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Defining HR Success: 9 Critical Competencies for HR Professionals

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High-quality HR practitioners have advanced skill sets in the critical competencies needed to work our most pressing talent issues of today and to deliver HR strategy to enable businesses to evolve in the future. Now HR professionals are expected to be valued team members and contribute as business partners for the growth of the organization. Defining HR Success provides an in-depth review and application of the nine critical HR competencies practitioners need to be successful within the field of HR and leaders of their organizations:

  • HR Expertise (HR Knowledge)
  • Business acumen
  • Communication
  • Consultation
  • Critical evaluation
  • Ethical practice
  • Global and cultural effectiveness
  • Leadership and navigation
  • Relationship management

A great resource to help build a professional roadmap, to develop as a business leader, and to drive organizational success. 



Part I: Overview and Introduction

Chapter 1. The History of Competency Modeling

Part II: The SHRM Competency Model: Foundational Competencies

Chapter 2. HR Expertise (HR Knowledge)

Chapter 3. Ethical Practice

Part III: The SHRM Competency Model: Business Competencies

Chapter 4. Business Acumen

Chapter 5. Critical Evaluation

Chapter 6. Consultation

Part IV: The SHRM Competency Model: Interpersonal Competencies

Chapter 7. Relationship Management.

Chapter 8. Leadership and Navigation

Chapter 9. Communication

Chapter 10. Global and Cultural Effectiveness

Part V: Building Your Road Map

Chapter 11. Your HR Career Path

Chapter 12. Finding the Resources You Need

Chapter 13. How Does Certification Fit In?

Chapter 14. How Can You Benefit from the SHRM Competency Model?

Chapter 15. Never Stop Learning

Appendix A: SHRM Research Spotlight: Developing HR Professionals

Appendix B: Content Validation Study of the SHRM Competency Model

“As HR pros, we’re great at helping others define their career path. But who helps us? If you’re looking for one book that will help you develop your team (or yourself), Defining HR Success is that book. The specific examples listed to develop a competency were spot on. I could see myself including these in goal setting or professional development plans. And the book even outlines how to create your career development plan. It’s a must-have for every HR professional.” — Sharlyn Lauby, SHRM-SCP, ITM Group, Inc.

Defining HR Success is an excellent example of applying science to the practice of HR. They have provided HR professionals with the raw materials of success and, a straightforward way to build a personal roadmap as well. Read the book, learn the competencies and build your plan to lead. Serve yourself and HR of the future.” — Jeffrey M. Cava, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Starwood Hotels and Resorts WW Inc.

“In a constantly evolving environment, it's critical that HR professionals master the competencies which will make them successful. The Society of Human Resources Management, as the leading voice for the profession, has developed a new model that not only provides the construct for those human capital competencies, but also provides the a pathway to develop the leadership competencies which define success in today’s workplace. I encourage every HR professional who is interested in improving their performance today and succeeding in the future, to read this book.” — Brian Silva, Chief Human Resources Officer and Senior Vice President, Administration, Fresenius Medical Care


Kari R. Strobel, Ph.D., is SHRM’s Director for HR Competencies and is responsible for leading all research activities to support the maintenance, validation, and implementation of SHRM’s Competency Model. She oversees the development of competency-based products to include developmental assessments and selection tools, and the research to support the update of the competency model, which provides the foundation for professional development and certification for global HR professionals. She is also responsible for advancing SHRM’s workforce analytics program, supporting the identification critical HR trends and enhancing SHRM’s position as an authority on HR metrics and the application of statistical models to worker-related data to optimize HR management.

James N. Kurtessis, MA, is the Manager of Validation Research for SHRM’s certification programs. At SHRM he has been responsible for collecting and evaluating validity evidence for SHRM’s HR Competency Model and other competency-based products and has worked on the development of SHRM’s certification exams.

Debra J. Cohen, Ph.D., SHRM-SCP is Senior Vice President, Knowledge Development, for SHRM and is responsible for the Society’s Knowledge Development Division which includes the SHRM Knowledge Center (including the Society Library), the Research Department, Academic Initiatives, and HR Competencies.

Alexander Alonso, Ph.D., SHRM-SCP is SHRM’s Vice President for Research and currently serves as the head of examination development and operations for SHRM’s Certified Professional and Senior Certified Professional certifications. He is responsible for all research activities including the development of the SHRM Competency Model. He oversees the teams responsible for research products like People Insight engagement tools, SHRM Benchmarking Services, and the Workplace and Employment Trends Center.

Additional Info

Name Defining HR Success: 9 Critical Competencies for HR Professionals
SKU 61.11504
Year published 2015
Page count No
Publisher SHRM
ISBN 978-1-58644-382-5
Author Kari R. Strobel^James N. Kurtessis^Debra J. Cohen^Alexander Alonso
Format Paperback