First your talents. Then your competencies.

Home News First your talents. Then your competencies.

First your talents. Then your competencies.

I recently became irritated by some articles in which large companies proudly proclaim that they are opting for competency-based careers. They consider themselves progressive by no longer looking at diplomas but at competencies. (“Towards an hr based on competencies and not on the basis of functions” 25/09/23, “Skills are central” 5/10/23, both articles appeared in HR Magazine)

While at first glance this may seem like a positive development, it is in fact an outdated view. By focusing on competencies, these companies are missing the true basis of what gives people satisfaction and potential in their jobs: their talents.

Does it have to do with the fact that the AI tools, which people are all too happy to show off today, can easily read and interpret competencies and experiences in CVs and LinkdIn profiles, but find it much harder to determine the underlying talents? In any case, it should not be a reason to put the cart before the horse.

Talents are our natural qualities that give us an edge over others. They make us unique and enable us to excel. These natural abilities can be compared to the foundations on which a house is built. Competencies, on the other hand, are materials used to build the house. The house symbolizes our work and career.

It is important to understand that a house, no matter how beautiful, will not stand for long if it is not built on solid foundations. Similarly, a career that is not based on our natural talents is not sustainable, no matter how many competencies we have acquired.

Therefore, we must first look at our talents when considering a job or career. What aspects of the job match our natural talents? Will we be able to excel and grow in this role based on what we naturally enjoy doing and comes easily to us?

Only after answering these questions we should look at our competencies. Do we have the necessary skills and knowledge for this role? If not, can we acquire them?

By first looking at our talents and then at our competencies, we get more enjoyment from our job and feel more engaged. Because when using our talents, we reduce the distance between who we are and what we do. Moreover, building on our talents leads to better results because it enables us to excel in what we do.

But how do you practically get started with talents?

For this we offer valid and reliable tools:

  • The Talent Passport: probably the best talent scan ever
  • The Talent DNA: job-person matching based on talents

author: Peter Monsieurs / The Talentpassport