Competency based Application Forms

Competency based Application Forms … 

 Competency based Application Forms are now beginning to become common as a means of applying for live, open job opportunities. They are more prevalent in the public sector, though some private organisations are beginning to design their own, tailored versions for certain high-levelled positions. Application forms as we know them are an application form, where you answer each question that is put to you with respect to your personal details, education history, training courses completed, career / employment history, references and interests.

Today, the newly designed application form contains the above, however towards the latter part, there are 5-8 competencies listed and explained, and the applicant is requested and expected to give an example or outline an achievement where they felt they best demonstrated this competency in their current employment, a previous employment, in academia or through a voluntary initiative. Most times (though not all the time), they give the applicant a word / character count to adhere to when writing the competency.

The reason that competencies are being used now in application forms are many. The potential employer wants to know where, when and how you demonstrated this competency in your past, because past behaviour is a great predictor of future success. The competencies chosen by the employer and that are detailed in the application form, have been carefully chosen and are deemed to be what is required and necessary in the successful candidate so as for them to carry out the job / job tasks immediately upon recruitment.

So, what are the reasons for Competency-based Application Forms?

Some reasons include:

  • They ensure that each application is consistent with respect to layout, information and length, unlike a CV
  • They give each applicant (candidate) an opportunity to outline and share how they are competent in each competency through relevant examples / achievements
  • They are used as the basis for the actual interview i.e. a competency-based interview
  • They give the interview board relevant, tangible information i.e. has the candidate done this type of job before while demonstrating the required competencies therein
  • They help / assist the interview board hire the right, most suitable candidate

Competency is the new word around the block…!

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