Right Person for the Wrong Job! How Competency Mapping Can Solve the “Bad Fit” Problem

Why Competency Mapping Can Solve the Perennial Right Person for the Wrong Job Problem

We often hear the saying, Right Person for the Wrong Job, being used to refer to people who are either too qualified or too competent for the job that they are assigned to.

Conversely, HR (Human Resources) and Line Managers also complain about how a particular employee is a “bad fit” for the job, meaning that he or she does not the skills or the aptitude for the role that they are assigned to.

This is where Competency Mapping can address these pervasive problems of appointing the “right” person for the right job.

Competency Mapping is a process which creates a matrix of the desirable skills and aptitudes as well as qualifications and pre-requisites for the roles/jobs and then “maps” or matches the employee’s corresponding attributes.

If the correct “fit” is obtained or even if there is a substantial convergence between the two axes, then the particular employee can indeed be assigned to the job or the role specified with the expectation that he or she would be an asset, and not a liability to the organization. So, Competency Mapping is useful for HR/Line Managers.

Competency Mapping

Competency Mapping is a Continuous Process and Must be Done From the Hiring Stage Itself

How to go about determining the right fit using Competency Mapping and when and where the process must be use d and actualized?

To start with, organizations often prepare JDs or Job Descriptions that specify the necessary qualifications, experience, soft skills, and other requirements.

The JD can be a good starting point to put in motion the process of Competency Mapping. Other than this, based on our working experience, we suggest that organizations constitute a working group of Managers, Senior Managers, and experienced HR personnel to come up with an elaborate matrix of the JD and other aspects critical to the job or the role, and then, start the process of Competency Mapping once the interviews commence.

In other words, do not wait for the hiring process to be completed and instead, front run the same by matching the Matrix items of the candidates who have made it to the final or the penultimate rounds.

Indeed, we can personally vouch for the increased chances of the right “fit” if the Competency Mapping is done at the hiring stage itself.

Of course, it would be time consuming and tedious, and so, we suggest that the “pool” of probable candidates be mapped.

How Competency Mapping Can Help Corporates Save Millions of Dollars in Employee Costs

Having said that, it should not be construed that Competency Mapping is over once the hiring concludes.

On the contrary, it is recommended by HR experts that this should be a continuous process that should cover the entire gamut of the HR lifecycle including hiring, assigning the selected candidates for the roles, appraisal and incorporating periodic feedback from the immediate managers into the Matrix of Competencies. After this, the decision to either retain or move employees out of the roles that they are currently in can be taken.

Indeed, Competency Mapping should be done on a periodic basis, so that organizations can ruthlessly eliminate those who do not have any of the hard or soft attributes needed for the job.

The reason we used a strong word is because research has shown that organizations tend to lose Millions of Dollars due to the Bad Fit problem, as such employees become deadweight or like someone who is being paid to just pass the time.

In other words, there are no free lunches and so, there is no point for organizations to persist with White Elephants. There is also a chance that a bad fit for one role can become an excellent fit for other roles.

Why the Combination of Technology and Human Instinct Can Better Competency Mapping

In recent years, with the use of technology, corporates have been bettering the Competency Mapping game and we suggest that they continue deploying automated tools along with the decision making by humans. We have seen how top tier firms like Citigroup use software for competency mapping right from the hiring stage itself.

We have also seen how intuitive managers can use their personal gut feeling to weed out bad fits and we have also come across managers who are simply helpless about bad fit employees becoming a liability.

So, the point we are making is that Competency Mapping is not just about the Matrix of skills and attributes, but much more than that, as it requires cold and tech driven matching of the Matrix items, and the human element that is so crucial to “getting it right”.

Further, bad fits can be identified at any stage and as we mentioned earlier, they can become an excellent fit somewhere else, thereby actualizing synergies that can help the organizations. Indeed, there is no point in either persisting with bad fits, or someone else losing out if they are better deployed elsewhere. In effect, there can be substantial gains from Competency Mapping processes.

The Bad Fit Problem Can be a Thing of the Past, Rationalizing Costs in Recessionary Times

Last, with recessionary fears looming over the horizon, there is more than ever a need now for organizations to cut costs and enhance gains and this is where Competency Mapping can come in handy or indeed, be valuable to corporates.

All said and done, some employees are good interview candidates and others lack the necessary competencies. Competency Mapping helps in solving both these problems and more so, the Bad Fit vexation can be a thing of the past.

To conclude, each Job Description has specific requirements and to assume equivalence is an expensive oversight and instead, Competency Mapping can be done.

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The article is Written By “Prachi Juneja” and Reviewed By Management Study Guide Content Team. MSG Content Team comprises experienced Faculty Member, Professionals and Subject Matter Experts. We are a ISO 2001:2015 Certified Education Provider. To Know more, click on About Us. The use of this material is free for learning and education purpose. Please reference authorship of content used, including link(s) to ManagementStudyGuide.com and the content page url.