Competencies (Updated 5/15/13)
University Human Resources continues to look for ways to improve Human Resource (HR) processes to make them more effective, transparent, and easier to use for employees and supervisors. Our vision is to integrate HR processes and utilize technology to achieve these goals over time.
In order to integrate the way we describe University jobs for use in different HR processes (employment, goal setting, performance feedback, career development), it is helpful to articulate both “what” the job is intended to accomplish, as well as “how” the work is to be performed:
- The “what” is the intended outcome or work product of a job. This describes the purpose of the job in relation to the overall mission of the unit/organization. The intended outcomes of the work are described as the key areas of responsibility (KAR’s) of the job. You may recall that jobs are assigned to the new University job classifications using the KAR’s.
- “How” a job is performed can be described as the behaviors required for the successful performance of a job. These behaviors illustrate the application of a person’s knowledge, skills and abilities to the work performed and are referred to as competencies. Different behaviors within an area of competency demonstrate different levels of proficiency.
You can view suggested competencies and typical behaviors for any professional and scientific job classification (except those represented by SEIU) through Self Service and the ePersonnel file. A library of competency definitions and typical behaviors is now available as a resource for staff and supervisors in describing jobs and setting performance expectations. The information on this webpage will assist you in using this resource.
Two types of competencies have been identified for University job classifications:
- Universal Competencies are those that apply to all University jobs (P&S, Merit, Merit Supervisory-Exempt, Confidential, and SEIU), support our mission, and are consistent with our core values.
- Technical Competencies (currently only for non-organized P&S staff) are those that apply to a specific job, and may include:
- Job Family Technical Competencies: those that usually apply to jobs within a job family.
- Optional Technical Competencies: Those that may apply to a particular job or assignment.
The information on this web page will provide additional information about these competencies and their use.
- Universal Competencies (P&S, Merit, Merit Supervisory-Exempt, Confidential, and SEIU) (UPDATED 5/15/13)
- View the competencies for my job classification (P&S only)
- View the competencies for other professional and scientific jobs I may be interested in
- View the competencies of individuals I supervise (P&S only)
- Identifying competencies that are most important for my current work
- Using competencies to develop my career
- Process for developing UI competencies
- Changes to specific competencies and/or proficiency levels
- Who can I talk to if I have questions about competencies?
- How to guide for using competencies
- Related Links
Professional and Scientific staff can access the competencies for your job classification by going through Self Service. When you open your ePersonnel file, you will find information about your job, including your University job classification. Your classification title is now a link to a display that includes:
- Your University job classification details, including the function, family and title of your classification, job code and salary level.
- The key areas of responsibility for your classification, listing both the job family responsibility and the description of the responsibilities specific to your classification.
- The universal competencies that apply to all University jobs. The universal competencies are:
- Collaboration and Embracing Diversity,
- Positive Impact/Achieving Results, and
- Service Excellence/Customer focus.
These will replace the previous position expectations for civil and respectful interactions, diversity and inclusion, leadership accountability, learning and professional development. Colleges and divisions may identify additional competencies that may apply to all jobs within that organization.
- The technical competencies that apply to the work you do, which may include
- The job family technical competencies that usually apply to jobs within your job family, and
- The optional technical competencies that could apply to your particular job or assignment.
The typical behaviors for each of the competencies (universal and technical) illustrate how a particular competency is applied at different levels of proficiency. A description of the minimum proficiency level expected for that job classification is also identified:
- Basic Application - Uses basic understanding of the field to perform job duties; may need some guidance on job duties; applies learning to recommend options to address unusual situations.
- Working Experience - Successfully completes diverse tasks of the job; applies and enhances knowledge and skill in both usual and unusual issues; needs minimal guidance in addressing unusual situations.
- Extensive Experience - Performs without assistance; recognized as a resource to others; able to translate complex nuances to others; able to improve processes; focus on broad issues.
