SHRM Ranks Leadership Qualities for Human Resource Professionals

Feb 19, 2009
SHRM Ranks Leadership Qualities for Human Resource Professionals

New Study Identifies Eight Business Skills Senior HR Leaders Need to Succeed

Alexandria, Va. - The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) today released new research that ranks business knowledge as the most important business skill senior HR leaders need to succeed.SHRM also found that global intelligence and technological savvy are two emerging competencies senior HR leaders will need to master within the next five years.

“Successful senior HR leaders consistently show executives in the C-suite that they understand the broad operations and processes driving business,” said SHRM President and CEO Laurence G. O’Neil. “Equally important is the ability to explain the role of human capital issues and solutions in the context of broader business operations linking finance, operations, and marketing.”

The latest SHRM report, “Leading Now, Leading the Future: What Senior HR Leaders Need to Know,” identifies the following eight leadership skills essential for HR business leaders:

  1. Knowledge of business, HR and organizational operations;
  2. Strategic thinking and critical/analytical thinking;
  3. Leading change;
  4. Effective communication;
  5. Credibility;
  6. Results orientation/drive for performance;
  7. Ethical behavior; and
  8. Persuasiveness/influencing others.

For senior HR professionals employed in global organizations, SHRM found that they need to possess both a global mindset and the ability to be flexible in order to adapt to changing global business needs.

Ethical behavior also was an important leadership quality for the human resource profession, which HR leaders can demonstrate through their actions, decisions, and leadership within their organizations. This mirrors findings from a previous SHRM survey on ethics where 76 percent of HR professionals reported that they felt well prepared to very well prepared to handle situations with the potential to result in violations to the organization’s ethics policies or even a violation in the law.

To download the new research, or to view past SHRM surveys and reports, visit​
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About the Society for Human Resource Management
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 individual members, the Society’s mission is both to serve human resource management professionals and to advance the profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM currently has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and members in more than 140 countries, including offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at​.

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