Job analysis and competency models

Job Analysis and Competency Models Job Analysis and Competency Models Job analysis method and competency modeling are appreciable human resource methods. Job analysis refers to the systematic way of identifying tasks, activities, knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) that are required to perform a given job. Contrariwise, competency modeling refers to a method that is concerned with measuring skills, behavior, abilities and knowledge that an individual is required to possess to perform a particular job successfully (Jackson, Schuler, and Werner, 2012). Comparison and contrast is achievable through purpose, view of the job, time orientation, focus, and level of performance.

Purpose Describe Versus Influence Behavior

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Job analysis describes work, whereas competency modeling influences behavior. The major purpose of job analysis is to bring a better comprehension of the work assignments and to measure them as well, that is, it determines the trait relevance. On the other hand, competency modeling intends to influence the way in which this work assignments are executed so that they are in line with strategy of the organization in that it heightens situational strength (Wilson, 2012). In this regard, the two approaches are complementary.

View of Job

Job analysis describes a job as an abstract entity whereas competency modeling influences workers into enacting their role. It presents a job as a social construction that is separate from the employee that holds it with performance considered as a by-product of an individual’s interpretation of the job. This is evident in the job titles, which date back to the advent of division of labor following industrial revolution. Competency modeling, then again, views a job as function that is first to be interpreted by an employee before enacting it (Weiner, 2013). The latter method seems to be more practical then the former.

Time Orientation

Job analysis is about the past, whereas competency modeling is futuristic. The descriptive nature of job analysis means that it is past-oriented and depends on those workers, who have already done the work in the past, as the main source of information, that is, it depicts the job the exact execution in the present. On the contrary, competency modeling focuses on how the job ought to be interpreted and enacted as from the present into the future, regardless of what has been done in the past ( Weiner, 2013). In this context, the methods lie on two varying extremes.


Job analysis is job focused rather than focusing on the organization, just as competency modeling does. Practically, job analysis focuses on the job even from the name itself. It fails to recognize the possibility of an ‘employer brand’ that can be formed through behavioral themes derived from the job responsibilities and the organization as well. In contrast, competency modeling presumes that particular behavioral themes that directly link to the strategy of the organization influence the entire job performances in the organization (Wilson, 2012). The latter is holistic rather than specific, a beneficial feature.

Level of Performance

Job analysis is involved in describing performances that are typical as opposed to the approach of competency modeling that induces maximum performances. Job analysis describes the job with inference from current occurrences in that job position, that is, it gives details on what an average employee does. Then again, competency modeling focuses on maximal performance as evidenced in the requirement of an employee first interpreting the job strategically before performing it, which is often followed by particular behavioral themes that are in line with the strategy of the organization (Wilson, 2012). Without doubt, competency modeling is considerate in this aspect.


Jackson, S. E., Schuler, R. S., & Werner, S. (2012). Managing human resources. Mason, Ohio:

South Western cengage learning.

Weiner, I. B. (2013). Handbook of psychology. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.

Wilson, M.A. (2012). The Handbook of Work Analysis. Hove, East Sussex: Routledge.

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