Human Resource Competencies: Responding to Increased Expectations
Dave Ulrich, Wayne Brockbank, Dani Johnson, and Jon Younger
o one doubts that the bar has been raised on human resources. The HR profession began with HR professionals focusing on terms and conditions of work so that employees would feel fairly treated. Today, the business world faces enormous change, and HR professionals must do more than manage employee terms and conditions. As the bar has been raised on HR, some lament that HR professionals cannot meet these higher expectations, and HR should be discounted or downsized and its functions automated or outsourced. We believe that instead of denigrating HR, we should ...view middle of the document...
Employees represent increasingly diverse demographic backgrounds. In some parts of the world, employees are aging more than in others. Employee expectations are constantly rising as they gain in education and skills. Most of these trends are outside the control of any one individual or any one company. They occur in both predictable and unpredictable ways. They affect all aspects of business from how to fund a firm to how to position the firm in customer minds and how to engineer and deliver products. They also affect human resources. HR practices are becoming more integrated, aligned, and innovative. HR departments are operating more like a business within the business with a clear strategy and channels of distribution. HR professionals are being asked to help
© 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Published online in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com). DOI 10.1002/ert.20159
Employment Relations Today
businesses compete, and to do so, HR professionals must not only observe, but also HR professionals are being asked to help businesses compete, and to do so, HR professionals must not only observe, but also understand and adapt to these business trends. understand and adapt to these business trends. HR professionals are expected to contribute by the competencies they possess. HR COMPETENCIES OVERVIEW For HR professionals to respond to changing business conditions, they must demonstrate new competencies. HR professionals who would have been successful in previous decades would not be effective today. We have worked for the last 20 years to identify the competencies that enable HR professionals to respond to the business conditions. HR competencies are the values, knowledge, and abilities of HR professionals. HR professionals with the right competencies will perform better. They will be more likely to engage employees, to serve customers, and to create intangible shareholder wealth. HR competencies define what is expected from those who work in HR and form the basis for assessment and improvement in the quality of HR professionals. Since 1988, we have been working to track the...