Our New Digital Competency Model and Assessment Package

June 29, 2018 Richard Justenhoven
digital competencies

Introducing the Aon model of Digital Competencies

There’s plenty of discussion in the business press about the need to look at the ‘digital readiness’ of employees and job applicants. These ‘digital competencies’ will help create a digitally-capable culture. Digital readiness is the attitude and ability that enables employees to embrace technology, collaborate with others and work effectively in a modern, digital environment and is one of the European Union’s key competencies for lifelong learning.

Our research reveals that there are 11 specific digital competencies which are important in today’s workplaces. Our new, refined model includes the distinctive behaviours and attitudes which are associated with each competency that are essential for success.

These 11 digital competencies include three core competencies:

  • learnability;
  • agility;
  • curiosity.

And are supported by eight other competencies:

  • drive to succeed;
  • handling data;
  • strategic solutioning;
  • business acumen;
  • virtual collaboration;
  • digital communication;
  • mental endurance;
  • a coaching mindset.

We believe that some people wrongly assume that digital readiness means being proficient with technology. But it’s not about whether you can use Microsoft Excel or mobile devices.

Fundamentally, the way that people interact in the workplace has changed. Employees are increasingly expected to connect with others and collaborate in different settings, liaising with different stakeholders, and this has driven the demand for digital readiness. However, some organisations don’t realise the scale of the challenge they face in implementing this change.

Digital readiness is a vital success factor and a strategic priority for every organisation. It involves communicating, performing tasks, managing information, creating content, sharing knowledge and working with others in a digital context. And the necessary digital competencies and requirements cannot be easily measured by conventional assessment processes.

What this means in practice for assessment

Whilst it’s a step forward to recognise the need for specific digital competencies, how can you identify and assess these in employees and candidates? What is needed are to design or adapt specific assessments – and this is the action we took.

We’ve adapted our personality questionnaire and our cognitive ‘executive attention’ ability test. Now these two assessments can automatically generate a feedback report to highlight each candidate’s proficiency in each competency, as well as their overall strengths and their areas for improvement. Our new competency model and assessment package can help to instigate a new way of working by recruiting digitally-savvy employees who will thrive in a 21st century workplace.

About the Author

Richard Justenhoven

Richard Justenhoven is the product development director within Aon's Assessment Solutions. A leading organizational psychologist, Richard is an acknowledged expert in the design, implementation and evaluation of online assessments and a sought after speaker about such topics.

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