#Nextchat: Is Your HR Career Ready to Take on 2018?



It’s that time again. New year, new you. While the traditional “get back in the gym” and “save more money” resolutions are great, the beginning of a new year is an opportune time to reflect on your HR career as well. Start by identifying goals for the year ahead and designing a plan for achieving those goals and advancing further toward your ideal career state.

Speaking of traditional, like the rest of the world of work, learning and development (L&D) methods are rapidly evolving. With that, the days of simply studying textbooks and memorizing technical knowledge to get the skills you need to succeed just don’t cut it anymore when it comes to what you need to advance your career. Technical knowledge is still important, but today’s most successful HR practitioners have heard the call from C-suite leaders loud and clear: Behavioral competencies are a must. In the SHRM Online article Competencies Are Key to HR's Professional Development, Lisa Nagele-Piazza writes, “today’s HR practitioners must be adept at many roles in their day-to-day work—business advisor, leader, communicator, recruiter, brand expert and more—and thus need to take a behavioral approach to their own professional growth.” Behavioral competencies are needed to apply technical knowledge effectively across the ever-changing scenarios that HR professionals will encounter. However, proficiency requires more than studying. Application, practice, and experience are key.

How can you develop your competencies or the competencies of others?

The first step in development is assessing needs. In the SHRM Online article A Manager's Guide to Developing Competencies in HR Staff, book author Phyllis G. Hartman says, “by communicating directly with employees using a focused set of questions that encourage discussion about specific competencies, managers can assess not just knowledge but the ability to appropriately apply skills.”

When creating a development plan, it is important to consider an individual’s career level and the various approaches that cater to unique learning styles. For example, mentoring from a senior-level professional is a highly effective method for developing entry-level HR professionals’ competency in relationship management, whereas a more appropriate method for developing the same competency for executive-level HR professionals might be joining a board for a cross-functional initiative.

Fortunately, you don’t have to work for large companies such as Google, Amazon or Facebook to take advantage of effective L&D methods to increase your proficiency in the behavioral competencies required to excel in your career as an HR practitioner (although they do have some of the most innovative methods if you’re looking for ideas to implement at your organization). Engaging L&D methods are available to you even if you’re an HR department of one!

How are you approaching competency assessment and development in your own career or for your HR employees?

Please join @shrmnextchat at 3 p.m. ET on January 3 for #Nextchat with special guests from SHRM’s HR Competencies and Professional Development teams:


Ashley Miller (@Miller843), Senior Specialist, HR Competencies, Research

Lindsay Northon (@SHRMLindsay), Specialist, HR Competencies, Research

Michelle Keefe (@keefe_mk), Specialist, Education   

Elizabeth Lacey (@SHRMLiz), Manager, Educational Programs

Julie Aten (@SHRMJulie), Manager, Training and Client Relations, Educational Programs

We’ll chat about the latest in competency-based L&D and how you can leverage these methods to accelerate your HR career in 2018.

Q1. As an HR professional, how do you assess competency strengths and weaknesses to better guide your and your staffs’ learning and development?  

Q2. Are there specific competencies that you have found particularly challenging to assess or develop? How did you approach them and what advice can you give other HR professionals?  

Q3. What new methods are you interested in trying this year to make your competency development a priority?  

Q4. How are you modernizing L&D for your HR staff? What innovative techniques and methods do you offer for competency development?  

Q5. What are the best ways for the more isolated “HR departments of one” to develop competencies and opportunities for learning and development?  

Q6. What tips can you can share on how you keep focused on developing behavioral competencies throughout the year?  

Q7. What is next for your career journey? What competencies or knowledge would you need to obtain or learn before taking that next step? 

If you missed this #Nextchat, you can read the RECAP here.


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