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What should organizations consider when conducting competency assessments?

Elice

2024/3/7

There are two elements of the hiring process that companies must identify. Abilities and competencies are knowledge and skills, while competencies are attitudes and qualities. In the past, many companies hired people based on the “skills” they had on their resume. However, in recent years, companies have been using competency assessments such as developer tests or coding tests in their hiring tests to find people with “problem-solving skills.

In this content, we’ll take a closer look at the concept of competencies, the purpose and need for competency assessments, what to look for when testing for competencies, and how to properly assess competencies.


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역량의 개념


Competency is a comprehensive set of abilities required to perform a job, including skills, behaviors, attitudes, and qualities, not just knowledge. In other words, competency includes not only knowledge and skills, but also attitudes such as personality, values, and mental requirements. It is often abbreviated as K, S, and A (Knowledge, Skill, Attitude).

The modern concept of “competencies” was coined by American psychologist Professor David C. MaClelland, who defined competencies as variables that predict performance and success in the same environment. The implication is that it’s the individual’s competencies that allow them to achieve different outcomes in the same environment. Therefore, organizations need to accurately assess competencies and help employees leverage them to create performance.


Purpose of competency assessments


This is especially important when it comes to hiring and human resources, as competencies determine job performance and success. This trend is due to the lack of connection between specification-centered evaluation methods in the past and work performance. In fact, several studies have already proven that specification does not directly lead to work performance.

A study on the correlation between the way companies recruit talent and performance capabilities presented at the Korean Academy of Management Convergence Conference in 2022 found that specifications such as education, certifications, credits, and English grades do not predict performance after joining the company. In other words, the specifications that have been used as the basis for recruitment tests in the past are not directly related to actual work performance, which has led to increased interest in ‘competency assessment’ that can complement them. As such, competency assessments are aimed at identifying talent that will outperform and benefit from recruitment tests, while also helping to fill in gaps in competencies, ultimately making organizations more competitive.


Why competency assessments are necessary and important

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Earlier, we looked at the concept of competency and the purpose of competency assessments. To summarize, competency assessments are a means to “identify high-performing talent and make organizations more competitive. The need for and importance of competency testing is also closely tied to this purpose. Let’s take a closer look at the need for competency testing from three perspectives.

First, competency assessments are necessary to maximize organizational performance. For an organization to consistently produce results, its members need to habitually demonstrate the core competencies needed to drive performance. Competency checks, such as internal developer tests, can encourage people to develop the competencies that are key to performance, and recruitment tests can use coding tests or task-based tests to select competent people.

Second, competency testing is necessary to identify opportunities for advancement. Organizations use competency tests, such as developer tests, to understand the level of their employees and design appropriate training based on the results. When effective training is designed based on the results of coding tests or developer tests to improve the competency of employees, it naturally leads to organizational performance.

Third, competency tests are necessary to build a healthy organizational culture that is oriented toward growth. Evaluating employees based only on ‘performance’, which is the result, can lead to a result-oriented organizational culture. In fact, there are variables called ‘environmental factors’ between cause and effect, and due to the environment, employees may perform beyond their capabilities, or conversely, they may not be able to perform at all. Therefore, in addition to performance evaluation, competency tests should be conducted, and a fair and just evaluation environment for employees should be supported to build a culture where employees voluntarily strive to improve their capabilities.


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Considerations for assessing competency

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So what makes a good competency test? At its most basic, it’s all about fairness. Assessments are used to determine compensation, promotions, and hiring decisions, so they need to be fair to ensure a healthy and sustainable organizational culture. Below, we’ve summarized five considerations for fairly assessing employee competencies in a hiring test or HR assessment.


1. Set clear evaluation criteria
The first step to fairly assessing employee competencies is to set clear evaluation criteria. First, you need to specifically define the competencies required for the job, and then clearly set metrics and criteria for evaluating those competencies. This will allow employees to accept and agree with the results of their evaluations, creating transparency in the evaluation process.


2. Utilize a variety of assessment tools and methods
When selecting assessment tools, use a combination of different methods, such as interviews and practical projects alongside coding tests, to compensate for the limitations of each method and to comprehensively assess a range of competencies. This minimizes bias by any particular method and ensures a comprehensive reflection of competencies.


3. Use validated tests
Tests used for assessment must accurately reflect the competency and be capable of producing reliable results. The use of validated tests demonstrates the effectiveness and validity of the competency tests and enables objective and consistent assessment.


4. Conduct ongoing assessor training
In addition, regular training should be conducted to ensure that assessors are fair and consistent in their assessments. This ensures that each assessor is using the same criteria and scales, minimizes subjective bias, and ensures that competency assessments are consistent and effective.


5. Gather feedback on personnel evaluations
Ongoing feedback on the appraisal process and results enables organizations to continuously improve their appraisal system and gather employee input. This increases the transparency and fairness of the appraisal process and improves employee engagement and satisfaction.



Ensuring that your test meets the five considerations outlined above will ensure fairness and objectivity. Now that we’ve covered the concept of competencies, their purpose, and the need for consideration, Elice offers a wide range of testing solutions for organizations that need to assess competencies, from recruitment tests to tests to evaluate employees’ job competencies. Not only coding tests, but also data science, data literacy, AI, web developer tests, and other tests that can comprehensively verify the competencies required for various jobs, such as developer tests and competitions. If you’re struggling to assess your company’s internal competencies, we recommend checking out Elice Tests.


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*This content is a work protected by copyright law and is copyrighted by Elice.

*The content is prohibited from secondary processing and commercial use without prior consent.

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