About the Competency Model

Advancing the HR Profession

In keeping with SHRM’s mission to serve and advance the HR profession, SHRM worked with its members to create the SHRM Competency Model which:

  1. Supports HR practitioners in their career and professional development.
  2. Helps organizations build approaches to identify and cultivate high-quality HR leaders, individual contributors and teams.
The competency model and the resources developed based on the model identify what it takes to be a successful HR professional—across the performance continuum, around the globe, from early to executive career level.  They provide the foundation for talent management throughout the HR lifecycle. In addition, they help organizations ensure that HR professionals are proficient in the critical competencies necessary to solve today’s most pressing people issues and deliver highly effective HR strategies.

For more information about the SHRM competency model, please see the information and resources below.

Interactive Competency Model

Download Full Competency Model

* = Required Field

Stories of Real Life HR

SHRM's Competency Model comes to life through the stories of real HR professionals.

Read one or all of the 17 quick and candid stories in this flip book to learn how these pros applied the model to advance their organizations and their careers.

View Interactive Book

Bring the SHRM Competency Model to life with stories from real HR pros

Sharlyn Lauby likens good HR professionals to good bartenders, hence the launch of her wildly popular HR Bartender blog. Looking back, Sharlyn tells the story of how she, as a young HR professional, learned to speak so that executives listen.

Initially Jimmy Gonzalez didn’t buy into the need for a professional certification. But the more he investigated, the more he realized just how relevant SHRM’s certifications were to his everyday work. Learn how Jimmy uses SHRM’s competency model and certification to advocate that HR’s role has moved from transactional to transformational.

Dethra Giles
shares that, “good negotiators have the right answers, while great negotiators have the right questions.” Read how Dethra used the power of communication to help calm a group of frustrated employees, recruit them as part of the solution and help the organization move forward.  

Start Stories


Articles about the Behavioral Competencies

Additional Resources

The SHRM competency model is founded on extensive research, including:

  • A content validation study to show that the content of the competency model represents what is required for successful performance across the HR profession.
  • A series of large-scale multi-organizational criterion validation studies to gather data showing whether HR professionals’ proficiencies in the competencies are closely linked to successful job performance.
  • A practice analysis of the HR profession. The results of this study have been used to update the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge (SHRM BoCKTM).

Developmental Activities

Early Level Career Competencies:

  • Little to no experience
  • Supports operational functions
  • May lead small-sized projects
  • Carries out the plan at the transactional levels

Mid Level Career Competencies:

  • Moderate experience
  • Leads or supports operational functions
  • Manages small- to mid-sized projects
  • Implements the plan and contributes to its refinement

Senior Level Career Competencies:

  • Significant experience
  • Serves as high-level strategic and/or operational leader or
  • as experienced HR consultant
  • Oversees large or multiple programs or projects
  • Operationalizes HR strategy and translates strategy into a plan

Executive Level Career Competencies:

  • Extensive Experience
  • Holds the highest-level, strategic leadership role in organization or serves as highly experienced HR strategy consultant
  • Peer group is the other executives in the organization
  • Develops HR strategy

Contact Us

Join the conversation!