My husband has an English degree and my sister is a journalist so I am constantly reminded to use more precise language.
Keeping that in mind and with great respect to all the talented HR researchers and practitioners out there, I must confess that I don’t like the word competencies. It has bothered me from the earliest days I heard it used, starting in the 90s.
To me, competencies suggests competent, adequate or possessing just enough to get by.
The term I prefer is qualities. To me this suggests quality. No explanation needed.