The Top Competency for Human Resources [poll results]

by Sharlyn Lauby on December 27, 2012

Earlier in the month, HR Bartender ran a little one-question completely unscientific poll asking you what the number one competency is for human resources pros. I gotta admit…the results surprised me.

HR, Human Resources, Competency, poll, poll results, SHRM, competencies, graph
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Now I know that I wrote a post a few days ago talking about the value of human resources having a relationship component. And I believe relationships are important. But, I didn’t expect it to be number one because there’s more involved in creating value than just the relationship. There’s the thing you’re building the relationship about.

The result made me wonder. Is the primary role of HR to manage relationships? Or is that just how they spend the majority of their time?

What also surprised me was what didn’t end up at the top. We talk so much about human resources becoming a business partner and business acumen ranked second. The margin wasn’t even close.

It also was a bit surprising that global effectiveness was at the bottom. I believe technology has made the business world borderless. I did get a comment that the low rating for global wasn’t a shocker because being global is second nature. If that’s true, it might also explain the rating for ethics. It raises the question about the dynamics between ethics, business and our relationships.

I totally understand there could be only one competency at the top. That was the point of the question. I’m glad it’s given me some thinking to do. Because if the number one competency is managing relationships, then why are we seeing articles like this one from the The New York Times titled “When the HR Office Leaves the Building”. Hmmm…

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