Show Notes: Competency Based Human Resourcing

Overview (0:20)

  • Hiring the best-suited people with skills for the job and values congruent with the agency's.
  • Process and methodology to cater to the needs of the agency.
  • Competencies on the HR process


Resource Speaker – Mark Hendershot (01:05)

  • Spent 3 decades in the Adult Probation Department
  • Currently the Chief Information Officer at Treat Assessment Screening Center (TASC)
  • Facilitates and collaborates amongst justice, treatment, and community stakeholders through data and systems
  • Provides smart and timely data to drive agency policies and decision making


The Justice Clearinghouse (01:45)

  • Peer-to-peer educational program/resource for justice professionals
  • Year-round virtual conference on justice related topics
  • Events are free-to-attend, with members having 24/7 access to recorded webinars and eligible for certifications which may be used for continuing education credits.
  • Interactive with quick polls, Q&A, and survey


Objective of the Competencies (03:59; 06:58)

  • Foundation of evidence-based practices
  • Goal to increase organizational capacity
  • A common language that the staff of the agency will speak
  • Know who is best suited for the job and be hired
  • Weed out through behavioral based interviewing
  • Define core agency outcomes, staff capacity and touch on every phase of employee life cycle
  • Create a bottom-up, rational and sustainable plan based on agency vision, mission, and values


Disruption (04:42)

  • How online shopping taking over established retail operations
  • How organizations internally adjust to market and culture changes
  • Ever present in jobs: How to change processes in place to make it more productive and efficient
  • Constant disruption keeps employees and management off the agency goals
  • Sounds negative, but a word that needs to be embraced


Structure (05:55)

  • Managers provide HR with clear hiring qualifications
  • Supervisors provide standards of behavior and performance
  • HR must be fair, consistent and adhere to rules to hire the right staff


Quickpoll (08:32)

  • Please describe your current job duties.
  • HR Professional                  20%
  • Community Corrections   7%
  • Law Enforcement Officer  6%
  • Health Services                 5%
  • Other                                 52%


HR Processes and Employee Milestones (09:57)

  • Mission, Vision, and Values (MVV) are the core principles that strengthen an organization


    • Job Descriptions
    • Advertise & Recruit
    • Screen Applicants
    • Interviews / BBI
    • Select Candidates
    • Curriculums & Manuals
    • Orientation & Training
    • Staff Development
    • Reinforcement Training
    • Coaching & Mentoring
    • Evaluate Performance
    • Reward Achievement
    • Career Path
    • Succession Planning
    • Promotions
    • Exit Interviews
  • Fine-tuning in the wheel done by HR like market studies, evaluation disputes, performance improvement plans, and discipline process.
  • Competencies are what will tie-up these aspects.


Building Blocks (12:40)

  • Agency MVV – establish foundational beliefs of the organization
  • Position Scope / Outcomes – defining the role of each position
  • Competency Development – clearly stating skill sets and defining expected behavior
  • Behavioral Based Interviews – engaging the candidate in the interview process


    • Relate past experiences, actions, and outcomes of event to illustrate their understanding of a competency
  • Orientation / Staff Development – training to expected behaviors
  • Skill Building – reinforce skills through coaching
  • Objective Data-driven Appraisals – performance evaluation


Definition of Competencies (17:07)

  • Knowledge, skill, behavior, personal attributes and special characteristics that are associated with or predictive of superior job performance.
  • Specific to an organization's culture, environment, history, mission, community, staff, and leadership.
  • The basis for producing agency output, measures, and deliverables.
  • Provides a consistent language and terminology to be spoken by management, HR, training, etc.
  • Creates a focus which helps the agency find that position.
  • Informs the management how that position contributes to the bottom line.
  • Provides structure for supervisors to establish performance and expectations.
  • Tells the employee what they’re gonna be evaluated on and how their work drives the agency’s MVV and outcomes.
  • Example of unacceptable, acceptable and superior behavior.
  • Handy for performance appraisals.


