The Profession Map sets the international benchmark for the people profession and describes the knowledge and behaviours needed to make an impact in the changing world of work. You can use the Profession Map to inform the selection and assessment of people professionals, and build a team that creates value for the organisation.  

This step-by-step guide will support you in using the Profession Map to select, assess and interview individuals for both generalist and specialist people roles.  

The Selection methods factsheet gives more information on selection and assessment methods as part of a recruitment process.

How to use the Profession Map to select, assess and interview people professionals

Step 1 

Map the role to one of the four levels 

Within the Profession Map, the standards sit at four levels, each describing a different level of impact people professionals make in the work they do. The Find your level section provides a summary and a more detailed description of the levels. Identify which level best maps to the role you’re recruiting for using the job description.

  • Foundation level: Tactical, day-to-day work, delivering immediate and short-term outcomes.
  • Associate level: Operational work, influencing colleagues and customers to deliver short-term value.
  • Chartered Member level: Thinking at a strategic level, delivering work that has complexity, and working with and influencing a range of stakeholders to create medium-term value for the organisation.
  • Chartered Fellow level: Thinking and working at a strategic level, influencing stakeholders across the profession to create long-term organisation value. 

Step 2 

Decide whether the role requires specialist knowledge

As well as the core behaviour and knowledge standards that apply to all people roles, there are nine people specialisms which define the expert knowledge you need in each of these areas.  

If you’re recruiting for a role that requires specialist expertise, you should use the relevant specialist standards. Although a role may encompass more than one specialism, we’d suggest using two specialisms as a limit.  

Step 3 

Identify the key standards for the role 

Based on the role mapping produced in steps 1 and 2, evaluate the current level of knowledge against the core knowledge standards (and specialist standards if relevant), and the current approach and confidence against the core behaviour standards for each role, at the appropriate level.  

Read the core knowledge, core behaviour and any specialist standards at the level identified in step 1. Identify any key knowledge and behaviour standards which relate to the job description. To help you identify which standards are key for this role, you may want to consider the following questions: 

  • Which standards are vital to the work, team or organisation now and in the foreseeable future? 
  • Which standards are most valued in this role by stakeholders, and how might this change in  the future? 
  • Which knowledge areas provide gaps for the wider team to fill and, if filled, would enable the team/ function to have greater impact and add more value in the future? 

Step 4 

Use the standards to inform the selection and assessment approach 

You can use the standards across the selection process, including: 

  • developing shortlisting criteria 
  • assessment criteria for exercises, such as role plays or presentations 
  • developing interview questions.   

We suggest that you keep the criteria or questions as close to the standards as possible. 

For example, if the role is aligned to the Associate level, this is how you might take some standards and turn them into shortlisting or assessment criteria: 

How data and analytics can be used and communicated to resolve people issues (from the core knowledge area: Evidence-based practice) becomes Knowledge of how to use a range of evidence to resolve people issues.  

Demonstrate a proactive approach to developing your professional knowledge, skills and experience (from the behaviour: Passion for learning) becomes Evidence of a proactive approach to developing professional knowledge, skills and experience. 

In another example, if the role is aligned to Chartered Fellow level, this is how you might take some standards and turn them into interview questions: 

External and internal factors that shape short and long-term business performance (from the core knowledge area: Business acumen) becomes What external and internal factors influence short and long-term performance in your current organisation?  

Build capability to develop new ideas and move organisational thinking forward (from the behaviour: Insights focused) becomes Can you give us an example of when you have built capability to move organisational thinking forward?  

Feedback from the selection and assessments can be used to inform the individual’s future professional development.

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