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A Quick, Interactive Way To Identify Core Competencies HR Needs

October 1, 1997
Related Topics: HR Services and Administration, The HR Profession, Your HR Career, Competencies, Featured Article
How do you identify your HR team's most necessary core competencies? Try the card shuffle, an interactive group exercise that gets HR people thinking about what skills, competencies and capabilities they need most. Although the feature story is a good start, each HR team has unique requirements that it can benefit from identifying through a process such as this.

  1. Assemble your group. Explain your objective: That you want to determine your department's core competencies. Have participants keep your company's mission and vision statements clearly in mind while they do this exercise.
  2. Instruct participants to "brain dump." Give them 45 minutes to write down every competency that they, as HR professionals, need to be effective internal HR consultants. Have them write each competency on a 3x5 card.
  3. Combine participants into groups of five to eight people. Ask the groups to combine their individual cards. Have them put similar competencies together and create headings for each pile. This should take one to five hours.
  4. Continue combining groups until one large group is re-formed. Repeat the process of combining and matching.
  5. Collect the 3x5 cards. Collect the cards and write the competencies on a board for everyone to see and consider.
  6. Give everyone a day off. This time away allows for editing of the cards and gives participants a chance to reflect on the initial outcome.
  7. Narrow the list down to the top 10 most critical HR competencies. In a large group discussion, decide which are the most important competencies for now and in the future.

You'll end up with a list of your HR group's core competencies. If your team wasn't focusing on these before, the list will provide a good framework from which to base future career and professional development programs.

SOURCE:Cheryl Marshall and Christine W. Bozar, Partners; Summit Consulting, Chino Hills, CA

Workforce, October 1997, Vol. 76, No. 10, p. 61.

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