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Are skills and competencies the same thing?

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The short answer is… No, they are not the same, although the difference is subtle and this is what tends to confuse the two concepts. Knowing these definitions and their implications is key in any company’s recruiting process. So let’s start with the concepts:

Ability is the capacity of an individual to perform a specific task or function correctly and even with a certain degree of ease. In short, it is the ability to perform something.

A person’s competences are those traits and characteristics that enable them to perform optimally in their function or a specific task.

I know, these concepts are very similar so let me illustrate them better with an example. Let’s say you are looking for a designer in Illustrator for the position, both the skilled person and the competent person in this program will have the ability to perform the tasks assigned to them, but if in addition to performing the task this person performs it looking for the best performance, understanding its importance and trying to improve it, that is competence.

All persons competent in a function are skilled in that function, but not all skilled persons are competent in that function.

To identify the skills and competencies of different talents, it is best to use selection tests such as those offered by Evalart in the recruitment process, and even it is recommended to continue with talent management once incorporated into the workforce and thus be able to monitor and measure their performance over time, the Performance Evaluation Tests can help you in this process. In this way, you can keep an analysis between the potential of a candidate vs. their actual performance once hired.

We all distinguish ourselves by having some kind of innate inclination or skill, to a greater or lesser extent, developed or not. But we are all different and so are our capabilities. That is why each talent is developed in a diversified number of jobs and vocations, and it is precisely the task of a good recruiter to identify these capabilities, skills, and competencies in each talent to develop them to the maximum within the institution.