KSAO or Knowledge, Abilities, Skills, and Other Characteristics

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 21 May 2016

KSAO or Knowledge, Abilities, Skills, and Other Characteristics

What does KSAO stand for with respect to training? Give one example for each letter in your explanation for the job of Professor of Human Resource Management. (Points : 35) KSAO or Knowledge, Abilities, Skills, and Other Characteristics (KSAO) tests are metrics used either during training or hiring processes to evaluate applicants and trainees. The KSAO will typically measure several areas of competency and will use a weighted metric for analysis. The following examples are what one might see in the explanation of the job of Professor of Human Resource Management. Knowledge- A degree of a PhD or higher in Human Resource Management would be a requirement in this area. Knowledge in a KSAO is typically measured in degrees of higher education and experience in the field in question. Skills- Typically, skills are measured by performance of competency tests. For instance, a Professor would need leadership skills and test could be devised that would test the leadership of the candidate.

There are a variety of skills that may need to be tested for this position and each type of training would need to be customized for the competency in question, e.g., leadership, organization, management, etc… Abilities- This area of the KSAO is typically measured by performance and the measure of one’s ability. The measure of competency will be based on answers derived from a position analysis questionnaire and or a management position description questionnaire (MPDQ). The position analysis questionnaire (PAQ) is organized into six areas of competency based on the job analysis formula for management positions in human resources:

(1) information input
(2) mental processes
(3) work output (physical activities and tools)
(4) relationships with others
(5) job context (the physical and social environment)
(6) other job characteristics (such as pace and structure) (PAQ, 2013) Using these metrics provide a clear view of the person’s abilities as required by the field of Professor of Human Resource Management. The concern with using KSAO in this manner is that competency modeling must be focused on the means of accomplishing tasks and duties rather than on what is accomplished or specific ways in which tasks or duties are accomplished (Bernardin, 2007). For this reason there must be a high level of consensus concerning the definition of competencies for the Professor of Human Resource Management. This can be a problematic area for measuring competencies because there is a great deal of crossover between the competencies necessary to perform a job and the particular traits or characteristics of the applicant (Bernardin, 2007). For this reason, KSAO must remain focused on the occupation.


Bernardin, H.J. Human Resource Management, Fourth Edition, McGraw Hill, 2007 PAQ. (2013). job analysis questionnaire. Retrieved from http://www.paq.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=Bulletins.Job-Analysis-Questionnaire 2. (TCOs 2, 8).

Explain the basic steps to conducting a person analysis and how a person analysis is used in a needs assessment. Do a very basic person analysis on either yourself or on your professor, based on the job you or he or she is currently employed in (and your common knowledge). (Points : 40) The process for a person analysis involves examining the factors that influence performance and learning. These factors are inclusive of the person’s characteristics: knowledge, skill, ability, and attitudes. These characteristics are typically measured through KSAO or Knowledge, Abilities, Skills, and Other Characteristics tests. These tests measure the basic skills that a person needs to perform their occupation. The KSAO works cohesively with the needs assessment. The basic steps involved in a person analysis include Input- the information or instructions that relate what employees need to know in order to perform their jobs. This area also includes the resources available to employees that help them perform their jobs. For example, my job with the government requires that I understand customer service policies which are outlined clearly in my service handbook.

However, I often lack the ability to answer enough customer service questions due to the lack of information provided for answering certain questions. Output- this area refers to the job’s performance standards. At my job, we are expected to answer questions for customers and not to place them on hold for extended periods of time. All calls are measured by the standard of hold times which is expected to be less than 45 seconds. However, this metric is often failed by employees due to lack of information provided to service operators. Consequences- This area refers to the types of incentives that employees receive for performing well and also what they will not receive. For instance, at my job when callers are placed on hold for longer than 45 seconds, this action diminishes the ability of workers to receive bonuses at the end of the year. Feedback- This area refers to the ongoing information that employees receive in the performance of their jobs. At my job, we receive feedback, letting us know that we exceeded the standards for call wait times or if we have not met this standard. Feedback also goes back to the management in that they become aware of the situations. Through the steps in this analysis a need assessment can be constructed.

