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HRD Competencies

Any HRD audit is incomplete without an assessment of those
involved in HRD. The HR personnel are the principal actors in the
HRD field. They are expected to spend all their time studying the HR
needs of the company, designing the HR strategies, aligning and
realigning HRD systems to suit the strategies, implementing HR
practices, etc.

Their knowledge level, attitudes and skills play a critical role. The
HRD audit, therefore, looks at the competency base of its staff and
assesses their adequacy to suit the current and future HRD needs of
the corporation.

In addition to the HR staff, the line managers, top management and
other strategic persons like union representatives should also
possesses the right awareness, attitudes and skills. The HRD audit
also attempts to assess the level of these characteristics and their
adequacy for good HR.

HRD competencies and their requirements need to be
analyzed in the context of the business challenges and
the role of HRD professionals in meeting them. In this
context the following competitive business challenges
ahead .identified by Dave Ulrich (1997b) are worth
Challenge 1. Globalisation
'Globalization entails new markets, new products, new
mindsets, new competencies, and new ways of thinking
about business. In the future, HR will need to create
models and processes for attaininig global agility,
effectiveness, and competitiveness.' (Ulrich, 1997b:2)
Challenge 2. Value chain for global
competitiveness and HR services

This is what Ulrich has to say on buildining
customer-responsive organisations:
'Responsiveness includes innovation, faster
decision making, leading an industry in price or
value, and effectively linking with suppliers and
vendors to build a value chain for customers.
To support the value chain argument, research
indicates that employee attitude correlates
highly with customer attitude.' (Ulrich, 1997b: )
Challenge 3. Profitability through
cost and growth
Leveraging growth through customers involves efforts by
the firm to induce customers to buy more of its products
and services.
Leveraging growth through core competencies involves
the creation of new products and turning research
knowledge into customer products. Mergers, acquisitions
and joint ventures is the third growth path.
The issues for HR managers arising out of these are:
How can executives create a commitment to rapid
growth and the
culture that supports it while simultaneously controlling
its costs?
How can executives be sure that they hire people who
can grow the business while reducing overall labour
How can executives create an organisational
structure that provides both the autonomy
needed for growth and the discipline needed to
control costs?
What are the HR implications of entering new
business, of leveraging core technologies that
lead in to unfamiliar business and of building the
intimate customer relationships that bring ever
increasing percentage of customer purchase.
(Ulrich, 1997b, ]
Challenge 4. Capability focus
'Organisation capabilities are the DNA of
competitiveness.' (Ulrich.1997:10) Capabilities may be
hard such as technological or soft, such as quality or
organisational, speed of response. etc.
The HRprofessional needs to address these in terms of:
. What capabaities currently exist within the firm?
. What capabilities will be required for the future success
of the firm?
. How can we align the capabilities with business
. How can we design HR practices to design the needed
. How can we measure the accomplishment of the
needed capabilities?
Challenge 5 Change, change and
change some more

'Managers, employees, and organisations must
learn to change faster and more comfortably-
HR prolessionals need to help their organisations
to change.
They need to define an Organisational model for
change to disseminate that model throughout
the Organisation.
and sponsor its ongoing application. As cycle
time gets shorter and the pace of change
increases. HR professionals will have to deal
with many related questions including the
How do we unlearn what we have learned?
How do we honour the past and adapt to the
How do we encourage the risk taking necessary
for change without putting the firm in jeopardy?
How do we determine which HR practices to
change for transformation and which to leave
the same for continuity?
How do we change the hearts and minds of
every one to change?
How do we change and learn more rapidly?
Challenge 6. Technology
'Managers and HR professionals
responsible for redefining work at their
firms need to figure out how to make
technology a viable and productive part of
the work setting.' (Ulrich, 1997b: 13)
Challenge 7. Attracting, retaining, and
measuring competence and intellectual
In this fast-changing world, attracting and
retaining talent becomes the battleground
of competitiveness. Securing intellectual
capital and developing it becomes a
critical task.
The most sought after managers will possess
intellectual capital to do global business. A firm's
success depends upon not only the economic
criteria but also on the capability to attract and
retain intellectual capital.
This changes the measurement criteria of a
firm's success, and seeking, finding and using
such measures becomes another challenge for
HR professionals.

