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9 Critical Competencies for HR Professionals

Kari_Strobel.jpgMuch has been written about the evolving nature of the modern workplace and its impact on the future of HR. Brian D. Silva, SHRM-SCP, chief human resources officer and senior vice president of administration at Fresenius Medical Care in Waltham, Mass., says that in today’s business environment, “it’s critical that HR professionals master the competencies which will make them successful.”

HR Magazine's Book Blog interviewed Kari Strobel, Ph.D., co-author of Defining HR Success: 9 Critical Competencies for HR Professionals (SHRM, 2015), about how mastering critical competencies can help HR professionals become stronger, more valuable contributors to their organizations.

What are the two to 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. 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 they can be used as a professional development tool.

Is your book just for midlevel HR professionals?  

The book is for HR practitioners at any career level. Whether it’s a recent graduate with a degree in HR (or a related field) or an executive who has a need to develop and strengthen his or her HR function, Defining HR Success uses the SHRM Competency Model as its foundation, highlighting those 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, finance, operations, marketing) to use the book to learn more about what’s expected of their company’s HR team.

What are your favorite competencies and why?

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

How can the book help HR managers?

It’s a great tool to help managers learn more about how they can use the SHRM Competency Model to identify their team’s strengths and weaknesses, to build targeted independent development plans, to create strategic succession plans, and to help prepare for SHRM certification.

How will the book help prepare HR professionals to take the SHRM certification exams?

The book 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 readers with insight into how to perform the competencies and their effects on multiple outcomes. Knowing “what you need to know” and “how you can apply this knowledge” will help you prepare for SHRM certification.

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