Converting Job Tasks to Competencies

Once SMEs have listed their common job tasks, group similar tasks to create your competencies.

When the job task writing exercise is complete and the notes are on a wall, ask all participants to stand up together and group similar tasks. When the groups of tasks are adequately organized, brainstorm a short, summarizing title for each grouping. These titles are the core competencies required for your position.

Generally, you’ll want to define four to six core competencies for your position, which can include an EQ competency. To pare down your competencies to this amount, give each participant three to four dot stickers to vote on the competencies they feel are the most important for this position from day one. The results of the dot voting, along with the frequency of the sticky notes per competency, determines which competencies are necessary to consider an applicant minimally qualified for your position.

While brainstorming the names of your competencies, you may find it helpful to refer to existing competency names like the OPM qualification standards for the series you’re hiring for. However, if the output of the exercise results in a difference, use the required competencies SMEs identify as the qualifications for your position.

The SME-QA workshop for the CMS Product Manager posting

Competencies for Specialized Roles or Parentheticals

For a more simple, straightforward hiring action, an agency should have multiple vacancies (around five or more) for one role. However, in some cases, hiring managers and SMEs may determine during job task analysis that there are different roles within the overall position being hired.

Use the job analysis workshop exercise to define any additional role- or parenthetical-specific competencies. To be considered qualified for that role, an applicant must meet or exceed all core competencies for the announcement, in addition to the role- or parenthetical-specific competency.