Monday, December 3, 2012

More on HR Competencies

I had the pleasure of hosting a panel for SHRM-Atlanta last week during our Power Breakfast.  It was really a blast being able to speak with Top HR professionals and Business Leaders from Assurant, Comcast and Kimberly Clark.

Last week, I discussed the new competency model SHRM unveiled this past summer at the annual conference.

Competencies have been on my mind lately.  One of the questions I asked the panel was this:

What are the top 3 competencies you think are important for HR professionals to master in order to become a true business leader?  

Here are the collective answers from the panel:

1. Credibility
2. Great communication skills
3. Great listener
4. Understand how your business makes its money
5. Strategic thinking
6. Root cause problem solving
7. Sales mentality
8. Courage (to say no, when necessary)
9. Ability to put together a winning team
10.  Understand all facets of the business

What was so interesting to me as the moderator as not one HR professional or one business leader talked about HR Knowledge.

So, for me I think its crystal be successful today in HR you need to BE A BUSINESS PERSON FIRST AND AN HR PERSON SECOND.

I know, the next question, HOW do you get some of the competencies listed above.  I can only speak from experience for myself and other colleagues but here is a short list:

1) Get an MBA and don't specialize in HR
2) Walk around in the business and ask good questions
3) Spend time with sales
4) Make your CFO your BFF
5) Practice leadership in a volunteer role

How have you learned the business?  How have you learned to put together a winning team?  How have you acquired some of the competencies I mentioned above?


Isabelle Frei said...

Hi Cathy

That's very interesting to read. I am trying to get a foot in the HR space (again, as I have previous experience in L&D), but don't have a classical HR background, rather a diverse skill profile from various roles. Your suggestion to get an MBA and not specialize in HR is interesting. Although I also read your thoughts in other blogs/articles, it seems that if I apply for HR roles, the common feedback still is the lack of specific HR knowledge, instead of focusing on the skills I bring along for a role. I do hope that there are more people out there that share your views!

Unknown said...

I am seeing more and more HR departments hiring outside of HR from other disciplines. I am not saying you don't have to learn HR, you do, but that should not be your primary focus. It's understanding the business!!!

I see more an more HR professionals sharing these views :)