What is Competency Mapping?

What is Competency Mapping?

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Jaya Sharma
Senior Executive Content
Updated on Dec 1, 2023 22:24 IST

Competency mapping helps in recruitment, training, and performance appraisal by aligning individual abilities with organizational goals. This approach fosters career development, enhances employee engagement, and helps in achieving a competitive edge in the industry.


Competency mapping is a strategic process that identifies and analyzes the specific skills, knowledge, and behaviors required for effective job performance in an organization.

Table of Contents

What is Competency Mapping?

Competency mapping refers to process of identifying and defining skills, personal attributes and knowledge for a job role. The process of competency mapping starts by determining the goals of the organization and analysing the abilities of employees. The analysis compares the strengths of individuals, their weaknesses, leadership qualities, innovation, emotional intelligence, etc. 

Competency Framework

This comprehensive structure outlines the knowledge, skills and attributes that individual of an organization must have. This is based on two principles: involving the people doing work and using relevant competencies. 

  • As per the first principle, one needs to involve those who are doing the work. It should include inputs from those individuals who are performing certain job roles along with insights from managers of that job profile. The aim is to understand the job role completely.
  • According to the second principle, the competencies must apply to every role that is covered by the framework. It is important to not include any irrelevant competency that is unrelated to certain departments or roles in the organization.

Process of Competency Mapping

The following steps explain the process of competency mapping:

  • A job analysis is conducted where an employee is provided with a questionnaire to answer. The aim is to collect data related to individual skills, mindset and responsibilities. 
  • Once the job analysis is completed, interviews are conducted with the aim of assessing the responses of employees. 
  • A detailed competency analysis report highlighting areas of improvement is shared with employees. This report mentions the strategies and training that the employee must undergo in order to grow.
  • The collected data helps the human resources department to create job descriptions based on competency on the basis of the collected data. 
  • In some cases, the company shares the results of the competency analysis with its employees to help them understand their performance in comparison with their colleagues.
  • If there is any change in the role, the employee and firm sign a new agreement after having a mutual consent. 
  • Top-level management takes a decision to decide which strategy must be implemented and how it should be implemented.

Types of Competency Mapping

Competency mapping refers to the process where the skills and knowledge of employees is identified and analyzed so that they can perform their job effectively. The following are the types of competency mapping that are required:

1. Core Competencies

Core competencies are the unique capabilities that give an organization a competitive edge in its industry. These are a combination of knowledge and technical capabilities so that the business can become competitive, innovate, and create new services and products. It is what makes a company stand out from its competitors. Core competencies could encompass technical proficiency, unique business processes, or corporate culture.

Example: Apple Inc.’s core competency lies in its innovation and design. The company’s ability to create user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing products, coupled with a seamless ecosystem, gives it a competitive edge in the technology market.

2. Cross-Functional Competencies

Cross-functional competencies refer to the abilities that facilitate collaboration and effective functioning across different departments or teams within an organization. These competencies might include communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and adaptability, which enable employees to work effectively with colleagues from various departments, bringing a holistic approach to project management and problem-solving.

Example: In a manufacturing company, the marketing team collaborates with the production team to understand the features and benefits of a new product. This collaboration, facilitated by cross-functional competencies like communication and teamwork, ensures a successful product launch.

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3. Functional Competencies

Functional competencies are the specific knowledge and skills required in a particular job role or department. These competencies are job-specific and are often categorized under various functions like marketing, finance, human resources, etc. For instance, financial analysis would be a functional competency in the finance department.

Example: In the finance department of a corporation, an employee with a functional competency in financial analysis would be adept at analyzing financial statements, budgeting, and forecasting financial trends, helping the company make informed business decisions.

4. Organizational Competencies

Organizational competencies are the capabilities that are critical to achieving the objectives of an organization. These competencies are ingrained in the culture and operations of the organization and might include values like innovation, customer focus, and operational excellence. They are often reflected in the organization’s mission, vision, and values.

Example: A company with a strong focus on customer satisfaction might cultivate 

organizational competencies such as excellent customer service, where every department, from sales to support, is aligned in offering the best customer experience.

5. Job Competencies

Job competencies are the skills, knowledge, and abilities that an individual needs to perform their specific job role effectively. These competencies are outlined in job descriptions and might include both technical skills related to the job and soft skills like communication and teamwork.

Example: A project manager in a software development company needs to have job competencies. These include excellent organizational skills to manage project timelines, and effective communication with team members and stakeholders.

6. Technical Competencies

Technical competencies are knowledge and skills in utilizing specialized tools, techniques, or technology that are required in a specific job role. These competencies are often acquired through formal education and training. For instance, proficiency in programming languages would be a technical competency in the IT sector.

