We have had increasing discussions around competency models and where/if they fit our clients’ environments.  The first line of questioning is:  Are the competency models being used for hiring purposes, job description content, talent management or for career-pathing?   The answers vary from yes to all of the above, yes to several of the above questions, or yes to just one of the questions.  Competency models mean different things for different organizations, and certainly for different industries.  Consider what a competency model might look like for a hospital vs. an IT firm.  How would the competency component layer into a job description, or would the competency model be a separate document?  Both are being done, and both are working for our clients.  Foundationally, consider that competencies represent the skills that one needs to possess and/or develop, in order to perform a particular job; a job description contains what one needs to do from a task, duty and responsibility perspective, as well as what education and/or certifications and licensures the position requires.   These basic differentiators serve as the baseline for deciding whether the competency model lives as a separate document, or if it becomes a component of a job description.  These considerations are a necessary first step in conducting job analyses, and need to be at the forefront of discussions in order to develop the most effective tool for compensation and human capital management and planning.  Contact Mary Rizzuti at mar@compensationresources.com for further information.