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SHRM Competency Model

Advancing the HR Profession

In keeping with SHRM’s mission of serving and advancing the HR profession, SHRM developed the SHRM Competency Model.

SHRM’s Competency Model identifies what it means to be a successful HR professional—across the performance continuum, around the globe, from early to executive career levels. The competency model and the resources developed based on the model provide the foundation for talent management throughout the HR lifecycle.

The Premier Evidence-Based HR Competency Model

SHRM competencies support HR professionals and their organizations in identifying and developing high-quality HR practitioners who have the critical competencies needed to work our most pressing people issues of today and to deliver HR strategy to enable businesses to evolve in the future.
SHRM's Competency Model comprises nine competencies: one technical competency and eight behavioral competencies.  The model identifies the foundational competencies HR professionals need for success:

  • at the entry, mid, senior, and executive levels of experience;
  • in small, medium, and large sized organizations;
  • in private, public, non-profit, and not-for-profit sectors; and
  • in organizations with multinational and domestic operations

See the full model (PDF)

View a full-sized SHRM Competency Model graphic (PDF)

SHRM Competency Content Validation Study

SHRM conducted a content validation study to examine the extent to which the competency model represents all facets of successful performance for the HR profession. The findings in this report provide strong evidence for the applicability of the competency model to the HR profession and highlight the results from input from more than 32,000 subject matter experts. Content validity refers to how accurately something taps into the various aspects of a specific concept and is achieved by using recognized subject matter experts to evaluate the content. This is an exciting time for the HR profession and these results demonstrate that SHRM is at the forefront of advancing the profession.

Download the SHRM Competency Content Validation Study (PDF)

SHRM Competency Criterion Validation Study

SHRM conducted a series of large-scale multi-organizational criterion validation studies, including a highly diverse sample of more than 1,500 HR professionals and their supervisors. These studies established that an HR professional's proficiency in the competencies identified in the SHRM Competency Model is closely linked to successful job performance. The collective results of the criterion validation studies show that though HR Expertise (HR Knowledge) is important, behavioral competencies predict job performance over and above HR Expertise (HR Knowledge) and demographic characteristics.

View the SHRM Competency Criterion Validation Study (PDF)