Challenge 8. Turnaround is not

Many organisations in the past have undertaken
turnaround exercises using downsizing, business
process reengineering, consolidations,
restructuring, etc. They have become more
profitable. Such turnaround is not
Transformation involves some fundamental
changes. It may involve identity changes.
Creating fundamental and enduring changes
may become another challenge for HR
The following is a list of competencies that the HRD professional should
possess to meet the above-mentioned challenges of the corporation and
society and perform his or her role effectively.
HRD Professional Knowledge
1. Knowledge of HRD philosophy, policies, practices and systems
2. Knowledge of performance appraisal systems and practices
3. Knowledge of potential appraisals in theory and practice
4. Knowledge of career planning and development systems and
5. Knowledge of organisational diagnosis interventions, Knowledge of
learning theories
7. Knowledge of training methods and systems
8. Knowledge of organisations, how they are structured and how they
9. Knowledge of group dynamics and group functioning
10. Knowledge of inter-linkages between organisational goals, plans,
policies, strategies, structure, technology, systems, people management
systems, styles etc.
11. Knowledge of power dynamics and networks in the
12. Knowledge of organisational plans, manpower and
competence requirements
13. Knowledge of social science research methods
1.4. Knowledge of job analysis, job enrichment, job
redesign and job evaluation
15. Manpower planning methods
16. Knowledge of role analysis techniques
17. Knowledge of employee-relations practices
18. Knowledge of the role of rewards
19. Knowledge of behaviour modification and attitude-
change methods
20. Knowledge of quality circles
21. Knowledge of recent developments in management
22. Knowledge of personality theories and measurement
23. Understanding of personal and managerial
24. Knowledge of interpersonal relations and factors
affecting them.
25. Knowledge of what constitutes organisational health
and methods of surveying
26. Knowledge of instruments and methods to measure
human behaviour
27. Personal growth and its methods
28. Knowledge of turnaround strategies
29. Knowledge of creativity and problem-solving
30. Knowledge of conflict management strategies and
HRD Professional Skills

1. Influencing (communication, persuasive,
assertive, inspirational and such other skills
needed to influence) top management.
2. Influencing skills to influence line managers
3. Articulating the HRD philosophy and values
4. Designing skills for designing HRD systems
5. Communication skills-written (ability to
communicate views, opinions, observations,
suggestions, etc., clearly to make an impact)
6. Communication skills--oral .
7. Skills to monitor the implementation of HRD systems
(designing questionnaires, gathering data, gathering
feedback, being persuasive, and having perseverance.)
8. Interpersonal sensitivity
9. Ability to give and receive feedback
10. Counselling skills (listening, rapport building, probing
and exploring)
11. Conflict management skills
12. Ability to inspire others by arousing their values and
superordinate goals
13. Interpersonal communication skills
14. Leadership and initiative
Creativity (ability to come up with new ideas and
16. Problem-solving skills (ability to diagnose
problems and come up with various
17. System designing skills (to design human
resource information,systems, appraisal
systems, manpower inventory, etc.)
18. Task analysis/job analysis skills
19. Organisational diagnosis skills
Personal attitudes and values
1. Empathy and understanding
2. Positive and helpful attitude to others
3. Faith in people and their competencies
4. Introspective attitude (a tendency to reflect about
one's own
self, strengths and weaknesses)
5. Openness (open to others' suggestions and likes to be
open in
expressing his own views)
6. Interpersonal trust
7. Proactivity
8. Respect for others
9. Self-confidence and faith in one's own
10. Sense of responsibility
11. Sense of fairness (constant desire for
objectivity and not being
12. Self-discipline (a desire to set an

13. Honesty (a desire to be sincere and honest)
14. Willingness to experiment
15. Learning orientation-a tendency to treat every experience
learning opportunity
16. Perseverance (not giving up easily in the event of difficulties)
17. Work motivation (a desire to be involved and work hard for .
18. Super ordination (an attitude of larger goals)
19. Empowering attitude (a tendency to respect others and
to empower without being over concerned about one's personal
power base)
20. Stress tolerance (ability to cope with stress, frustration, hostility
and suspicion) '
The above list can be used for self-assessment by the HRD
professionals or for: (i) peer assessment, or (ii) identifying training
and other developmental needs, or (iii) potential appraisal of
candidate being considered for appointment in the HRD department.