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Behavioral Competencies Explained

Posted on September 20, 2016 11:00 pm;

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By Remie Worrall


A successful career in HR relies on a number of key competencies and it is these competencies that will be tested when obtaining a SHRM qualification. In order to stand out as a leader in your organization, you will need to demonstrate the following behavioral competencies.


Leadership and Navigation


  • In order to be successful in your field, you must be able to demonstrate effective leadership. In times of change, you will be expected to be at the helm of new processes setting the tone while championing the company’s mission.
  • You will not only embody the organization’s culture but set an example to other members of the team.
  • Being able to accomplish tasks in the most efficient manner with minimum guidance is what a career in HR is all about.


Business Acumen


  • As a HR professional, you are in a position to directly contribute to a company’s success. In order to do this, you should be able to showcase your business acumen skills and your ability to understand the core business functions associated with your company.


Ethical Practice


  • As a HR professional you will be required to act with integrity at all times and it is your responsibility to help build an ethical working environment.
  • Among other things you will be expected to maintain confidentiality and transparency in the workplace while establishing yourself as a trustworthy and credible resource for other employees.


Relationship Management


  • The SHRM test will asses you on a number of competencies including relationship management.
  • Here you will be assessed on your ability to build relationships with clients and co-workers. This is all part and parcel of providing excellent customer service to clients but you will also need to showcase yourself as an approachable and credible candidate.




  • You may be expected to address issues related to staff training and development during your role as a HR professional and as such you will be tested on your ability to demonstrate coaching and consultative skills.


Critical Evaluation


  • This competency relates to decision making and the candidate’s ability to research and analyze information.
  • Being able to use HR metrics in this way will only add value to your role.


Global and Cultural Effectiveness


  • A HR professional should be able to work with people from all backgrounds and interact with diverse cultures.
  • One of your responsibilities will be to contribute to creating an inclusive working environment.




  • One of the main responsibilities as a HR professional is to keep everyone in the organization informed.
  • This can involve everything from keeping employees informed with the development of a project that they are involved in to the effective filtering of information down from management levels to employees.
  • HR employees should be able to demonstrate good oral and written communication skills and will be tested on their ability to plan and deliver oral and written communications effectively.


If you want to become SHRM certified, you can find out more about the qualification here.

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