Upload and manage competencies

👥 Only account administrators can upload and manage competencies.

Job competencies are demonstrable and measurable clusters of knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitudes that an employee needs to perform their work functions successfully. In 15Five, competencies are used in our Best-Self Review® and Career Hub features. This article walks through how competencies interact with reviews and Career Hub, as well as how to upload and manage competencies.

In this article, you will learn…


Competencies in 15Five

Competencies are demonstrable and measurable clusters of knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitudes that an employee needs to perform their work functions successfully. They can be used in both our Best-Self Review® and Career Hub features.

Best-Self Review®

There is an optional 'Competencies' questions section that you can include in review cycles that allows review authors to rate on how the person they're reviewing demonstrates specific company-wide or group competencies. You will be asked to create competency-specific questions during the process of creating a question template.

Competencies that are added after a review cycle has begun will not be retroactively included in that review cycle's questions. You will be able to decide whether a competency question is group-specific or for all participants when you are creating a question template. There is an entire page dedicated to reporting on competency results, under Team's and Company's results, when the review cycle comes to an end.

Career Hub

In Career Hub, competencies can be aligned with roles in Career Paths to give your employees insight into what knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitudes are necessary for successful performance. One competency can group multiple skills and key behaviors. 


Develop competencies for career paths

We recommend creating clearly defined competencies for your company, groups, and specific roles. As you add competencies, focus on the “how” instead of the “what”, as recommended in Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scales (BARS).

15Five’s competencies are comprised of two simple fields: Name & Description. Because descriptions typically change based on the employee’s role, you will likely end up needing to add the same competency multiple time. For example, if you use a competency like “debugging,” you may add the competency 6 times, indicating which role the competency belongs to, like this:

  1. Competency name: Debugging (Associate Engineer)
    Description: Understands the basics of debugging and the tools used for it.
  2. Competency name: Debugging (Engineer)
    Description: Uses a systematic approach to debug issues located within a single service.
  3. Competency name: Debugging (Senior Engineer)
    Description: Proficient at using systematic debugging to diagnose all issues located to a single service. Uses Systematic debugging across services.
  4. Competency name: Debugging (Staff Engineer)
    Description: Proficient at using systematic debugging to diagnose all issues in their domain.
  5. Competency name: Debugging (Senior Staff Engineer)
    Description: Proficient at using systematic debugging to diagnose all issues within a set of related domains.
  6. Competency name: Debugging (Principal Engineer)
    Description: Leads incident response across the engineering organization. Uses systematic debugging to diagnose issues.

Check out these additional resources for information and best practices for developing competencies for your organization:


Add or edit a competency one-off

Add a competency one-off

  1. Click on the Settings gear in the top right-hand corner of your 15Five account.
    Open_Settings.png
  2. Select ‘Features’ from the dropdown menu.
    Features.png
  3. Click into the 'Competencies and Paths' section.
    CompetenciesAndPathsSettings.png
  4. Click on the Add a competency button and fill out the "Competency details" form that appears on the right-hand side of the page.
    Screenshot_2023-04-16_at_10.50.02_PM.png
    Competencies can either be company-wide OR assigned to group(s), not both.
    • If the competency applies to the entire company, check the box next to "Make this a company-wide competency".
    • If the competency applies to specific subsets of the org, but aren’t role-specific (e.g. if you have a competency that only applies to senior leadership, or that only apply to new hires), you should specify the groups that those competencies apply to when importing those competencies.
  5. When you're done, click Save. The competency will automatically appear in alphabetical order in the 'Competencies' tab.

Edit a competency one-off

Once competencies are uploaded you can edit them one-off in the 'Competencies' tab.

  1. Click on the Settings gear in the top right-hand corner of your 15Five account.
    Open_Settings.png
  2. Select ‘Features’ from the dropdown menu.
    Features.png
  3. Click on 'Competencies and Paths'.
    CompetenciesAndPathsSettings.png
  4. You'll land in the 'Competencies' tab, which contains a full, editable list of all competencies.
    • Edit a competency or description by clicking '...' to the right of that competency and selecting 'View & edit' from the dropdown menu.
      Competency-Dropdown-Menu.png
    • Delete an existing competency and description by clicking '...' to the right of that competency and selecting 'Delete' from the dropdown menu.
      If you try to delete a competency that is currently in-use, you will see a pop-up that says, “Are you sure you want to delete this competency? This action cannot be undone.” To continue, click the Yes, delete competency button.
      Yes-Delete-Competency.png

Upload or update competencies in bulk via CSV import

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Note

New competencies added via import will add to existing competencies, not replace them. You can use an import to update existing competencies already in 15Five, as well as add new ones, but competencies will not be deleted/replaced if they aren't included in the import file.

  1. Click on the Settings gear in the top right-hand corner of your 15Five account.
    Open_Settings.png
  2. Select ‘Features’ from the dropdown menu.
    Features.png
  3. Click into the 'Competencies and Paths' section.
    CompetenciesAndPathsSettings.png
  4. Click into the 'Import' tab at the top of the page.
    Competencies-Import-Tab.png
  5. In this tab you will see three sections: 1) Competencies upload, 2) Paths and Skills upload, and 3) Import history. Scroll to the 'Competencies' section. If you don’t already have a template prepared, click Download Competencies CSV Template to download a fillable CSV.
    DownloadCompetenciesCSVTemplate.png
  6. Create your CSV. The CSV template you downloaded contains four columns: Competency, Competency description (optional), Company wide, and Groups.
    If a competency is relevant for everyone in your organization, type TRUE in the Company wide column. If the competency only applies to specific subsets of the org (i.e. competencies that only apply to senior leadership, or competencies that only apply to new hires), type FALSE in the Company wide column and specify the group(s) the competency applies to in the Groups column.
    Fill out the CSV and save it as a UTF-8 file. The character limit for competencies is 75 characters.
  7. Once your CSV is prepared for upload, click the Upload competencies button.UploadCompetencies.png
  8. You’ll be led to a page that outlines what should be included in the CSV you just created. From here, click Continue to upload.
    ContinueToUpload.png
  9. Upload the CSV you created by clicking Create new import and selecting the file from your computer.
    CreateNewImport.png
  10. Once your CSV is uploaded successfully, you will see a confirmation page that lists the number of items you uploaded. Review your changes, then click Publish to complete your upload.Publish.png
  11. You’ll be directed to a page that says “Congrats! Your competencies have been published”. Click either Start new upload to upload another CSV, or Done to return to the 'Import' tab.StartNewUpload_Done.png

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