Weekend Poll Results: Competencies for Career Success in 2017

With thanks to all who participated, here are the results of my latest weekend poll. Our focus: What competencies are critical to success as an admin. professional in 2017?

Communication, Adaptability & Organisation Topped the List 

We began by looking at competencies identified by some organisations, and then I asked readers a small number of questions focusing on the primary and then secondary competencies required for success as an admin. professional in 2017.

I came at this question two ways – first, I asked readers to identify the top four requisite competencies as an open-ended question. Later in the Poll, I gave readers a list from which to select the top six … and communication, adaptability and organisation/organisational came in the top three, in that sequence, in both instances.

… Followed by Accountability, Interpersonal & Occupational Knowledge/Tech Focus

These also rated high, as did information/records management and resilience … but that last one will come as no surprise!


But do your job descriptions identify competencies required in the role?

Only 23% of respondents were able to reply with a definitive “yes”. 8% of you said you thought you’d check on this, and 54% of respondents said competencies are not identified as part of the job description. Read on for the details, and consider discussing competencies with your executive.



Note: Information below reflects the percentage of respondents who selected specific responses from multiple choice options. In instances where more than one person offered similar responses to open ended questions, I clustered responses and did not duplicate all of them.

I asked readers to draw on the competencies identified in my article (and add any they wished) to list the TOP FOUR competencies required for success in the role. Here are the terms people chose.

  • Communication (including written communications)
  • Adaptability
  • Organisation/organisational
  • Occupational knowledge/tech focus
  • Resilience
  • Accountability
  • EI (emotional intelligence)/intepersonal
  • Customer/quality focus/service delivery/service-minded
  • Problem solving
  • Flexible
  • Interpersonal
  • Trust / integrity
  • Self-awareness


Also drawing on the sample competencies discussed above, list up to three SECOND TIER competencies required for success in your role .

  • Planning and organisation
  • Communication
  • Problem solving
  • Adaptability
  • Leadership
  • Customer/quality focus
  • Interpersonal
  • Project management
  • Financial knowledge
  • Sector knowledge
  • Records management/administration
  • Occupational knowledge
  • Each of the following was mentioned once: Team player … Proactive … Respect for self and others … HR … Ability to say no … Ability to learn


Do you think your executive would agree with your assessment/prioritisation of competencies?

  • Yes:  73% of respondents
  • I’m not sure; I’ll raise this discussion: 18% of respondents
  • No:  9% of respondents


Does your job description contain a list of competencies?

  • Yes:   23of respondents
  • No:  54of respondents
  • I’m not sure; I think I’ll check: 8% of respondents
  • 15% of respondents selected “Other”. Readers commented as follows.
    • “There is no job description for my role.”
    • “But we always recruit people based on competence-based interview methodology”


Do the competencies you’ve identified in this Weekend Poll align with those on your job description?

  • Yes; the job description and my perspectives/experience in the job align: 36of respondents
  • No; the job description and my perspectives/experience in the job do not align:  27of respondents
  • 36% of respondents selected “Other”. The following comments are representative of readers’ comments.
    • Mostly align! The others are as I’ve done the job.
    • There is no job description for my role.
    • Based on the competencies sought in the recruitment profile, they align


Review the following list and select the SIX competencies you consider most critical to success in your role.

  • Communication: 17%
  • Adaptability 15%
  • Organisational: 12%
  • Interpersonal: 9%
  • Accountability: 8%
  • Information/records management: 8%
  • Occupational knowledge: 8%
  • Customer/quality focus: 5%
  • Inclusiveness: 5%
  • Technology orientation: 5%
  • Leadership: 2.5%
  • Inclusiveness: 2.5%
  • Financial/budget administration: 1.5%
  • 1.5% of respondents selected “Other”. One person wrote, “Problem solving skills”.



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