Human Resource Competence


Kavita Verma
B.S. Anangpuria Institute of Technology and Management

In the past decade, there have been fundamental changes in the nature of business. Lots of environmental changes are transforming the way organizations create value and conduct business.

Each of these changes mandates new and more powerful value-added contributions from those involved in HR work.

In response many of the competencies developed for the coming years, but the continuing evolution of the business setting has created the need for update, and even completely new, competencies .

competence defined as" a set of context –specific behaviors that defines what success looks  like in action in a particular setting"
Competence refers to an individual knowledge, skills, abilities, or personality characteristics that directly influence his or her job performance

In the last ten years, the rate of technological innovation has continued to increase. Costs of transporting capital, goods information, and people are at an all time low. Political, social, and regulatory environments allow greater trade across national borders. Global competition has created greater options for consumers, shareholders and the best talent. And each of these, in turn, has become increasing more demanding of the companies with which they do business. This overall trend represents an ongoing challenge, compelling human resource department to accelerate their capacity to change and if the HR will not update themselves then business can not exist in the changing environment. So, in context of competencies an organization should be very careful from very starting when it recruit HR and then by timely updating of competency by

  • Giving them training
  • Conducting developmental program
  • Giving them right feedback of their performance
  • Assigning challenging job
  • Giving them opportunity to participate in managerial decisions

In the struggle to rethink new approaches to HR, many private businesses and government entities are moving toward competencies and competency-based systems as the answer to meeting organizational needs.

David Ulrich also speaks of a new vision for HR.He believes HR needs to shed "Old Myths" and take on "New Realities",  and adopt competencies.

OLD MYTHS                                             NEW REALITIES  

People go into HR because                  HR departments are not designed to corporate therapy or social
they like people                                or health-and-happiness retreats. HR professionals must create the
                                                     Practices that makes employees more competitive, not more

Anyone can do HR                             HR activities are based on theory and research. HR professional
                                                     master both theory and practice.

HR deals with the soft side of              The impact of HR practices on business results can and must
a business
and is therefore                  be measured HR professionals must learn how to translate their
not accountable                               work into financial Performance.

HR focuses on costs,                         HR practices must create value by increasing the intellectual
which must be controlled.                   capital within the firm. HR professionals must add value, not reduce

HR is staffed by nice people                At times; HR practices should force vigorous debates. HR
                                                     professionals should be confrontational and challenging as well as

HR is full of fads                               HR practices have evolved over time. HR professionals must see
                                                     their Current work as part of an evolutionary chain and explain
                                                     their work with
less jargon and more authority.

Competencies categories:

On the basis of predicted future needs competencies can be broken into different categories that distinguish different purpose

Essential competencies:- serve as the foundation of knowledge and skills needed by everyone
These can be developed through training and are relatively easy to identify

Differentiating Competencies: - distinguish superior performance from average performance (Spencer
et al., 1990). These include self-concepts, traits and motives and although hard to develop, can
determine long-term success on the job. With a valid competency-development methodology, one
can define, measure and reward these competencies

Strategic Competencies: - include those that are "core" competencies of the organization. These tend
to focus on organizational capability and include competencies that creates a competitive advantage
(e.g., innovation, speed, service, technology).

The other four general competences are:

  • Meaning Competence: Identifying with the purpose of the organization or community and acting from the preferred future in accordance with the values of the organization or community.
  • Relation Competence: Creating and nurturing connections to the stakeholders of the primary tasks.
  • Learning Competence: Creating and looking for situations that make it possible to experiment with the set of solutions that make it possible to solve the primary tasks and reflect on the experience.
  • Change Competence: Acting in new ways when it will promote the purpose of the organization or community and make the preferred future come to life.

Constituents of basic HR competencies Framework

  • Personal attributes
  • Leadership and management competencies
  • HR core competencies
  • Role-specific HR competencies

Personal Attributes

Result oriented
Continuous Learning
Honesty and Integrity

Leadership and Management competencies

Visioning and alignment
Strategic thinking
Resource management

HR core competencies

Customer focus
Coaching and consulting
Technology and expertise
Vendor Management
Knowledge Management
Virtual Teamwork
Assessment and Measurement Skills

Role-specific competencies

Strategy development
Situation analyses
Program design


With pace of global trade and changing environment it is necessary to acquire such new skills and competencies which match the requirements and to update competencies, so that changes can be acceptable and business remain healthy. 







Kavita Verma
B.S. Anangpuria Institute of Technology and Management

Source: E-mail June 02, 2008


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