Quick poll (19:09)

  • What is your experience with performance appraisals


    • Worst part of a supervisor’s job          23%
    • Time-consuming                                 66%
    • Unproductive                                     43%
    • Grievances of unfair treatment          11%
    • Appeals to higher authority/union     16%
  • Webinar participant results congruent to the Harvard Business Review


Importance of Performance Appraisal (21:06)

  • Be clear with the expectations and stay consistent with how to evaluate
  • What gets measured gets done


The Process (22:18)

  • Have a good facilitator and/or project leader who can listen to all sides of the issues.
  • Assemble 360 team of experts


    • Diverse group from different teams and/or ranks
    • HR Representative as an objective observer
    • No more than 10 people
  • Research and review competency libraries
  • Individually select 10 competencies
  • Engage in lively debate
  • Group consensus on 6 to 8 competencies


    • The more competencies you pick, the larger the performance appraisal will be
  • Draft review by authority


Example of Competencies (28:13)

  • Examples of what a library might look like for Case Manager and Case Manager Supervisor.
  • There can be hundreds of competencies, but it is recommended to have a smaller list/library.
  • When available to everyone, it says there’s a gameplan, and there’s something that’s predictable for you to work forward on.


Competency Key Elements (30:25)

  • Define from agency’s perspective and culture what each competency mean
  • Talk about behavior which will be the basis of the ratings through levels of satisfactoriness per competency and element.
  • Describe what your best people do and describe what unsuccessful people fail to do
  • Foundation to performance appraisal and delivering expectations to your staff


Embedding Competent Practices (34:36)

  • Staff need to be given the time and voice to come to the table to do developmental work
  • Write in a positive tone


    • Job Descriptions
    • Advertise & Recruit
    • Screen Applicants
    • Interview
    • Select Candidates
    • Curriculums & Manuals
    • Orientation & Training
    • Reinforce
    • Coach and Mentor
    • Evaluate Performance
    • Build Career Path
    • Promote
    • Reward Performance
    • Exit Interviews



Can an HR person be the facilitator in the competency process instead of just an observer? (38:11)

Yes. Depending on how they’re being seen by the staff, and the circumstances. There is a need to create an environment of trust and honesty. I wouldn’t advise it.


When interviewing for a position for a not-for-profit, do you have any recommendations regarding the focus on the organization’s mission and value statement? (39:08)

I don't think there's a difference between profit, not for profit, public sector. Every organization should be looking at their mission, vision, and values, and it should be the hub of that wheel.


In behavioral based interview, does it help to evaluate a candidate’s emotional intelligence? And what are the benefits of evaluating it? (39:46)

BBI questions facilitate the ability to evaluate emotional intelligence. Typically with behavioral-based questions, there are three parts to it: the situation, the candidate's actions given the situation, and the outcome. I think emotional intelligence is another key foundation for every organization.


Knowing that leadership is often reluctant to change, how would you recommend going about advocating for a modified performance review process? Where do we start? (41:56)

The HR Department is the one that should be pulled into this to say we see the value in this. Get the HRD to become your advocate. Talk about the benefits and how many issues can be prevented by delivering clear expectations.


Honestly, unions love this – you’re gonna get a lot of support from unions. When you're in a non-competitive relationship with your union, you're in a much better position. 


HRD are in the position to talk to administration of the benefits of using these competencies to bring synergy across their agency and improve agency outcomes.


What would you say to an organization that does not do exit interviews? (43:32)

I would ask them what are they afraid of learning by not doing exit interviews? It can provide you insights on what you’re missing, what is your blind spot. Exit interviews are valuable tool. It’s hard for people to trust exit interviews because you need to ensure absolute confidentiality to have a better experience of how that comes down.




Chief Information Officer



“I’m gonna be sharing with you a process I learned as a project director for implementing a 3-year evidence-based practices grant that came from the National Institute of Corrections and was administered by the Crime and Justice Institute for an agency, an organization of adult probation of over a thousand employees.”


“Competency is the key, it's equated with fair treatment to all. Staff wants to know what is expected of them, and they wanna receive a fair performance appraisal.”


“Also remember, what gets measured gets done. I know that it’s an old saw that people use. But if I know that my boss is going to evaluate me on five categories every quarter. I’m gonna make sure I’m taking care of those 5 categories.”


“I purposely don’t give them all to you because you’re not going to move your agency forward if you pick up competencies from another agency, a like agency, even a sister agency. It’s gonna be different, you have different leadership, you have different language in your cultures. And it’s much better to through the pain of building these, your implementation’s gonna be much more successful.”


“You can post all these competencies and behaviors on your intranet. If a person wants to become a supervisor, and they don’t know where to start, let them start with this is what our agency values in a supervisor. Let the people who are case managers see what a supervisor is, what’s important to an agency. This is that consistency of language. Consistency of message. Predictability.”



Additional Resources
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Competency Based Human Resourcing: Evidence Based Practices
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