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Human Resources

K-State Competency Library

Human Resources (HR) is focusing on its K-State 2025 goal to implement a research-based competency framework to guide employees through their employment life-cycle, from hire to retire. Our competency library from Korn Ferry© establishes a strong foundation with 38 research-based competencies and numerous tools and resources so we can focus on strategic implementation rather than building a framework from scratch. 

Competencies are used for many purposes, including interviews, performance management, and development.  A competency framework provides a common language for both employees and supervisors to identify, utilize, and build skills and behaviors required for success.

Explore K-State's Competency Library

Certified Competency Education Facilitators

Our facilitators are HR employees and university partners who are certified in K-State’s Competency Library. Members of this team deliver competency education and facilitate workshops utilizing the competency framework. Workshop participants learn competency definitions, explore how the framework relates to them, and discover ways to leverage competencies at K-State.  

Meet the facilitators

Strategic Initiative Teams

To help us identify the most effective ways to leverage the competency framework, we enlisted the help of various stakeholders who served on four teams.

  • Competency modeling: identify common core competencies and embed competencies in job descriptions and job families
  • Career paths: design job families to support vertical and horizontal career movement
  • Performance management: develop a standard process for performance reviews
  • Career development: establish programs to support employee development, i.e. succession management, individual development plans, and 360 feedback assessments
Strategic Initiatives Project Plan Quick Reference

In November 2019, the work of the strategic initiative teams was paused so that Human Resources could strategically align with institutional priorities and leadership. The progress captured by the teams will serve as a catalyst for future programs and services which utilize the global competency framework. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did K-State decide to acquire a competency framework?

K-State 2025 tasked Human Resources with developing and implementing programs and services to “foster a work environment that encourages creativity, excellence, and high morale in faculty and staff, responses to changing needs, embraces diversity, values communication and collaboration, and is respectful, trusting, fair, and collegial for all.”

HR recognized the need for a comprehensive tool to support this work. The competency library from Korn Ferry© establishes a strong foundation with 38 research-based competencies and numerous tools and resources to guide employees through their employment life-cycle, from hire to retire.


What does a competency framework provide?

A competency framework establishes a common language among employees to identify and utilize skills and behaviors required for success. This assists the university in achieving key outcomes for K-State 2025's Theme 5: Faculty and Staff strategy. 


What are competencies?

Competencies are observable and measurable skills and behaviors that contribute to workplace effectiveness and career success. Furthermore, competencies are a way of categorizing and translating knowledge, skills, and abilities into on-the-job behaviors.


What are the benefits of implementing a competency model?

Competency models provide universities with:

• Greater alignment with institutional priorities.
• Increased productivity.
• Strengthen workforce adaptability.
• Enhanced ability to identify and develop high potential employees.
• Improved retention of highly skilled employees.


Can we interview candidates using competencies?

Yes. Search committees can interview candidates using competency-based interview questions based on what is most needed for success in that position. For instance, if working well with a wide range of people is key to the role, an interviewer might ask the candidate to "Describe a time when you needed to build a relationship with someone very different from you."

To learn more, contact your Talent Acquisition Strategic Partner.


How do I learn about K-State's Competency Library?

HR will be offering competency education workshops on a regular basis and by request. To request a workshop, please email learning-develop-hr@ksu.edu

Project timeline in four phases

  • Phase I: Summer 2018 - Spring 2019

    Planning and Preparation

  • Phase II: Summer 2019 - Summer 2021

    Competency Education

  • Phase III: Fall 2021

    Recommend K-State Core Competencies

  • Phase IV: Spring 2022 - Fall 2025

    Identify competencies for roles at K-State