- Expert/Leader - Seen as an expert and/or leader; guides, troubleshoots; has strategic focus; applies knowledge and skill across or in leading multiple projects/orgs; demonstrates knowledge of trends in field; leads in developing new processes.
Within Self Service (Go to Personal Tab - General Category - epersonnel file - select your linked Title) and the information about your university job classification, there are two options for looking at the classification information and competencies of other jobs that may be of interest:
- A link labeled “View Other University Job Classifications” takes you to a search tool through which you can access the same information about any other professional and scientific job classification. This tool allows you to search by the job function and job family, using drop down options. You may also search by job code or job title. You do not need to know the exact job title to search, as the tool will search for all University professional titles containing the words you select. For example, the word “analyst” will lead you to all of the University classification titles that include the word analyst for you to select from.
- A second link labeled “comparison view” allows you to compare jobs within your current job family side by side. This view allows you to compare the key areas of responsibility and the anticipated minimum proficiency levels for each of the competencies for the job family. Arrows allow you to scroll through the different jobs in your job family in comparing them to your current classification.
You can access the competencies for the professional and scientific positions you supervise by going through Self Service, then use your supervisor ePersonnel File (located within the Data Access section). The job description titles for each of your professional staff members is now a link that will allow you to access the same job classification information that is provided to your staff members, as described above. This will also allow you to access the search and comparison tools provided.
As noted there are two types of technical competencies, job family and optional, not all of which may be relevant or important to your individual work. After reviewing the competencies and typical behaviors for your classification, you and your supervisor should discuss which are most relevant and critical to your work today and in preparing you for future work. This discussion should consider changes anticipated through new initiatives, competitive demands, technology, and regulations.
By reviewing the key areas of responsibility and the competencies for your classification and another classification, you are able to identify what work you would need to perform and skills you would need to develop to develop your career. Discussing with your supervisor if there is a need for you to take on different assignments and what training or other development opportunities there are is a good way to develop a plan. You can also discuss your career interests with Career Development Advising staff (http://www.uiowa.edu/hr/careerdev/) or look at courses offered by Staff Learning and Development (http://www.uiowa.edu/learn/ ).
University Human Resources purchased a library of competencies through a vendor, Kenexa, following a competitive review of the options available. While competencies could be developed independently, purchasing a prepared library provided a valuable resource for the variety of jobs at the University.
Universal competencies were developed by a campus wide committee working with University Human Resources and Senior Human Resource leaders from each college and division. The Kenexa library was used to identify the competencies most relevant to University jobs and our core values.
University Human Resources staff also used the Kenexa library to identify common competencies for the job classifications with a job family. Typically 3-5 competencies were identified as job family technical competencies, although not every competency will apply to every job assignment within a family. Recognizing this, optional technical competencies were also identified that may be appropriate for individual jobs or assignments within a job classification or job family.
The initial assignments of technical competencies to University job families were reviewed with Human Resource representatives from across the campus, along with other experts including some members of the two committees that helped develop and assign staff into the new classifications during the redesign project. Through a series of thirty meetings, approximately 200 people participated in this review process. The insight gained from these discussions led to further refinements and revisions. The competencies continue to be a work in progress, but are sufficiently developed to begin their use by supervisors and staff, particularly for setting career development and performance goals.
We expect to make additional changes and refinements in the technical competencies currently displayed through Self Service. Please make your Unit Human Resources Representative or Senior Human Resources Leader aware if you have suggestions to improve the technical competencies or a specific proficiency level.
Questions regarding the use of competencies may be directed to your local Unit Human Resources Representative, your college/division Senior Human Resource Leader, or to staff within University Human Resources, specifically, Karen Shemanski (email@example.com or 335-5091) or Diana Leventry (firstname.lastname@example.org or 335-5185).
- Compensation and Classification-Professional and Scientific Positions
- University Professional and Scientific Job Classifications
- Career Develop Planning and Job Information (Professional and Scientific Staff)
- Performance Management
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Page Last Updated May 2012