In my situation, since I am not lacking in specific skills tested in the KSAO then I am in need of other tools to perform my job more efficiently. In this instance, there is a need for a greater access to information in order to meet the standards of the job. 3. (TCOs 3, 8). First, provide the meaning of the acronym SMART with respect to training goals. Then, consider these four training objectives. Rewrite them as two SMART training goals. a) The use of the software and documentation for better management tools to utilize with the system. b) The trainee will be able to explain the flow of data to other systems and begin to understand the administrative time spent on corrections. c) A better understanding by the trainees of the deadlines and the expectations involved in those deadlines. d) The trainee will learn some effective time management shortcuts and will understand the guidelines in using those shortcuts. (Points : 40) Using SMART (Specific, Measurable, Agreed to, Realistic and Time phased) as the basis for training goals, a training program is designed to create training outcomes in which the goals are specific or focused (not too broad), measurable (comparable with standards set), agreed to (all members of the organization including the trainee recognize the importance of the training), realistic (the standards for measuring training are achievable), and time phased (training has a beginning and end which provides that the trainee has accomplished the training.)

The SMART method can be seen in the following examples: A) The use of the software and documentation for better management tools to utilize with the system. SMART (specific): Trainees need to learn to use the computer software in order to provide more accurate information for decision making. SMART (time phased) The training for this computer learning will begin in April and end in June. b) The trainee will be able to explain the flow of data to other systems and begin to understand the administrative time spent on corrections. SMART (Measurable) trainees will complete a skills assessment at the end of the training which will reflect their ability to explain the flow of data to other systems. SMART (Realistic) The process of implementation will be ongoing even after training is completed this will help develop the understanding of the administrative time spent on corrections c) A better understanding by the trainees of the deadlines and the expectations involved in those deadlines. SMART (Measurable) Trainees will need to take an assessment that shows they have developed and understanding of the deadline process.

(Agreed to) This test will also measure the trainees understanding of the importance of meeting deadlines through this process. d) The trainee will learn some effective time management shortcuts and will understand the guidelines in using those shortcuts. SMART (Specific) Trainees will need to learn effective time management skills and the 12 shortcuts and guidelines for using those shortcuts. SMART (Measurable) Each trainee will be tested at the end of their training and will need to show that they can utilize these shortcuts within the guidelines stated. 4. (TCO 4, 5, 6) You are a training manager for a midsized corporation. You are working on a training proposal for your HR director when you get a call from the manager of the accounting department. He states that he needs training done for his team, which will assist it in learning the newest version of the Peachtree accounting software. He mentions that his boss, the CFO, told him to put together a proposal for training that included a way to measure transfer of training. He is panicked and says, “First of all, I don’t know what transfer of training is, and second, how can I measure it?”

What will you tell him? (Points : 40) I would explain to the manager that Transfer of training is a concept which is defined as the use of knowledge or abilities that were acquired in one area being useful in other areas of problem solving or occupation. For instance, trainees who are learning the new software from Peachtree will also be able to learn other aspects of accounting during this process. These skills are directly transferrable to other occupations within the accounting department. In order to measure transfer of training, job descriptions will need to be assessed for overlaps in skills and knowledge requirements. For instance, some working in payroll will undoubtedly need to understand tax requirements which are transferrable to jobs working in tax areas. Once the overlaps are found training can be assessed to see how much knowledge is transferrable between jobs. This information can be used to strategically design training programs that maximize time and cost. 5. (TCO 7) Explain one similarity and one difference between training and performance management and between training and succession planning.

Does training have a part of either performance management or succession planning? If so, give one example each. If not, explain why not. (Points : 40) Succession planning, performance management, and training are all similarly related in that they are proactive in their efforts to create a pool of highly qualified and talented personnel. Training attempts to increase the ability of personnel while performance management governs what is needed from training in order to bolster the ability of personnel to perform their jobs, e.g., compensation, knowledge, resources, etc… Succession planning uses performance management and training assessments in order to determine which employees will be the best fit for taking over management positions. However, there is a difference between these management systems in that they are focused on accomplishing independent goals.

Training seeks to make employees better at their jobs while performance management measures their ability to assess where changes might be needed. Succession planning is goal oriented in finding the best candidates for future positions but not in the process of training or measuring them in their current positions. For example: training a customer service representative is focused on making the representative the best that he or she can be in that position. The performance of the customer service representative is measure through metrics to determine if the individual is performing adequately and if not what areas are deficient. This metric can be used to make a needs assessment and determine what the person needs to perform better, i.e., more training. The succession planning will use data from training metrics and from performance management in order to determine if the person is the right candidate for a customer supervisor position.


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  • University/College: University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 21 May 2016

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