7 Competencies Successful HR Executives MUST Know

By May 5, 2014December 15th, 2020Developing Leadership Skills

“Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance.”

~ Bruce Barton

Client Amanda Asks: I know the face of HR is changing. It’s really important for me to be on top of the game.  What competencies will insure my success as an HR executive?

Coach Joel Answers: You are right on target, Amanda.  There is ongoing evaluation of what an HR executive should do or be.

Perhaps one of the most innovative is the change from task orientation to influencer. Executives no longer just apply the decisions of company management, they help create change.  They strategize, and help shape the company culture.

Here are seven traits that will keep you in the forefront of all human resources executives.

1. Business knowledge.

The bottom line fundamentals of business are essential for every executive, regardless of area of expertise.  HR leaders are no exception.  You need to understand the value of your business. You must be able to explain the value and business model to others.

And, of course, you need skills to keep you current with business technology. Know the latest in software and hardware to be efficient and innovative.

2. Company culture.

In the past, you lived with the company culture. Now, you will get ahead if you help to shape that culture.  You know the values that keep talent and those that push them away.

Help form a company culture that will attract and keep the finest employees. Help your people understand the culture.  Assist them to apply it to advance their success as well.

3. People Management.

Of course this is the traditional strength of HR.  You must implement workplace policies. Know best practices for hiring, payroll, employee assessments and so on.

Understand the administrative side and oversee the day-to-day work of the people in the company.

4. Strategy expert.

This is a new area of competency for HR executives. You will join with management in executing strategy.  You’ll assist other managers and leaders to help them make the right changes happen.  They may look to you for guidance in moving from vision to reality as it applies to your human resources.

5. Be credible.

Ethics matter.  HR executives may be the standard bearer for integrity.  When people know they can trust you, you gain respect.  Then you will be listened to.

You’ll have a chance to offer points of view.  This is part of the new competencies.  You may take a position and actually challenge assumptions.  You are in a place to influence people and policy, but it takes credibility and integrity to make it work for you

Gain that credibility as you deliver results, share information, and build relationships of trust.  Then use that credibility to influence others.

6. Organizational designer.

In HR, a successful executive knows organizational theory.  They do the research to tailor it to their company.  They don’t just do things because they’ve always been done that way.  They plan the best organization and then work to implement it.

It may be a matter of designing a motivating rewards system.  You may implement successful feedback and reviews.  Or design a mentoring program or cross pollination to increase your talent pool.

7. Talent management.

Traditionally and always, a core competency of every successful HR executive centers around succession planning.  You need to ensure both today’s quality workers and tomorrow’s talent. You’ll create systems for recognizing and developing talent.  You’ll reward that talent.

Amanda, if you master these seven competencies you will be a powerful HR executive. Success will come your way.  You’ll have the admiration of others and be a strong influence in your company.

Want to strengthen one or more of your competencies in human resources leadership? Contact Joel for individual help.

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