More than ever, the future of organizations depends critically on reliably identifying and developing the competencies of employees that are critical to the organization.

In our work, we observe that generic talent management measures, such as broad-based training or development programs, often remain both inefficient and ineffective. Companies that take a “watering can” approach to this, with little focus on the specific development needs and wants of individual employees, waste resources and leave a lot of human potential untapped.

In the future, it will be even more crucial for organizations and their HR managers to make a differentiated assessment of which competencies and skills employees already have and which skills need to be developed as a priority. More than ever, skills such as analytical thinking, creativity, resilience and empathy will become prerequisites to navigate and thrive as an organization through the uncertain, rapidly – often disruptively – changing and highly competitive environment.

According to the WEF’s Future of Jobs Report 2023, cognitive skills will become increasingly important over the next five years. Problem-solving and self-efficacy skills will become key qualifications in many workplaces: Curiosity and lifelong learning, resilience, flexibility and agility, and motivation and self-confidence are estimated to be the skills with the greatest future importance.

But how can companies ensure that they find the right talent and promote it in a targeted manner?

Effective competency assessments and embedding them in talent management are a key aspect of the answer to this question. It is far from sufficient to merely name competencies and define them on paper, although this is an important step. It is the measurement and assessment of the defined and prioritized competencies that is the key to developing targeted upskilling measures – and doing justice to the individual needs and strengths of employees as well as the performance of teams in the context of the goals of the overall organization.

Based on well-founded competency assessments, companies can create targeted development plans that are individually tailored to each employee’s development areas. They can identify talent that possesses those skills that will be critical to the future success of the organization. In this way, optimal use of resources and targeted employee development and advancement go hand in hand.

Hogan makes effective competency assessments possible

A wide range of different approaches and methods are available on the market. With Hogan Assessments, we offer an effective and scientifically based solution for assessing competencies. RELEVANT supports companies in using evidence-based personality diagnostics to identify individual strengths, preferences, and development potential and to create customized development plans.

Hogan’s approach is characterized by specific features that have immediate practical benefits:

Hogan can be used to assess up to 62 pre-validated competencies. The competencies can be clustered into four practice-related and comprehensible areas:

– Intra-personal: resilience and self-organization.

– Inter-personal: contact building, relationship building and communication

– Leadership: talent identification, building and leading teams

– Business: strategic and operational skills and decision-making style

These areas not only serve to reduce complexity, but also have direct application relevance and allow compatibility with existing competency models. HR managers, recruiters, training managers and coaches benefit from bridging the best of both worlds.

On the one hand, there is the great practicality due to easily accessible, understandable competency language. Moreover, the 62 Hogan competencies can be used without HOGAN certification.

On the other hand, Hogan offers a decisive advantage over other competency models – the competencies are pre-validated. What does this mean, and why is it important?

We continuously collect performance data (along the 62 competencies, among others) from employees in the workplace. Deep and Big data analyses help us to understand what the personality profiles of people who are high on the competencies look like.

We use the established Hogan Assessments to capture what we call autopilot. The autopilot is roughly comparable to right- or left-handedness: We find it easier to perform certain coordinative tasks with the dominant hand, and we intuitively and automatically prefer this hand. Left-handed people are more “competent” with their left hand in their autopilot. If tasks have to be done with the right, e.g. due to an injury of the left hand, this is not impossible, but it requires significantly more conscious control, and more training and practice will most likely be needed for more complex tasks.

Analogous in the area of competencies: Based on the Hogan Personality Profile, we can explain and predict with high precision how easy it is for a person to demonstrate certain competencies. Individuals for whom certain competencies are not in their autopilot receive more detailed training to further develop these competencies. Based on many very large data sets and using machine-learning techniques, algorithms have been computed that enable this precise predictive performance.

Hogan uses a variety of performance measures directly from companies, such as 360° processes, to do this.

In contrast, many assessment providers often use only the pure selection decision (yes vs. no for a junior leadership decision, for example) as a performance measure. In doing so, unconscious biases are often replicated (on the topic of bias, interested readers can find more in our article “Mini Me or Diversity? Numbers instead of anecdotes: Why diversity also pays off empirically” LINK einfg).

Hogan’s pre-validation makes the competency assessment of candidates and employees much more precise and much more reliable. This can be well proven with figures from return-on-investment studies. Please contact us for more information.

Conclusion and outlook:

The future viability of organizations is closely related to the identification and development of employees’ critical competencies. Effective competency assessment is therefore essential for developing talent-oriented measures and optimally utilizing the potential of all employees.

Hogan-based competency assessments allow companies, executives and HR managers to pursue targeted and sustainable strategies for talent management and qualification processes and thus confidently face the challenges of a changing world of work under increasingly complex conditions.

This article was written by our friends and fellow Hogan distributors at Relevant.