This is the second installment of a riveting read…yesterday’s entry set the stage for a complete review of the newly released SHRM HR Competency Model, “Elements for HR Success.” There are people (I know, because I’ve met them) who enjoy this sort of exercise, and I can certainly appreciate the effort expended on this exercise, but I think it also may illustrate the continuing breadth of expectations within Human Resources. “Hardball™” comments in italic red.


  • Day 2 – “Human Resources Technical Expertise & Practice,” for the Entry-level Practitioner*“The ability to apply the principles and practices of human resource management to contribute to the success of the business.
  • “Sub-competencies include: Strategic Business Management, Workforce Planning and Employment, Human Resource Development, Compensation & Benefits, Risk Management, Employee Labor & Relations, HR Technology, Global & International Human Resource Capabilities, Talent Management, and Change Management.

How in the world does an Entry-level HR professional hit the mark on big-boy items like this? According to SHRM there are ample opportunities to contribute, even in an entry-level position:

  • Identify ways to improve operational efficiency
  • Route stakeholder questions to the appropriate area
  • Uses judgment to determine when to consult with higher-level management
  • Provides services to stakeholders
  • Generates and implements (where appropriate) solutions within areas of responsibility; hey folks, this sounds like it might actually take some brains and effort!
  • Employs SOP’s and policies when performing HR transactions; we’re on a roll!
  • Reports workplace risk management issues to leadership
  • Develops knowledge of general HR practices and technology; okay, another HR-ish behavior, that makes THREE!
  • Executes transactions with minimal errors
  • Follows relevant laws and regulations
  • Works under general direction of a more experienced HR professional; everyone’s nightmare (hehehe, I’m here all week)
  • Uses relevant HR technology for admin and service needs
  • Demonstrates a willingness to learn; well, as long as they’re “willing”

Obviously, the entry-level HR professional greatly resembles an administrative assistant. These behaviors are not going to make a significant impact on the HR organization, but they do give a barometer for management to use for “newbies.”

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.