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April 22, 2014

6 HR Competencies That Matter Most

This information was taken from the Human Resource Competency Study,  Led by Professors Dave Ulrich and Wayne Brockbank, The RBL Group and the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan with the assistance of global research partners.

hr competencies layout

The HRCS produced a clear model for 6 competencies needed by high-performing HR professionals and departments.

Strategic Positioner

HR professionals think and act from the outside/in. They are aware of and able to translate external business trends into internal organization actions. They understand the general business conditions (e.g., social, technological, economic, political, environmental, and demographic trends) that affect their industry and geography.

They target and serve key customers of their organization by segmenting customers, knowing customer expectations, and aligning organization actions to meet customer needs.

They also co-create their organization’s strategic response to business conditions and customer expectations by helping frame and make strategic and organization choices.

HR Innovator & Integrator

Effective HR professionals integrate innovative HR practices into unified solutions to business problems. To do so, they must know latest insights on key HR practice areas related to talent sourcing, talent development, performance management, work and organization design, and leadership brand.

They must also be able to turn these unique HR practice areas into integrated solutions that match business requirements.

Change Champion

HR Professionals need to make an organization’s internal capacity for change match the external pace of change. As Change Champions, they help make change happen at institutional (changing patterns), initiative (making things happen), and individual (enabling personal change) levels. To make change happen at these three levels, HR Professionals play two critical roles in the change process.

Initiating change means that HR Professionals build a case for why change matters, overcome resistance to change, engage key stakeholders in the process of change, and articulate the decisions to start change.

By sustaining change, HR Professionals institutionalize change through the organizational resources, organization structure, communication, and continual learning.

As change champions,  partner to create organizations that are agile, flexible, responsive, and able to make transformation happen.

Technology Proponent

In recent years, technology has changed the way in which HR people think and do their work. At a basic level, HR professionals need to use technology to more efficiently deliver HR administrative systems like benefits, payroll processing, healthcare costs, and other administrative services.

In addition, HR professionals need to use technology to help people stay connected with each other. This means that technology can be used to improve communications, to do administrative work more efficiently, and to connect inside employees to outside customers.

An emerging technology trend, is using technology as a relationship building tool through social media. Leveraging social media enables the business to position itself for future growth.

HR Professionals who understand technology will create improved organizational identity outside the company and improve social relationships inside the company. As technology exponents HR Professionals have to access, advocate, analyze and align technology for information, efficiency, and relationships.

Capability Builder

An effective HR person creates an effective and strong organization. Organization is not structure or process; it is a distinct set of capabilities. Capability represents what the organization is good at and known for.

HR professionals should be able to audit and invest in the creation of organizational capabilities. These capabilities outlast the behavior or performance of any individual manager or system. Capabilities have been referred to as a company’s culture, process, or identity.

HR Professionals should make sure that line managers recognize the importance of an organization’s capabilities in sustaining an organization’s success.

HR professionals should facilitate capability audits to determine the identity of the organizations. One of the emerging capabilities of successful organizations is to create an organization where employees find meaning and purpose at work. HR professionals can help line managers create meaning so that the capability of the organization reflects the deeper values of the employees.

Credible Activist

Business leaders build personal relationships with HR professionals. Effective HR professionals are credible activist. Credibility comes with doing what they promise, build personal relationships of trust, and can be relied on. Being a trust advisor helps to have positive personal relationships.

As an activist, HR professionals have a point of view, not only about HR activities, but about business demands. As activists, HR professionals learn how to influence others in a positive way. Some have called this HR with an attitude.

People in HR who are credible but not activists are admired, but do not have much impact. Those who are activists but not credible may have good ideas, but not much attention will be given to them. To be credible activists, HR professionals need to be self aware and committed to building their profession.

For the past twenty-five years the Human Resource Competency Study (HRCS) has answered the question: What knowledge and abilities are necessary for successful HR professionals? Led by Professors Dave Ulrich and Wayne Brockbank, The RBL Group andthe Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan with the assistance of global research partners, the HRCS is the largest global study on HR competencies. Round 6 of this study will help shape the future of HR and further define the contributions that HR makes to business success. 

Check out their website for more information. 

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