Organisations achieve their goals when they have a competency-based talent management mindset in place. Why? Processes alone do not drive organisations; people do. However, having people alone won’t produce a top-notch organisation. It is essential to have people with the right competencies placed in the relevant roles.


Using defined competencies to drive talent management initiatives is an approach that guarantees organisational success and provides an objective framework for hiring, developing, and managing employees.


Talent management is the full scope of HR processes around people: attracting, developing, motivating, and retaining high-performing employees. When Talent management initiatives are competency-driven, organisations reap long-term benefits. Before launching an organisational competency initiative, it is crucial to establish a competency architecture that will work for your organisation.


The competency architecture will have to be developed, recognising the peculiarities of each organisation. In executing such, three essential criteria are to be considered by organisations:

  • it should include all the competencies that employees need now and, in the future, to ensure an organisation can achieve its vision and support its values;
  • it should support all the intended uses of the competencies (e.g., recruitment and selection; learning and development; performance management; and career development)
  • it should be easy to use.


The four major competency models that can be developed are listed below:

  • Organisation-wide models include competencies that an organisation requires, across all employees and positions or levels, for performance and productivity
  • Function-based competencies focus on only a single function of the business: people, finance, sales, and more.
  • Role-based models are designed to include competencies, particularly for a role or level within the business—an example is a Sales Manager or Sales Executive. The aim is to differentiate behavioural expectations and requirements at different levels.
  • Job-based models: these are tailored to specific jobs. Examples of job-specific models are Customer Experience Managers or Sales Managers.


As part of the competency architect, an organisation needs to have general competencies that all employees must possess to enable the organisation to achieve its mandate and vision. These competencies will describe your organisation’s fundamental values in behavioural terms and represent the organisational strengths that differentiate it from competitors.


Aside from ensuring an organisation considers competencies based on job families, organisational or behavioural competencies such as leadership should be embedded within the competency architecture. Leadership can also be a key driver of profitability and sustainability Leadership Competencies cannot be overlooked or over-emphasised. They define the leadership requirements to achieve the vision, values, and strategic direction of the organisation.


Competency-based talent management drives organisations in the right direction as it infuses objectivity in the entire process of how employees are managed. As individuals rise within the organisation, the proficiency levels required per competency increase and can be critical development drivers. When organisations go the route of competency-based talent management, they operate more strategically to pursue their goals.


At pcl., we have worked with organisations to design a fit-for-purpose competency dictionary and implement the same. To learn more about how Phillips Consulting Limited can help you do this, contact us today by sending an email to


Written by:

Esther Amoye

Senior Consultant