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Purpose: The authors set two main goals to analyze the significance level and difficulty of obtaining particular types of employee competencies and, on this basis, to build a two-dimensional perception map. In addition to conduct a segmentation and analysis of the surveyed entities according to their demand profile for critical competencies, characterised by high significance and difficulty of obtaining. Design/Methodology/Approach: The research was conducted among 381 managers of companies operating in Eastern Poland. The evaluation concerned employees’ competencies in terms of their significance and the difficulty of obtaining on the market. The obtained results were used by the authors to develop a perception map and to identify critical competencies, subsequently used as enterprise segmentation criteria. Finally, the enterprise clusters obtained in the segmentation process were analysed according to a number of differentiating variables. Findings: As a result of the research, a perception map describing employees’ competencies enabling the designation of 4 groups called by the authors, ‘inconvenient’, ‘secondary’, ‘must have’ and ‘critical’. The group of critical competencies includes 3 constructs, each from among personal and professional competencies. Furthermore, the segmentation analysis has shown that the most optimal way to divide the surveyed entities into 3 segments differ from each other in the surveyed issues. Practical Implications: The competence perception map presented in this article allows for a precise determination of the significance level with simultaneous market supply in comparative terms. This approach allows for better, more market-efficient management of both the directions and education processes in the region as well as the budgetary resources allocation in the training area and qualification improvement. Originality/value: The development of a significance and difficulties perception map in acquiring employee qualifications on the market should be treated as an original and authorial concept. However, the authors' use of the issue of supply and demand for employees’ qualifications in the process of market segmentation is an innovative approach that has not been seen in the literature so far. Moreover, the results developed significantly expand the available knowledge on the regional labour market.