Competency map

When a company faces the challenge of defining its competency map, it is faced with unknowns that it must resolve and that it does not always solve appropriately. There are many reasons for this: organisational, cultural, resource and time constraints, or simply a lack of judgement.

The objective of the map of professional competencies is that it should be of real use to:

  • HR, talent management and training and development departments.
  • Managers, who must evaluate the performance and potential of their collaborators.
  • The professionals themselves, who will have objective criteria to know the distance between their current level of competence and the level required in the short, medium and long term.

What is a competency map and how is it used in talent management?

A competency map is a tool that provides a structured, detailed overview of the skills, knowledge and behaviors necessary to achieve an organization’s objectives. It is essential in talent management, where it acts as a strategy guide, helping managers to identify the key competencies that contribute to individual and collective success.

Companies typically use a competency map during training processes, to identify skills gaps and develop personalized training programs. It also comes in useful when designing professional development plans, making it possible to identify outstanding employees and draw up career trajectories. Another of its advantages is to help determine if a candidate fits into a company, or if there are areas for improvement in their professional profile.

Difficulties in defining a competency map

Often, the first stumbling block lies in knowing something as basic as what professional competences are. Sometimes, the concept is confused with others such as skills, behaviours, attitudes, etc.

Another difficulty lies in deciding what corporate competencies are. For example, a telecommunications company’s definition of teamwork is different from that of a textile company or an NGO.

From this point onwards, other doubts and difficulties arise: is the meaning or level of demand of each of the professional competencies the same for one post as for another, competency levels for each competency or only at a general level, for each group, department or post, how do we measure the level of each professional, what do we base this on, what behaviours do we define, what behaviours do we define, etc.?

So many doubts and questions that arise can block companies. For this reason, many companies do not want to “open the melon” of defining a competency map, despite the real benefits it can have if it is correctly defined, updated and managed.

How to develop and design an effective competency map for your organization?

To put together an effective competency map, there are 5 steps you must complete:

1. Conduct a job analysis

The first step is to identify the key employment roles within the organization, breaking down each position into a list of the skills required for it. For each role, you should end up with a comprehensive list that covers both technical skills and soft skills.

2. Define your company’s corporate competencies

In order to build an effective competency map, you need to be clear about what your company’s general corporate competencies are. These are usually tied to aspects such as corporate culture, company values, the nature of the work team and the strategic vision of the business. Develop clear and specific descriptions for each competency you identify and establish a hierarchy, emphasizing those most essential for overall success.

3. Create an ‘ideal skills profile’ for each position

Once you know what the key roles within your organization are, as well as have a handle on your core competencies, you can now compare the data. This will allow you to start building a skills profile for each position. For example, in the case of a designer, a core competency of the company might be innovation, while the specific position requires skills such as creativity and teamwork, and technical proficiencies such as mastery of editing programs.

4. Evaluate skills

Now that you have a skills profile for each position, you can evaluate employees and assess their current skill level. To do this, you can use assessment methods such as performance tests, 360-degree evaluations, or regular reviews that measure the presence of each competency.

5. Provide training

To integrate your competency map at every level of company management, you must synchronize it with other organizational processes such as hiring and selection, and professional development plans. At the same time, you should develop training programs to ensure that all employees understand the purpose of the competency map, and begin to develop the skills they need for their specific roles.

The importance of competency maps in professional development planning

A competency map is a great resource for any company, as it highlights the precise skills and abilities required for each position or profile. In addition, it adds extra value by aligning employee competencies with the wider organization’s objectives, as well as supporting general employee development, helping you to design more clear career paths and better retain talent.

If you’re looking to develop a solid competency map, then isEazy Skills is an invaluable tool to help you build these skills. Our platform offers a wide variety of courses, specially designed to strengthen the competencies needed for each position. In fact, with isEazy Skills, companies can provide employees with access to quality and dynamic content that constantly adapts to new learning formulas. Train your team with our 100% practical methodology, and promote learning and self-development that’s ready to consume from any device – just like your favorite series!


Sara De la Torre
Sara De la Torre
Content Marketing Manager at isEazy

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