This is the fifth installment of a riveting read…the original entry set the stage for a complete review of the newly released SHRM HR Competency Model, “Elements for HR Success.” “Hardball™” comments in italic red. 


it’s an Ivory Tower, get it?

These are your SVP, Sr. Director, VP, CHRO people. Remember, this is just the entry fee for membership. Competency ONE of eight.

  • “Human Resources Technical Expertise & Practice,” for the Mid-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.

Executive level HR competencies include:

  • Establish criteria for compliance responsibilities
  • Assumes responsibility for HR and business outcomes What the what? Business outcomes? Interesting.
  • Educates and advises executive team on strategic HR issues as a factor in decision-making; “Educates…advises”…still nothing stronger than persuasive ability. 
  • Applies broad-based HR knowledge to business needs in a proactive manner
  • Ensures alignment of HR policies and procedures with organization values and goals
  • Influences direction and creates a vision for the HR team; Do you see it again? “Influences…” COME ON man.
  • Assesses business situations and develops strategies to improve organizational performance; Sounds great, but I’m going to need to see some actual proof of this
  • Designs proactive strategic initiatives; Sorry to harp on this, but “designs” isn’t the same as “executes, implements, gets sh*t DONE”
  • Evaluates strategic position in relation to internal and external forces; Sounds like an order given to the bridge…”Commander, what are the internal and external forces? Report!”
  • Provides vision for achieving mission objectives through human capital strategy; People who know me should expect a comment here on “human capital.” That term needs to be killed and buried.

I hate writing these posts, I really do….bullet pointed lists are boring. There is, however, a method to my madness. I think this collection of proficiency standards that encompass the “Human Resource Technical Expertise and Practice” (i.e., your ante to sit at the table) shows a disconnect in the self-awareness of the HR expertise involved in establishing the model.

More to come on this particular argument, but suffice to say we’re just getting warmed up.

John “Whit” Whitaker is the Founder and Managing Partner of HR Hardball™. To send “Mr. Red-Italic-Guy” an email or to submit your own thoughts for publishing on this site:

(* Executive Level ~ 15+ years HR experience; senior leader in HR organization)