“…one day I’ll do Engagement Surveys…”

Listed as one of the “must haves” in SHRM circles this week is a short primer catalog for high school students interested in a career within Human Resources.

I think this is a mindset that must immediately change for the benefit of Human Resources in the long-term. First, I’ve yet to encounter anyone under the age of 20 who would consider HR as a career…but, most importantly, I’m a big believer in Operational experience.

Pragmatically, it makes sense to have a varied array of skill sets and experiences for the inevitable market fluctuations. It was estimated by SHRM in 2011 that almost 10% of the entire HR population had lost their jobs in 2011. That’s 40K+ individuals flooding the job market looking for positions that are in many ways being re-tooled.

The movement from Generalist to Specialist is continuing a trend, as SME’s in Comp & Benefits are gaining prestige within the HR community. Consultants are a huge component of the marketplace now, as 6/12/18 month projects become more common & financially desirable in the immediate future. PEO’s (Professional Employment Organizations) and AOS (Administrative Outsourcing Services) have become bigger players in the transactional duties of Human Resources.

What does it all mean to Johnny Q. Public, sitting in college dreaming of a career in Human Resources? To me, it means diversify ~ focus on the SKILLS rather than the job. If the skills are transferable to a career in HR, by all means take the opportunity to gain the experience OUTSIDE of HR. You can’t learn perspective, you have to experience it.

The new Global HR Competency Model was recently launched ~ the make-up of the list of competencies, in my estimation, is a clear signal that the SHRM powers-that-be have recognized the changing needs of Human Resources. In the coming weeks, we’ll look at the specific competency model and the impact it will have on the future of Human Resources.

John “Whit” Whitaker is Founder and OH (Original Hardballer); like this post? Try this one, this one, or even this one….go ahead, don’t be a weenie.