How a space agency adopted competency modeling and assessment to align workforce capabilities with strategy

How a space agency adopted competency modeling and assessment to align workforce capabilities with strategy
Uniting talent with goals

A national space agency, aspiring to be a role model for talent within the public sector and to house the countrys brightest minds, needed to put in place a robust and comprehensive framework for its talent management function, to better align its workforces capabilities with its organizational goals.

Furthermore, in order to evaluate its people abilities in essential business areas and determine development requirements, the organization needed to conduct a thorough employee assessment exercise and streamline the assessment process in the long run.

Shaping the talent management function

Having recently completed an innovation related project for the agency with great success, MENTOR was tasked with developing a solution to support these objectives. The proposed solution covered 3 areas, starting with the development of a full human resources management structure and systems.

The challenge faced by the agency in this area was the lack of relevant references in the surrounding region. It also needed to accommodate plans for future growth, and to develop local talent while adopting global HR best practices.

Additionally, the organization needed to ensure that its strategy was being reflected in all aspects of its talent management function. This was achieved by putting in place a competency model to provide a systematic approach and foundation for these activities.

Finally, a competency assessment for all employees was carried out through face-to-face and online formats.

HRM Systems

The project began with a focus on establishing a comprehensive framework for HR management activities - working with US-based space experts and building on best practices and specialized knowledg to achieve the following: Job structure review, preparation of 50 job descriptions, job family creation, job analysis, grading update, career path development, and development of a performance management process and reward plan.

Competency management framework

Next, our team developed a competency framework outlining behavioral, leadership and technical competencies for all internal functions. This provided an individual classification of the various abilities required to fulfill each role successfully, and included a description of each competency and the proficiency level indicators. All job positions were mapped to the relevant competencies and their corresponding level.

Employee assessment

The final phase involved a comprehensive evaluation of competencies using both face to face formats and our online competency assessment tool.

Online behavioral competency assessment: We developed questionnaire content and scoring methodologies for all job roles/ competencies. The evaluation was conducted through our online competency assessment application, which outlined individual proficiency gaps and provided appropriate training recommendations.

Online psychometric assessment: Using our online assessment tool once more, we conducted psychometric tests to assess leadership capabilities of managers and staff personality profiles.

Technical assessment interviews with managers: Working with US space experts, we ran one-to-one in-depth interviews with 10 managers/ directors, to assess technical competencies against global standards, and provided individual assessment reports outlining results.

Assessment training for managers: To help managers assess employees competencies more fairly and accurately, we ran a one-day training workshop on the assessment process, developed a customized assessment process for the organization, and provided the relevant tools and report templates.

Business Impact

MENTOR's team of HR consultants and international experts helped to quickly address the agency immediate needs for improved talent management systems, processes and tools, and to put in place a streamlined process for employee assessment. As a result, the organization was able to conduct a thorough evaluation of its workforce's capabilities measured through frameworks aligned with its goals, and to take action to develop them in order to strengthen its overall performance.


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