Sep 20, 2009

Competencies of HR professionals in Singapore

The largest ongoing study of the competencies of HR professionals across the world conducted by RBL Group and The University of Michigan, came up with six key findings that constitute the competencies of HR professionals.

I got the following press release from the Singapore Human Capital Summit 2009, a premier conference on managing and developing human capital (or human resources), organized in Asia. Three studies focusing on HR in Asia will be released between now and the beginning of the conference on September 29th.
Over the last 20 years, The RBL Group and the University of Michigan have conducted the largest ongoing study of the competencies of HR professionals across the world with a database of more than 45,000 people from North and Latin America, Europe, Australia, China and India. In the most recent round of their global research, The RBL Group found that six categories or factors constitute the competencies of HR professionals:

  1. Credible Activist,
  2. Culture and Change Steward,
  3. Talent Manager / Organisational Designer,
  4. Strategy Architect,
  5. Operational Executor and
  6. Business Ally.

The preliminary findings of the Singapore study revealed that while local HR professionals do the best job at being a credible activist, they need to strengthen the rest of the competencies, especially the Business Ally competency, in order to add greater value to business results. These findings are similar to the global results.

Another finding showed that the impact local HR professionals can have on business results and their personal performance is noticeably greater than the impact of their global HR counterparts (by up to 12 per cent) when they can harness these competencies effectively. This is despite the finding that they are rated consistently lower in all categories of HR competencies compared to global findings. This may indicate that the expectations on local HR professionals by their business partners are greater than elsewhere in the world - their line management colleagues expect them to be better and to contribute even more than their global counterparts.

Commenting on the implications of the findings, Professor Dave Ulrich, Partner and Co-founder of The RBL Group, said: “With a higher expectation by their line management colleagues, HR professionals in Singapore need to more effectively translate their business knowledge to strategy formulation and implementation for business success.”

Professor Wayne Brockbank, Partner of The RBL Group and principal investigator for this study, added: “Singapore HR practitioners also need to have greater knowledge and skills at aligning their HR activities to create effective business cultures and to be a more effective change management agent. Essentially, they need to understand their roles and agendas through which they create more customer-focused organisations. The internal clients of Singapore HR professionals expect them to add greater value. The HR community in Singapore has a mandate to develop greater knowledge and skills that enable them to add greater value to the business.”