How did competencies come to dominate talent management in little more than three decades?

Sarah Beckett, HRSG, Mar 18, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is a short post that unintentionally illustrates the dangers inherent in a competency-based approach. As an example it says that while a conventional job description might say "A client focused employee will pay attention to clients’ needs and ensure those needs are met," the competency-based description will offer a list of "concrete examples' rather than such a vague description, such as "Clearly show clients that their perspectives are valued" or "Enhance client service delivery systems and processes." From my perspective, the competency-based description has simply exchanged one vague statement for three new vague statements. How do you show clients their perspectives are valued? What do they mean by 'enhance'?

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