Defining Competencies

In the job analysis workshop, SMEs clearly define the specialized experience in the form of competencies. You will list these competencies and their definitions in the job announcement.

In this example, the job tasks in a grouping resulted in a Customer Support core competency. The grouped job tasks were:

  • Resolve technical and customer reported issues pertaining to mail routing and connectivity issues.
  • Communicate and escalate across issues to a given vendor.
  • Assist customers with deployment and installation of new or updated applications.

The competency definition should be 1-3 sentences long and avoid a laundry list of specific tasks. Competencies should explain what it looks like when an applicant has that skill. Here is an example definition for the “Customer Support” competency:

Customer Support: Works with customers to assess needs, provide information or assistance, and resolve their problems. Shows commitment to providing quality products and services.

When defining your competencies, you may find it helpful to refer to existing competency definitions and frameworks like the OPM qualification standards. SMEs can edit those definitions to match the requirements your workshop group has determined are necessary for your posted position. Resume reviewers and interviewers must be able to clearly and objectively evaluate an applicant against these competencies.

Weighting competencies

In the first round of SME-QA pilots, all competencies were equally weighted. If the SMEs felt one competency mattered less than the others, then a lower lower proficiency level was required. If the SMEs felt a competency was not required at all, they removed it from the qualifications.