HR should not be afraid of change

Tags: Careers

Interview | Strobel Kari, director, HR competencies, SHRM

Founded in 1948, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR membership organisation devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 275,000 members in over 160 countries, the society is the leading provider of resources to serve the needs of HR professionals and advance the professional practice of human resource management.

What is SHRM’s HR competency model? What does HR professionals need to understand today to scale up their roles in organisations?

As a global leader in service to the human resources profession, SHRM recognises that successful human resource professionals use both expertise and experience to carry out organisational strategy and achieve organisational goals. To accomplish this, human resource professionals must develop and apply both their technical and behavioural competencies.

Through extensive research across the globe, SHRM identified what human resource professionals need to scale up their penetration in organisations and has created a comprehensive competency model, SHRM competency model.

The competency model comprises nine capabilities – one technical (HR expertise) and eight behavioural (leadership and navigation, ethical practice, business acumen, relationship management, consultation, critical evaluation, global and cultural effectiveness, and communication).

These competencies include supporting behaviours and proficiency standards providing the basis for effective performance as a human resource professional, from early to executive career levels, across all sectors, in organisations of all sizes, domestically and internationally.

Will not some of the skills and competencies soon become redundant or need some kind of restructuring?

The competencies within the SHRM competency model are inter-correlated (each are related to other to a certain extent). But our research to date does not suggest that any of the competencies will soon be redundant. The model will be refreshed and additional content development and validation research may uncover additional or obsolete competencies as the profession changes over time.

This research will support the modification of the competency model to accurately reflect what is needed by human resource professionals to succeed. We plan to conduct this research every five years.

What are the major strengths of the human resource competency model? How it helps in human resource talent management?

All the competencies within the SHRM competency model speak to global best practices. Why do I say this? This premier, evidence-based human resource competency model has been developed by the human resource professionals for the human resource professionals, with more than 32,000 members representing 33 nations.

It provides a solid foundation for global human resource talent management throughout the human resource lifecycle in attracting, selecting, retaining, developing, and credentialing successful human resource professionals who have the critical competencies needed to work our most pressing people related issues of today, and deliver human resource strategy to enable businesses to evolve in the future.

In addition, the notion that the SHRM competency model provides the basis for successful performance of human resource professionals was recently put to the test. To examine the link between competencies and job performance, SHRM studied the relationships between competency performance and job performance as measured by individual human resource employees and their supervisors.

Data collected from 1,513 participants representing both corporate and academic partners indicates that a higher level of proficiency on the SHRM competencies is related to higher levels of job performance. In other words, employees with better-developed competencies are viewed by supervisors as performing at a higher level on the job.

Combined with evidence supporting the development of the SHRM competency model, the competency performance relationship established through SHRM’s research provides strong support for the model as a valid and useful guide for human resource professionals and organisations.

Through extensive collaboration with competency modeling experts and human resource practitioners, the SHRM competency model was developed and validated following rigorous scientific standards making it a powerful talent management tool for human resource professionals of today and tomorrow.

HR professionals should be change leaders, which is an important human resource competency. How should HR professionals go about the entire change process?

I am partial to more of a hands-on approach to manage a change process. I recommend following an action research model to facilitate planned change, where change is initiated to solve a problem in response to internal and external environment shifts.

The action research model focuses on planned change as a cyclical process in which initial research about the organisation provides information to guide subsequent action.

This iterative cycle of “research and action” involves considerable collaboration and places significant emphasis on data gathering and diagnosis prior to action planning and implementation, as well as careful evaluation of results after action is taken.

What are the dos and don’ts of a change process?

The do’s involve following eight essential steps: problem identification, consultation with client and /or stakeholders, data gathering and preliminary diagnosis, feedback to client or group, joint diagnosis of problem with client and stakeholders, joint action planning, action, followed by evaluation or data gathering after action is taken.

The don’t: don’t be afraid to change.


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