Example: A graphic designer needs to have technical competencies in using design software like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to create visual designs and layouts, which are essential skills in their job role.

7. Personal Competencies

Personal competencies are the individual attributes that employees bring to their job roles. These might include traits like resilience, motivation, and emotional intelligence. Personal competencies are often developed over time and are influenced by an individual’s experiences and personality.

Example: An employee who demonstrates personal competency in resilience might be able to maintain a positive attitude and performance level even in challenging situations, helping to foster a positive work environment.

8. Behavioural Competencies

Behavioural competencies refer to the actions and behaviors that individuals demonstrate in their job roles. These competencies might include abilities like conflict resolution, negotiation, and decision-making. Behavioural competencies are often assessed through performance reviews and feedback.

Example: In a team setting, an individual with strong behavioral competencies in conflict resolution might be able to mediate disputes and foster a harmonious working relationship among team members.

9. Management Competencies

Management competencies are the skills and abilities that enable individuals to manage teams and projects effectively. These competencies might include skills in strategic planning, resource management, and leadership. Managers with strong management competencies can lead teams to achieve organizational goals efficiently.

Example: A manager with strong management competencies might excel in strategic planning, effectively allocating resources and setting clear goals to guide their team to project completion, ensuring the project meets the desired objectives.

10. Leadership Competencies

Leadership competencies are the skills and abilities that enable individuals to lead organizations or large teams effectively. These competencies might include strategic vision, ability to inspire and motivate others, and strong communication skills. Leaders with strong leadership competencies can drive organizational success and foster a positive organizational culture.

Example: A CEO demonstrating leadership competencies might have a clear strategic vision for the company, inspiring employees through effective communication and leading the organization towards growth and success.

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Benefits of Competency Mapping

  1. Enhanced Job Performance: By identifying the specific competencies required for various job roles, organizations can ensure that employees have necessary skills and knowledge for perform their jobs effectively.
  2. Better Recruitment and Selection: Competency mapping aids in the recruitment process by helping to identify the specific competencies required for a job role. This ensures that the right candidates are selected, who are well-suited to fulfill the job requirements.
  3. Focused Training and Development: Through competency mapping, organizations can identify gaps in employee competencies and design targeted training and development programs for addressing these gaps, fostering continuous employee growth and development.
  4. Career Development and Succession Planning: Competency mapping facilitates career development by helping employees understand the competencies they need to develop to progress in their careers. It also aids in succession planning by identifying employees with the potential to take up higher-level roles in the future.
  5. Improved Employee Engagement: When employees understand the competencies required for their roles and receive the necessary training and development, it leads to higher job satisfaction and engagement, as employees can see a clear path for their growth within the organization.
  6. Objective Performance Appraisals: Competency mapping allows for more objective performance appraisals by clearly defining the competencies required for a job role and assessing employees based on their demonstration of these competencies.
  7. Alignment with Organizational Goals: Competency mapping helps to align individual performance with organizational goals by identifying the competencies that are critical to achieving the organization’s objectives and fostering the development of these competencies within the workforce.
  8. Enhanced Communication and Collaboration: By clearly defining the competencies required for various roles, competency mapping can foster better communication and collaboration within teams, as team members have a clear understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities.
  9. Legal Compliance: In some industries, competency mapping ensures that the organization comply with legal and regulatory requirements by ensuring that employees possess the necessary competencies to perform their jobs safely and effectively.
  10. Increased Competitiveness: With effective core competencies, competency mapping helps organizations in gaining an upper hand in the market with the ability to innovate and adapt to changing market conditions.


How is competency mapping conducted?

Competency mapping is conducted through a systematic process that involves job analysis to identify the key competencies required for various roles, followed by assessing the existing competencies of employees and then developing strategies to bridge any identified gaps.

Who is responsible for competency mapping in an organization?

The human resources (HR) department, in collaboration with department heads and managers, is responsible for conducting competency mapping in an organization.

Can competency mapping aid in career development?

Yes, competency mapping can facilitate career development by helping employees identify the skills and knowledge they need to develop to progress in their careers, and by aiding in succession planning.

How does competency mapping influence training and development programs?

Competency mapping influences training and development programs by helping to identify the specific competencies that employees need to develop, thereby allowing for the creation of targeted and effective training programs.

What are the different types of competencies identified through competency mapping?

Competency mapping can identify various types of competencies, including core competencies, functional competencies, technical competencies, behavioral competencies, and leadership competencies, among others.

About the Author
Jaya Sharma
Senior Executive Content

Jaya is a writer with an experience of over 5 years in content creation and marketing. Her writing style is versatile since she likes to write as per the requirement of the domain. She has worked on Technology, Fina... Read Full Bio