Behavioral competencies, essentially, are a set of personal traits and attributes someone carries and needs in order to succeed in their career. While each employer may define these competencies to match the job description, they basically revolve around knowledge, attitudes, people skills, and managerial skills.
Hiring managers use behavioral competencies to determine how fit a candidate is for the role they’re interviewing for. Their collection of skills, knowledge, and interpersonal attributes will determine how successful they’ll be in the future and how they’ll benefit the company.
How Many Behavioral Competencies Are There?
There are four core behavioral competencies: leadership skills, personality attributes, analytical abilities, and interpersonal skills. Let’s do a deep dive into what each behavioral competency entails.
Leadership skills: Leadership skills consist of people development, motivational activities, entrepreneurial mindset, ability to influence people, visionary perspectives, and being the force of change.
Analytical abilities: People applying for entry-level and mid-level jobs should be able to give attention to details, think critically, have problem-solving skills, and be skilled at planning and organization.
People in senior positions, in addition to the previous abilities, should be able to think strategically, make effective decisions, think innovatively, and be able to adapt to flexibility in ambiguous occurrences.
Interpersonal skills: Entry-level employees should be able to listen actively, communicate effectively, and do effective teamwork. Mid-level employees, in addition to the previous abilities, should be able to network, delegate, negotiate, empathize, establish trust, and present effectively.
In addition to all these abilities, a senior employee should be able to manage conflicts and be open to a diverse team and environment.
Personality attributes: This has the longest list of attributes among all the core behavioral competencies. An entry-level employee should be curious, adaptable, disciplined, optimistic, confident, loyal, and open-minded.
A mid-level employee should, in addition to the aforementioned attributes, should be accountable, aware, resilient, result-oriented, quality-focused, ambitious, and opportunistic. A senior employee should also possess the capability to manage stress and be proactive.
Why Are Behavioral Competencies Important?
Behavioral competencies should be considered one of the foundations for recruiting talent in an organization. These attributes will help examine how competent a person is for a job. Behavioral competencies can also help determine who can be the potential leaders and how successful that person will be in the future.
Recruiters can initially shortlist candidates for a job based on the core behavioral competencies mentioned in the resume. These can be further assessed during the analytical and interviewing stages, along with other competencies, to finally determine the person who is best suited for a role.
The behavioral competencies in a well-developed employee or candidate will also help determine what attributes the company should look for in other employees. It’ll also help find out training objectives for employees.
How to Assess Behavioral Competencies?
There are three ways to examine and appraise a person’s behavioral competencies: self-assessment, assessment by the manager, and assessments by colleagues. But why these three types? And how can these assessments be carried out?
An evaluation sheet is made where each quality is quantified with a range of one to five or one to ten. These sheets are handed out to everyone, including the managers and the employees themselves, and people will score that employee anonymously. Besides, measuring these competencies is also indirectly done during the hiring process.
But why distribute this assessment among everyone, including the managers and the employees themselves? The main reason is biased judgment.
Employees can give themselves the highest ranking, thus over-estimating themselves and establishing false results. Managers or peers may end up with biased behavior like favoritism or intentionally devaluing an employee, giving false results again.
That’s why, instead of relying on just one person for the evaluation, it’s distributed among a number of people to get the true results of someone’s behavioral competencies.