Graduate competency acquisition : a study of a Durban based multinational.
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The popularity and application of competencies to human resource processes has grown over the last 20 years since Richard Boyatzis fIrst described a competency in his book 'The Competent Manager' in 1982. With this dissertation a study of the origins of the competency movement, its various applications and in particular, its application to human resource processes in the area of graduate recruitment, selection and development, is undertaken. A study of the application of an existing competency framework to the graduate recruitment process in a local subsidiary of a Durban-based multi-national was undertaken. The objective of the study was to investigate whether specifIc competency clusters, as defIned in the competency framework, were better at predicting early career success than were others. The study used the cumulative appraisal increases of fIfty-four graduate recruits over a twenty-one month period, together with the competency scores that were awarded the graduate during their actual recruitment and selection for employment. Using a backward elimination multiple regression technique the merit ratings were included with scores for each of the four competency clusters in the equation. Results suggest that higher scores on two of the four competency clusters 'Determines Direction' (DD) and 'Delivers through People' (P) are better predictors of early career success. It was concluded that while certain competency clusters seem better indicators of early career success than others, factors such as interviewer skill in identifying competency evidence, interviewer bias and appropriateness of ii competencies to graduate recruitment, may account for the weak relationship between the indicator variables in the study.