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SAN DIEGO—“When I grew to a position where I didn’t have to do all the work myself, I began to hire people as part of a team,” reflected Manjushree M. Badlani, SPHR. The chief HR and administrative officer of Jhpiego led SHRM Annual Conference attendees here through a June 28, 2010 session titled “Building a Global HR Dream Team,” where participants discussed the building blocks of such an exercise: knowledge of common business models for global HR operations, and the essential capabilities and attributes of HR professionals.
Badlani works for a nonprofit health organization affiliated with Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. As she grew her team she admitted that she made one “big mistake.” One of her first hires was a person with solid knowledge of compensation—and few “people” skills. So Badlani learned the hard way, advising her peers: “Don’t forget the soft skills.”
Attendees reviewed four typical organizational models for global HR. They are operations where:
Badlani noted that there are many other models but that “these seem to be the most common.”
In addressing HR competencies, Badlani referenced SHRM’s Human Resource Competency Study. Its authors label and identify the following types of skill sets:
This doesn’t mean each person on the team has one of these qualities. “Every day you have one of these hats on,” she said. “In any role, you need these competencies.”
Badlani referenced a list of 65 common personal attributes ranging from “action-oriented” and “able to connect to people” to “innovative” and “inclusive.”
Of those, she cited “humility” as important for global HR professionals. “When you are working across cultures and you display humility,” Badlani said, “you put yourself in a learner’s position so you can understand the context of the culture when you are making transactions.”
Being a good listener, customer-focused and agile; having a sense of humor; and being unflappable also rated high on her list. Members of the audience contributed the following traits: passion, the ability to influence without authority and the ability to handle chaos.
Nancy M. Davis is editor of HR Magazine.
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