You Want HR Competencies? There’s Only 3 That Matter…

I know people are going to try and sell you on bulky, thick competency models that look great in the roll-out meeting and then no one uses.  That's as true for HR competency models as it is for any other functional area.

So I'm going to give you the 3 HR competencies that truly matter.  The rest might be nice, but they aren't core to what makes a great HR manager/director - the HRBP level.  Here's what I've got that really matters: BuzzwordBingo

1. Ability to Negotiate.  This covers a lot of ground, but a HR pro's ability to read the situation, see what's possible and negotiate for the company, HR as a unit or herself is key to the outcomes you'll get.  Is your HR Pro willing and able to use the same sales tactics as a high level sales pro?  Then they've got what it takes.  

2. Innovation.  Look, innovation is a strong word and a buzzword most of the time, so let's dumb it down.  What innovation means from an HR pro is whether they can create work product that wows the people they serve and have it packaged in a way where the marketing of the idea takes care of itself.  Example? You need a executive comp analysis done but don't have budget.  Can your HR pro go find resources (beg, borrow or steal) to create something and present it in a way where everyone has faith in the product?  Or is she simply asking for money for others to do it?  

3. Says "Yes" more than they say "No".  This will give many a cause for pause, but let's face it - the HR pros the rest of the business world doesn't respect are the ones that say "no" all the time.  The HR pros with the right stuff listen and find ways to say "yes" with conditions - that might require they work to make the yes a reality.  HR pros at all levels who aren't viewed as players say "no" more than they say "yes".

I think these three competencies are tied to some behavioral items - quick cognitive speed, high assertiveness, low rules and mid-high details.  The HR pros who can do these three things are worth their weight in gold.  

All other competencies?  Meh.

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