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  • Writer's pictureMark Harbottle

Competency Framework Journey - Part 2/3 - Content

Updated: Mar 16, 2023


Welcome back to part 2 on our Competency Framework Journey. If you haven’t already, I’d advise reading Part 1 to understand the context of this project. With the foundations in place, we needed the content.

What about the content?

The hardest bit. Forget the fancy tables and alliteration; we needed competency content. Our management team went away; we toiled, tried, and produced drafts of drafts of drafts. This really was the biggest challenge. We all overcomplicated it.

It came down to a few things (which have taken me a while to learn). Firstly the difference between a job description and a competency.

A job description are the duties you do day to day, a competency is the skills and behaviours required to perform those duties

As a management team, we agreed that we wanted to use six areas on a CF template - something that would fit every role in the business. They are:

Hiring: Almost everyone in the business has some sort of responsibility for hiring - whether that’s supporting with interviewing, right up to sourcing talent

Feedback: Honest, transparent and 360 feedback is paramount to our culture

Principles: Alignment with, or demonstration of (depending on seniority)

Ambition: Everyone should have ambitions but they will all be different. It might be to become a Manager, or maybe just succeed in their IC level

Communication: Because we’re a pretty social bunch that talk to each other a lot

Use of data: Data is vital to us, we’re an experimental bunch and put huge important on this

So there we go. We had a career path, defined what pillars of competencies were so important to us, and defined the areas we wanted across our CF. We created a master template, the starting point for every role in the business, and here it is:

It might look a little scrappy, but so did the first iPod. This template forms the foundation of every IC role in the business. You’ll notice there are some gaps, they’re designed to be individual for each role (more on that below), and I’ve colour coordinated it so it’s clear what each competency statement relates to.

One of the challenges we continue to have comes when we hire for a new role. We aim to create a competency framework to help assess candidates fairly and equally. I created a ‘how to guide’ on creating these, which our Managers use - with my support. You can find it here and it's been a really useful tool for anyone.

So the next steps were rolling this out and demonstrating how we assess and measure success against this competency framework. I've covered that in Part 3

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