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Identify the capabilities you need

The terms capability, competency and capacity are often used interchangeably, however:

  • Competency usually refers to knowledge, skills or strength at a particular task and is another word for an individual’s expertise.
  • Capability has a broader more holistic meaning that takes account of attributes, attitudes and behaviours, and the ability to achieve a certain outcome in the future. In this way organisation capability arises from the use and application of an individual’s competence.
  • Capacity refers to the amount or volume of work, for example ‘how much?’ and ‘how many?’

Measuring capability

Some agencies have invested in capability measurement tools, and there are other sector wide evidence based diagnostics such as:

Leadership

Occupational technical knowledge sets

Other considerations:

  • Job Evaluation Methodology System
  • Broad-banding and work-level standards
  • Future skills yet to be ‘invented’
  • Future skills for the modern workforce e.g. social media literacy, virtual teams, adaptive thinking, systems thinking, life long learning
  • Skills for a contestable environment e.g. managing at the interface, program evaluation, contract management, commissioning, strategic procurement.

Strategic talent segmentation model

Strategic talent segmentation helps identify the critical and core capabilities required to support the business and operational demands of the organisation.

The strategic talent segmentation model recognises that not all employees possess knowledge and skills that are of equal strategic importance, and so HR investment can rest in 1 of 4 different employment modes:

Build:

  • Suggests that an organisation needs to invest heavily in its workforce and that the HR investment is focused and committed to the development from within for roles in this group.
  • This is a clear focus of the Executive Leadership Development Strategy.
  • Examples include Head of Research and Development and other key technical or management roles where market replacement would be difficult if not impossible.

Buy:

  • Suggests that an organisation needs to invest somewhat in its workforce and that the HR investment is based on a mutually beneficial arrangement and that investments with this group only really need to match market practice.
  • Although the value represented by this group is high, they can be found fairly easily in the general market.
  • Examples include Head of Finance, Head of Corporate Services etc.

Borrow or buy:

  • Suggests that the organisation only needs to invest minimally with this group and that most of the concentration will be to reduce costs for this group.
  • Examples include transactional roles where the transactions could be outsourced.

Borrow:

  • Would consider roles, that although are difficult to recruit, the expertise is not necessarily required by the organisation in a sustained manner for any length of time.
  • Examples include consultants, legal or tax professionals.

Assess the capabilities needed in the future

The capability assessment guide helps you to determine what new skills and capabilities will be needed in the future.

Key questions:

  • What critical skills and capabilities are needed to be successful in the future? Differentiate between behavioural capabilities and technical skills.
  • What are the behavioural capabilities required to meet strategic objectives? Consider identifying critical management and leadership competencies.
  • What specific technical skills need to be in place to ensure we can meet our strategic objectives? Focus on defining specific role or job family technical skills and likely “shades of grey” between classification and/or progression levels. Review any relevant occupational or professional based frameworks as they can provide a good starting point.
  • What is understood about the skills and capabilities of the contingent workforce and how might this need to shift in the future?