10 Resources for Developing #HR Competencies



We all know that developing your skills as a human resources professional is important. The challenge is recognizing what skills to develop.

At this year’s Society for Human Resource Management Annual Conference (SHRM) in New Orleans, I ran across some wonderful tools to help with developing HR competencies. These FREE downloadable guides offer suggestions for specific activities that HR pros can do to develop their skills.

SHRM’s Top 10 Activities for Developing within the EARLY CAREER Level

SHRM’s Top 10 Activities for Transition from the EARLY TO MID CAREER Level

SHRM’s Top 10 Activities for Developing within the MID CAREER Level

SHRM’s Top 10 Activities for Transitioning from the MID TO SENIOR CAREER Level

SHRM’S Top 10 Activities for Transitioning from SENIOR TO EXECUTIVE CAREER Level

SHRM’S Top 10 Activities for Developing within the EXECUTIVE CAREER Level

Once you download the activity guides, think about the best way to use them as a professional development tool. Here are three ways that I would take advantage of these documents:

  1. Don’t make assumptions about your level. We can cut our professional development efforts short by making assumptions about our career level. I know people who say, “I’ve been in HR ten years so I’m a senior level professional.” And that might be true. However, these guides were developed for a mass audience so there are activities in the early career document that apply to everyone. I would suggest looking at all of them.
  2. Share them with colleagues. If you’re mentoring or coaching an HR professional, these are great suggestions for professional development. You can bookmark this page and send it to colleagues when they ask about trying to get a promotion or transfer. It could be a great conversation starter.
  3. Share them with your boss. As tempting as it may be at times, I’m not implying that you should tell your boss they need to get some skills. But, if you’re trying to justify attending a conference or acquiring additional training, think about using these in your pitch.

Speaking of pitching professional development, here are two additional documents that you might find helpful.

SHRM Competency Development Plan for Mid-Career HR Professionals

SHRM Competency Development Plan for Senior Career HR Professionals

What I like about these two guides is that there’s space to jot down some ideas and keep track of your progress. The guides were customized for SHRM’s 2017 conference, so they have presentation suggestions in them. While the conference is long gone, you can access breakout sessions via SHRM’s eLearning Library. Something to consider.

Lastly, for HR managers looking for resources to develop their team, check out the SHRM published book “A Manager’s Guide to Developing Competencies in HR Staff” by Phyllis G. Hartman, SHRM-SCP, SPHR. Phyllis and I were on SHRM’s Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility special expertise panel together. She’s a super smart human resources professional and this book is filled with practical tips and resources.

So, there ya go. Ten resources (6 Top 10 Activity guides, 2 Competency Development Plans, a book, and SHRM’s eLearning Library). Consider bookmarking this page so you can refer back to it throughout the year.

If we want to be recognized as a business partner, we have to stay current and relevant. That means making investments in our career. But it’s very easy to spend money and time on professional develop without seeing results. Staying focused on activities that align with HR competencies will help us succeed.


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