What Are The 9 HR Competencies Globally?


HR professionals are exceptional at what they do for a living; what makes them so exceptional? It took years for the RBL Group’s research team to find an answer to that question. For nearly 30 years, the Human Resource Competency Study has empirically defined HR professionals’ competencies and how those competencies drive performance. The Seventh Round of HRCS research focused on two questions: how do HR professionals provide value, and how do HR departments provide value. RBL surveyed over 4,000 HR professionals from more than 1,500 organization’s worldwide, rating their competencies and performance. In comparison to previous rounds, this round included a diverse set of companies, industries, and geographies.

The HRCS assesses the effectiveness of the HR function as a whole. HRCS is unique in that it investigates how other stakeholders, such as supervisors, HR associates, and non- HR associates, perceive HR competencies. “It is not just what individuals do that impacts business,” says Mike Ulrich, co-director of the study. “It is how the organization operates.” HR professionals play a critical role in developing the infrastructure as organizations evolve in uncertain times. They will need nine competencies to succeed.

How to be a Successful HR Business Leader: A Closer Look at the Critical Competencies:

Navigating and leading:

Effective leadership is associated with a variety of positive outcomes2, including increased employee satisfaction and organizational commitment, lower turnover, and higher employee performance. HR professionals play an important role in leading organizational initiatives and gaining stakeholder approval, and Leadership and Navigation recognizes this.

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Practices that are ethical:

HR professionals are often in charge of reinforcing the ethical climate and developing ethical HR systems in many organizations. Organizations can benefit from these efforts for a variety of reasons, the most important of which is that establishing a strong ethical climate can be critical to preventing negative employee behavior. Organizations must implement ethical human resource systems because they are associated with higher levels of performance. Ethical Practice will remain a critical competency area for HR.

A sense of business acumen:

HR business leaders’ business acumen must be developed. A thorough understanding of business operations and functions, as well as a thorough understanding of the role that human resource management (HRM) practices play in core business functions, is required, as is an understanding of the company’s external environment. External and internal factors can both affect a company’s performance (for example, the competitive environment outside and personnel resources inside). The HR business leader must persuade other business professionals to adopt HRM, which includes marketing HR within the organization and demonstrating how HR affects firm performance.

Management of relationships:

HR business leaders’ success is heavily reliant on their ability to maintain productive interpersonal relationships and assist others in doing the same, or to demonstrate competency in relationship management. Human resource professionals commonly interact with clients and stakeholders. In studies, healthy interpersonal relationships in the workplace have been linked to positive outcomes.

Providing consultations,

HR professionals are frequently called upon to serve as internal consultants and experts on human capital issues within their own organizations. In this role, within the Consultation competency, human resources professionals can assist business units in addressing human capital challenges such as staffing issues, training and development issues, employee performance issues, and employee relations issues. As a human capital expert, you must not only have the necessary skills in HRM practices, but you must also be able to effectively guide internal stakeholders.

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Human resource professionals with HR expertise benefit end users (e.g., hiring managers). HR professionals must analyses business challenges and develop creative solutions based on best practices and research that take into account the organization’s unique internal and external environments. HR can improve the effectiveness and usefulness of human capital programs by tracking their success with appropriate data. One of these sources is data on human capital metrics. Human capital metrics, in addition to adding value to HR ‘s role in organizations, are viewed as more trustworthy strategic partners by HR functions that collect and properly use HR metrics for HR activity. Among the many examples of this trend is “big data” and its increasing use by human resource departments.

Effectiveness across cultures and geographies,

It is becoming increasingly important for HR leaders to be able to interact effectively and respectfully with colleagues, customers and clients from diverse backgrounds and cultures as organizations attempt to increase diversity in their workforces. Diversity-related initiatives are often developed, delivered, and evaluated by HR professionals. The use of inclusive hiring practices is also required by various laws and regulations. Often, HR professionals are primarily responsible for complying with these laws and regulations because they are central to the hiring process. Global and Cultural Effectiveness is an essential competency for HR professionals, as they promote and maintain a diverse workforce. 

Processes of communication:

A well-communicated HR policy or practice helps employees understand its purpose and value. When managers effectively communicate HR practices and policies to their employees, employees perceive the organization’s HRM as more effective, resulting in improved employee satisfaction and business unit performance. Through their expertise in communication, HR professionals can ensure that the messages they deliver are clear, concise and easily understood for each career level.

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Expertise in human resources:

Organizational success is directly impacted by HR professionals’ ability to develop, maintain, and implement sound HRM policies, practices, and procedures that support the mission and goals of their organizations. In addition to reducing turnover, improving productivity and financial performance, and maintaining competitive advantage, effective HRM practices can have many other benefits for organizations. A well-developed knowledge base is essential for HR professionals to implement successful initiatives. The HR Expertise competency reflects this knowledge. 

The evolution of human resources:

To help their organizations be competitive, HR professionals must develop each of the nine SHRM competencies. To contribute to HR professionals’ business success, it is important that they understand their company’s financial results, understand the numbers, and, more importantly, understand how their decisions and actions affect the bottom line. An HR professional who is competent and proficient understands how their behavior affects an organization’s value-creation activities and how that affects its gross margin. Rather than being seen as “ HR,” these individuals are viewed as fellow business leaders.

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