Case Studies

Core and Functional Competency Models for One of the Largest Banks in Hong Kong

This is a locally incorporated licensed bank with a leading position in Hong Kong in terms of assets and customer deposits. It offers a comprehensive range of financial products and services to retail and corporate customers in Hong Kong as well as cross-border banking needs of its customers.


The Project aimed at defining and articulating the core and functional competencies of staff of all levels across different departments in order to support and communicate the Bank’s strategic direction, values and the need for change. The models scaled according to the internal grading structure would be applied to different HR processes including staff recruitment, promotion, performance management, staff training and development, etc.

In a nutshell, the models, which specify the necessary attributes, knowledge and skills simply to deliver a job and the level that competent performers should demonstrate, were built to facilitate the development of a fully-integrated competency-based human resources management system.


Leadingenes kicked off the project with a thorough research on the Bank’s mission, vision and business challenges based on which the human resources strategies were developed. Then Leadingenes conducted structured interviews with selected individual staff and focus groups as well as went through the job descriptions and organization charts to identify and validate job requirements. On completion, Leadingenes provided a skills-transfer program entailing briefing sessions and operating manuals to ensure that the HR team had a good understanding about the development and application of the competency models.


The project was finished on time to the client’s full satisfaction. The core competency model and functional competency models were practically used for staff selection, performance management system and training curriculum development. They were found to be effective tools that let staff know about the Bank’s expectation of them so that they could live up to those standards.

Following the competency models, a series of training sessions was provided to explain their application to different HR facets, and to make sure that this intervention had taken root in the Bank.

Our service to this bank was subsequently extended to their USA operation where a performance management workshop was provided.