What Are The 12 Core Competencies | Key Competencies And Skills

Competency can be described as the knowledge, skills, and behavioral attributes required for acceptable job performance. A competency framework identifies the skills needed to perform a job within an organization.

In truth, different organizations and jobs demand different competencies. However, in general, the following are the 12 core competencies that are critical to successful job performance. 

Article Road Map

1. Teamwork

Most careers require this trait or competency. Teams that work well together are more efficient and productive. 

Being able to interact with people effectively, able and willing to share and receive information, support group decisions, and put them ahead of your own goals shows that you value others and have empathy.

Becoming a team player requires excellent communication and problem-solving skills. To improve youtube teamwork skills you can volunteer for team roles or join a sports team. They provide good opportunities to learn how to work with others to achieve a goal. 

What Are The Five Stages Of Team Development

2. Problem-Solving 

Problems are likely to arise at work but demonstrating calmness under pressure, analyzing a problem, identifying the cause and effect, and coming up with appropriate solutions are highly valued and needed. 

A good way to improve your problem-solving skills is to solve puzzles. There are books and apps available that can help you brainstorm and find solutions to a problem. 

3. Responsibility

Responsibility is required by most jobs. As a candidate, it shows that you are comfortable making decisions and taking ownership of your work. The ability to take on a certain level of responsibility is necessary for most jobs. 

Higher roles come with greater responsibilities. Being able to effectively take up responsibilities is a good indicator that you can work under stress.

One of the best ways to learn responsibility is to practice. You can volunteer for leadership roles in a project. 

Also, practice punctuality. Its believed that those who are punctual with time keeping are responsible. 

E-Volunteering In Development Practice

4. Decision Making

With sound judgment, your employer will want to see you make good decisions based on the information you have gathered and analyzed and stand by them. 

Making decisions may sometimes prove to be challenging but a good candidate considers all facts and alternatives before deciding on the most appropriate action. 

You can improve your decision-making skills by asking for more responsibility. This way you would be likely to make decisions. 

Also, if you are in a tight corner and you need to make a decision but you do not know how to go about it, ask a mentor. Your mentor may have been in a similar position and because he has the experience, he would be able to offer good advice. 

How To Become A Better Professional – Professional development

5. Communication

 A good communicator is able to convey his message effectively and is receptive to others’ input. Effective communication skills are essential in every job title or description.

Employers are in search of candidates that are able to convey information in an easy, professional, and confident way to team members or clients. 

Communication is not limited to verbal interaction but also includes excellent written communication skills. As a candidate, it’s necessary that you listen actively, and organize and deliver information appropriately. 

To improve your communication skills, learn to write things down, practice listening, and learn body language.

6. Leadership 

Employers want to see that you are able to lead roles and motivate others to work. This particular skill is important if you want to progress into a management position. It involves delegating and setting deadlines.

A good leader commits to putting additional effort into work, displays energy and enthusiasm, and maintains a high level of productivity and self-direction. Volunteering for tasks and practicing listening can improve your leadership skills. 

7. Stress Tolerance

How do you fair under pressure? How do you cope with stress? These are some of the frequently asked interview questions that assess a candidate’s ability to cope with stress. Many job positions require emotional resilience and the ability to withstand pressure.

You should be to handle difficult situations while maintaining performance and in cases necessary, seek support from others and use appropriate coping techniques. 

Workplace Harassment: How to Recognize and Report it

8. Results Orientation

An employer wants a candidate that is focused on achieving set goals having a clear understanding of the steps needed to achieve them. 

A result-oriented individual possesses the motivation to see projects to fruition, sets realistic steps, and motivates others to do the same.

Breaking large tasks into smaller, more achievable targets is one way to increase your motivation to complete them 

9. Organisational Skills

This involves setting priorities, scheduling activities, organizing tasks and work responsibilities to achieve objectives, allocating and using resources effectively, and effective time management. 

Employers look out for candidates that demonstrate good organizational skills. Making lists in order of priority helps you to develop better organizational skills. 

10. Adaptability

This is a key competency and skill. Being able to adapt to changing work environments, work priorities and organizational needs is highly prized. Adaptability requires the application of knowledge and skills to new circumstances and demands.

Recruiters are in search of candidates who are adaptable to ensure the organization runs smoothly no matter what happens. 

To improve your adaptability skills, put yourself in situations where you do not necessarily know what to expect. Puzzles and escape rooms are good ways to exercise your brain to help you think of solutions quickly. 

11. Integrity

The essence or value of integrity cannot be overemphasized. For a company’s progress, it’s important that the staff is honest, sharing complete and accurate information, maintaining confidentiality, and adhering to organizational policies and procedures. 

Answers To “What Does Integrity Mean To You?”

12. Commercial Awareness

Understanding how a business works, its products, and your role in the organization is very vital. Employers want to know that you are knowledgeable about the industry, business trends, customer demographics, technical advances, and even the successes and failures of competitors. 

Pro Tip: To improve your commercial awareness, research the company you work for or intend to work for, be abreast with the latest trends, and know your closest competitors. 


Employers look out for various skills and competencies when recruiting. These competencies vary from industry to industry and the position in question. However, the aforelisted are the 12 core competencies needed in virtually all industries.

You may not have all the skills required for a particular job description but you can develop yourself to meet the company’s standards. 

We hope this article has been of help. Kindly share and leave a comment in the section below. 

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.