Competency Model Building Services

Focuses on customized engagements that apply our expertise and intellectual property to design, develop and deliver competency framework and accompanying applications, communications and training.

Our Approach to Competency Model Development

Schoonover consultants generally start model building with our library of validated competency frameworks based on 30 years of behavioral and systems research. Depending on the level of desired customization, we use various methodologies to develop valid success profiles. Our competency libraries are derived from the following sources.

  • Discrete studies with more than 100 organizations resulting in more than 500 competency models, skills profiles, and best practices frameworks.
  • More than 3,000 behavioral event or other in-depth interviews (executives, benchmarking, etc.).
  • More than 600 group interviews, focus groups, and stakeholder meetings for model testing and refinement.
  • More than 5,000 feedback surveys for model testing and refinement.

We generally propose a building-block approach to creating competency profiles, frequently starting from our extensive database of validated models encompassing core values, levels of leadership, and virtually all functions and industries. This often entails creating competency clusters such as core (required for all employees), leadership by level (executive, mid-level manager, first-level supervisor), and functional/technical. This approach offers an excellent balance between simplicity and specificity, since models for all employees can be assembled by adding building blocks from the three categories of competencies.

Our approach for developing competencies generally includes the following.

  • Creation of approved interview and focus group protocols and model-building process.
  • Selected executive interviews.
  • Initial “straw man” models from preliminary data and our extensive database.
  • Focus groups for all targeted functions (including representatives from across management levels).
  • Validation of the models through online surveys.
  • Refinement and signoff on the models by project change team and other key stakeholders.

For many clients, we transfer the technical capabilities for competency model development through an interviewing and model-building workshop. This workshop helps practitioners learn the fundamentals of behaviorally anchored interviewing techniques; develop experience in thematic analysis of interviews and focus group data; and study best practices for designing competency models and related tools.