SHRM Launches Competency Model for HR Professionals

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has launched an HR Competency Model that human resource professionals can use as an in-depth checklist to gauge their professional development from entry to executive levels.

The model was unveiled at the 2013 SHRM Strategy Roundtable hosted by the SHRM Member Forum Nigeria, and anchored by Mr. Brad Boyson, SHRM Executive Director for Middle East & Africa.
During the unveiling, Mr. Alexander Alonso, SHRM Vice President (Research), led a concurrent session on the competency model, which will provide an overview of the critical competencies needed for individual success and growth in an HR career.

“It is a road map for ensuring development as successful HR professionals. We looked at competencies from a career path perspective to determine what was needed at each level, to be truly successful.

“The model focuses primarily on the competencies needed for success, including technical expertise comprised of the core bodies of knowledge assessed by HR Certification Institute tests.
“If you want to know whether you’re performing the behaviours of a successful HR professional, this is a way to find out if you are, and if not, how best to learn those behaviours,” Alonso said.

The model has been in development since June 2011, using input from 111 focus groups with more than 1,200 HR professionals worldwide including Nigeria. In February 2012, SHRM conducted a validation survey that netted 33,000 responses. Focus group participants and survey respondents were a mix of SHRM and non-SHRM members, according to Alonso.

The model consists of nine primary competency domains. These include: HR Expertise and Practice, Relationship Management, Consultation and Organizational Leadership & Navigation.
Others are: Communication, Global & Cultural Effectiveness, Ethical Practice, Business Acumen and Critical Evaluation.

Each of the nine domains are defined with behavioural proficiency standards across four professional levels—entry, middle, senior and executive. Each professional level also is identified by behaviours most typically demonstrated and acceptable at a particular stage in the HR career for a particular competency and its sub-competencies.

A self-assessment tool is expected to be available in January 2013 for a nominal fee. HR professionals can use this tool to determine their proficiency in each major competency. A free “teaser” version of the tool is available to SHRM members at

The competency model, which will be free and publicly available, will be updated every five years to reflect changes in society.

A report on the validity data used for the model has now been released to the public and can be accessed through the SHRM member network in Nigeria.