once and done' approach, conducting competency tests solely during the hiring process. However, to foster high-performance standards, it’s essential for clients to routinely evaluate competencies with consistent testing. Should they identify deficiencies, they can engage your services to address them effectively.