Strategic competitive advantages through competency-based personnel development with an HR software solution



The shortage of skilled workers has become an important driver of personnel development and is forcing companies to see personnel as a strategic resource. The optimal use of this resource and the maintenance of sustainable competitiveness requires the acquisition of skills by employees as part of competency-based personnel development.

Competency-based personnel development

“Competency-based personnel development” is an approach to personnel development that aims to specifically promote and further develop the skills, knowledge and competencies of employees. This approach not only focuses on general qualifications, but also pays particular attention to the individual competencies of the employees to be in line with the strategic goals and requirements of the company.

However, this approach requires intensive engagement with the individual and perhaps sometimes undiscovered skills of the employees. It must also be identified whether these skills can contribute to the company’s success and whether these resources are already being used or not. Furthermore, in competency-based personnel development, a repeatable strategy must be developed that means that when it comes to personnel changes, you don’t always have to start from scratch, but rather it is documented which competencies already exist or still need to be developed or newly acquired. Software that stores all relevant information in one place and can even display it as needed rounds off this approach to human resources management.

Interview with Claus Nielsen, Managing Director of the well-established HR software comparison portal HRNeeds

Overall, competency-based personnel development helps companies view their employees as a strategic resource and can optimally exploit their potential. We spoke about this and other current trends in personnel development with Mr. Claus Nielsen, Managing Director of the well-established HR software comparison portal HRNeeds. We addressed the following topics:

kompetenzbasierte Personalentwicklung mit einer HR-Softwarelösung

What do you understand by competency-based personnel development?

In competency-based personnel development, an employee’s actual knowledge and skills are compared with the necessary competencies (target/actual performance comparison). This then leads to well-thought-out further training, which at the same time increases employee loyalty.

This form of competency management is not only an advantage for internal talent, but you can also specifically search for the required competencies in recruiting. The shortage of skilled workers forces us to not only focus on recruiting ready-made A candidates, but also to use and develop the potential of B candidates for specific positions.

So you see competence management as a central success factor?

In order to develop employees in a targeted manner, competency management is one of the most important elements. From the definition of the most important must-have components for a task to the individual recording of the relevant competencies of all employees and the resulting matching of employees and current or future positions to competency-based development plans.

E-learning is becoming increasingly important in talent management as a fast and flexible further training option. Furthermore, continuous training based on skills can be facilitated via microlearning – i.e. short, focused learning units. This eliminates the need for time-consuming in-person training.

What role does artificial intelligence already play in personnel development or what role will it play?

Many HR development software manufacturers are already working on integrating AI. Initially, AI will play a role in providing needs-based support for technical questions and show efficient solutions to problems. This potential competence management AI will therefore have the role of a specialist coach. The hope is definitely that AI will speed up processes and reduce costs. As far as I know, there is currently nothing comparable in the area of ​​personnel development on the market. However, this may change shortly.

Should personnel development only take place on an ad hoc basis?

No, in principle, personnel development should not only be limited to certain occasions such as training, further education, further training or retraining. Personnel development must take place constantly, because this is the only way to achieve the goals mentioned above.

In competency-based personnel development, regular employee assessments should be carried out. This shows employees that their talents and professional development are recognized and rewarded. At the same time, those responsible should ensure that the measures derived not only suit the further development of a specific position (succession planning), but also correspond to the individual wishes of the employee. These individual development paths promote long-term employee loyalty.

Many companies already use employee appraisals for personnel development, but are afraid of comprehensive personnel development software including competency management? How come?

Many companies think that the implementation is very complex and time-consuming. However, most software providers for personnel development have templates and provide intensive support during setup. It is important to choose a software provider that not only has a good product, but also first-class service. Of course, you need resources for the selection and introduction, but the investment will more than pay off in the medium term.

How do I find the right personnel development software for my company?

Anyone who has ever looked into the HR software market – especially software for personnel development – will quickly have noticed how confusing the market is. Companies usually have special requirements for a digital tool – be it what the tool should be able to do or what interfaces to the existing programs are necessary.

In addition, some software manufacturers have focused on small companies, others on medium-sized or large companies. The software manufacturer must therefore suit the customer and the customer must also suit the software manufacturer. But only if this matching is successful will personnel development be facilitated and improved and only then will the costs remain within limits.

Expert tip: Compare actively and professionally

When selecting the appropriate software solution, our HRNeeds comparison portal can provide a decisive advantage. This is where the company's requirements are compared with the providers' software solutions and you receive a suitable selection of providers free of charge. Overall, in our experience, you not only save between four and six weeks of time, but with HRNeeds you also get the software solution that really meets your requirements. If you wish, you can also receive free, non-binding advice with numerous tips.

To avoid making the wrong choice of HR software, it is important to clarify the following questions in advance.

Afterwards, you must definitely address the following additional questions:

How digitalized is my company already?
In which areas of the company should the software solution be used?
Do I want to use one or more software providers, including a complete system “all-in-one solution” or “best of breed”?
What is the IT structure in the company, including interface problems?
Software on your own server or in the cloud?

What should HR development software be able to do?

Suitable software for personnel development enables a quick overview of all employees, including their competencies, skills and potential. The software can also carry out an actual/target performance comparison between the existing and required skills and thus recommend targeted training and further education. By connecting to further training databases, the software can provide suitable suggestions for further training as required, thus saving time and effort on research. In addition, employee interviews and all protocols can be stored in the digital personnel file in an audit-proof manner, which saves space and resources.

Another advantage is the ability to offer personalized learning content. By analyzing data about an employee’s individual strengths and weaknesses, training modules can be created to specifically work on the weaknesses and further develop the strengths. The employee can use employee self-service access (ESS) to view, among other things, the training catalog or their training measures at any time.

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