Author Spotlight: Kari Strobel

9 Critical Competencies for HR Professionals

By Chris Anzalone Jun 26, 2015
Kari Strobel

Kari Strobel, Ph.D., director of HR competencies at the Society for Human Resource Management, is co-author of Defining HR Success: 9 Critical Competencies for HR Professionals (SHRM, 2015).

SHRM Conference Today interviewed Kari Strobel, Ph.D., director of HR competencies at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), about Defining HR Success: 9 Critical Competencies for HR Professionals (SHRM, 2015), a book she co-authored with her  colleagues James Kurtessis, Debra Cohen and Alexander Alonso. It is an exceptional professional and career development resource for all HR professionals regardless of their level of experience or the size of their organization.

SHRM CT: What are the two or three most important things you want readers to get out of the book?

My co-authors and I wanted to give readers more information about the competencies within the SHRM Competency Model over and above what they can find in the model itself and in other SHRM competency-related material. We wanted to provide readers with a deeper dive into what the competencies are, why they’re important, how they were developed and validated, how they relate to one another, and how the SHRM Competency Model can be used as a professional development tool.

SHRM CT: Is Defining HR Success just for midlevel HR professionals?

The book is for HR practitioners at any career level. Whether it’s the recent graduate with a degree in HR (or related field) or the executive who has a need to develop and strengthen his or her HR function, Defining HR Success uses as its foundation the SHRM Competency Model, which highlights behaviors and proficiency standards that all HR professionals, at all career levels, need to succeed. We also encourage professionals outside the field of HR (for example, those in finance, operations and marketing) to use the book to learn more about what’s expected from their company’s HR team.

SHRM CT: How did SHRM determine the competencies?

The competencies were developed through rigorous scientific standards, using industrial and organizational psychology guidelines developed by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (Division 14 of the American Psychological Association.) Following these guidelines, we conducted a competency work analysis to develop each of the competencies that included 111 focus groups and over 32,000 survey respondents, covering 29 cities and representing 33 nations.

SHRM CT: What are your favorite competencies and why?

In my opinion, and given my training and experience, I’m a big fan of the Critical Evaluation and Business Acumen competencies. Conducting research, collecting and analyzing data, and using the results from my analyses to support critical business functions keeps me motivated and challenged as an HR professional.

SHRM CT: How can the book help HR managers?

It’s a great tool to help managers learn more about the SHRM Competency Model and how it applies to their HR employees. It shows how they can use the model—and support competency-related products and services—to identify their team’s strengths and weaknesses, to build targeted independent development plans, to create strategic succession plans, and to help prepare for the SHRM certification exam. There are great tips for HR managers throughout the book to help build your team’s proficiency on any of the competencies.

SHRM CT: How will the book help prepare HR professionals to take the SHRM certification exam?

Defining HR Success provides an overview of the SHRM Competency Model and the relationships between the competencies and individual and business outcomes. Understanding the model in greater detail and knowing about the relationships between competencies provides insight into how to perform the competencies—“competencies in action”—and their effects on multiple outcomes. Discussing what you need to know and how you can apply this knowledge will help you prepare for SHRM certification. There are also more great tips on how to develop your proficiency in each of the competencies, to strengthen your professional development in support of SHRM certification preparation.

SHRM CT: What will you be doing at the SHRM 2015 Annual Conference & Exposition?

Please look for my presentation on the SHRM Competency Model at 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 30, as well as Dr. Alex Alonso’s presentation on SHRM certification at 7 a.m. Tuesday, June 30, and on the Smart Stage at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, June 28.

Defining HR Success: 9 Critical Competencies for HR Professionals is available online or at the SHRMStore at the Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

Chris Anzalone is the manager of SHRM's book publishing program.


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