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The importance of Competencies

Competencies are the categorical clusters of observed behaviors at work.  It is how we see the behavior of others at work.  Knowing which competencies are required for successful performance, knowing how to ask questions that allow candidates to provide job relevant answers regarding how they have acquired and used these competencies at their most recent jobs, is what the interview process is built on.  The goal of the interview is to assess a candidates alignment with required competencies they need to demonstrate at work.  Below is TAI's 5 cluster competency model. Each of the 5 clusters has between 4-7specific Competencies that are used to differentiate candidates, comparing their competency profiles against the job competency profile. The TAI 27 Competency Model is proprietary and available to clients of TAI through the use and application of the Job Analysis Questionnaire (JAQ).  TAI can and does map any good client competency model to our competency model.  We do not charge for using or aligning our competency model to any other professionally done competency model.  We do not insist that a client organization use our TAI Competency model.

The Selecting Talent process allows clients to compare each candidates competency profile from the behavioral interview, with the output of the Job Analysis Questionnaire (JAQ).  This provides an assessment of the alignment of the candidates qualifications with the job requirements identified by the organizations own subject experts who completed the JAQ.  Using this process, the organization answers the question, "Can the candidate do the job?".   This process can predict a candidates suitability to come into a new job and have the necessary competencies to perform well and to gain insight of a candidate's future growth potential, a valuable tool for Talent Management and succession planning.

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We also provide questionnaires that measure candidates  Cognitive Abilities in      two dimensions, Numerical & Abstract Reasoning to assure they will meet the data analysis and problem solving challenges they will face on of the job. Measuring candidates on cognitive ability capabilities, allows for a fair comparison of candidates capabilities to handle current and future challenges, a much more accurate and objective assessment than relying on GPA or to ask random questions in the interview about their family, interests outside of work or what colors or animals they like.

We assess alignment of Personality Traits with the job competency profile required for the target position.  The combination of the competency interviews, cognitive ability and personality assessments provides a 360 degree view of the candidates can do, will do and fit, which leads to greater predictive ability of the candidate's suitability to meet all the requirements of the target job.  Personality is important as it gives us insight to the character, integrity, alignment of the individual with the team, job and organization culture.  Most managerial and executive placements, whether internal or external, that fail, are because of a mismatch resulting from lack of personality alignment with the competency assessment.  At more senior levels, selection processes need more insight from a Big 5 Personality assessment like the Management Alignment Questionnaire (MAQ).  At TAI we have more rigorous Personality questionnaires for higher level positions, one size does not fit all.  The same goes for Competencies.  The specific behaviors we see demonstrated are a higher order for Managerial and Executive levels as compared to individual contributor roles.  The specific behavioral examples that are used to benchmark the level of a given competency, change with greater breadth of responsibility or impact. 

Five Clusters of Work Related Competencies

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