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The 2017 HR Competency Study & What It Means For You

Source | LinkedIn : By Dave Ulrich

Sponsored by the Ross School at the University of Michigan and The RBL Group along with 22 regional partners around the world, we are delighted to present the results of the 7th (2016) round of the HR Competency Study (HRCS). These results are presented in more detail in Victory through Organization. For almost 30 years the HRCS has empirically defined the competencies of HR professionals and how those competencies impact personal effectiveness and business performance. In this round we collected over 32,000 worldwide surveys rating the competencies and performance of more than 4,000 HR professionals from more than 1,200 organization units. The results simultaneously build upon insights from prior rounds and generate new insights for HR competencies.

Having researched and published on HR competencies for 30 years, we have identified 4 principles of defining the right HR competencies.

  1. HR competence definition is NOT the goal, defining HR competencies that create positive outcomes IS the goal. Most competency models ask the question, “What are the competencies of HR professionals?” This is the wrong question. The question should be “What are the competencies of HR professionals that have greatest impact on important outcomes?”  We have shown that different HR competencies have differential impact on three outcomes: personal effectiveness of the HR professional, impact on key stakeholders, and business results. HR is not about HR and HR competencies are not about the competencies, but about how they deliver key outcomes.
  2. HR competencies are determined less by self-report and more by how those competencies are perceived by others. HR competencies should be assessed not only by the HR professional but by those who observe the HR professional. People generally judge themselves by their intent; others judge them by their behavior, so it is important to evaluate both intent and behavior.
  3. Global HR competencies exist, but they also may vary by geography, industry, size of organization, level in the organization, role in the organization, gender, time in role, and so forth. We empirically show that 50 to 60% of HR competences are essential to all circumstances, then 40 to 50% vary by setting.
  4. Key HR competencies change over time. Having done 7 rounds of major studies over 30 years with over total 100,000 respondents, we can say with some certainty that every 4 to 5 years , 30 to 40% of HR competencies evolve. For example, in recent rounds of our research, we have seen a rise in the importance of HR technology and HR analytics.

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