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Dr. T. V. Rao is currently Chairman, TVRLS. A former professor and Board member at IIMA, Dr. Rao is the Founder President of National HRD Network and has been in the forefront of HRD movement in the country. Dr. Rao worked as a short-term consultant to UNESCO, Bangkok; USAID Indonesia; UNIDO Malaysia; and Commonwealth Secretariat, London and as HRD Consultant in India to over a hundred organizations in the public and private sectors. Dr. Rao received many awards including Ravi Matthai Fellow (AIMS), Asia Pacific HR Professional of the year 2019 (APFHRM) and Lifetime Achievement Award from Indian Academy of Management. Authored over 60 books.

Tuesday, August 8, 2023


Assessing HR Competencies in “HRD Score Card 2500: Tools for Renewal through HRD Audit” by T V Rao (KBS Publications, Mumbai)

T. V. Rao

To  be released on August 28, 2023: https://www.amazon.in/HRD-Score-Card-2500-Renewal/dp/8196329695/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2WAMS7S3LISAV&keywords=HRD+Score+card+2500&qid=1691558473&sprefix=hrd+score+card+2500%2Caps%2C372&sr=8-1)

This article is prepared to supplement the 10 HR competencies assessed in the book assigning 200 out of the 2500 points of HRD Score card. The competency review included here is expected to serve as an additional knowledge to Herd Auditors using the score a card book.

This book treats Competencies as a comprehensive concept and presents as competencies required for good HRD as:

  • 1.      Competencies of HR staff or professionals employed by the organization = 200 points
  • 2.      Continues development of Competencies through learning from various sources = 100 points
  • 3.      Leadership  styles of top management = 100 points
  • 4.      Learning from various sources by unionized categories and non- managerial staff = 60 points, and
  • 5.      Credibility and competence of the HR department = 40 points

The total points assigned are 500 points. The users of this scheme can use this with some flexibility but amounting to 500 points for consistency. Nearly 50% of weightage is given to HR employees and department and the remaining to top management, line managers and other employees. The assumption here is that HR D (learning and capacity building to meet the business goals of the firm consists of both HR partners and also other employees (top management, managers and non-managerial staff). The weightage given can be adjusted depending on the firm’s priorities. For example in a workmen heavy firm one can assign equal weightage to competency building or learning of managers and employees.

However a critical part of the firm’s competence comes from HR staff and department.

HR staff are assigned 200 points on the following competencies:

1. Business Knowledge and Business Leadership: Knowledge of business (products, services, customers, technology, competitors, developments, research and development) and all functions (sales and marketing, production and operations, finance, systems, MIS, logistics, services, etc.); knowledge of business capital (intellectual) and its constituents and methods of building business capital (competencies 1 and 2 of Agrawal and Rao, 2022: A & R))

2. Strategic Thinking: Analytical ability, cost and quality sensitivity, ability to spot opportunities, anticipate and find alternate ways of solving problems. (8 of Agrawal and Rao)

3. Functional Excellence: HR knowledge and HR delivery including culture sensitivity, empathy, coaching, and facilitation (Competence 3 of Agrawal and Rao- A & R)

4. Vision of the Function, Professional Leadership and Entrepreneurship (Competency 3 of A&R)

5. Leadership and Change Management: Communication, initiative, creativity and change management (Competencies 4, 5, 6 and 7 of A&R)

6.    Technology-savvy: including HR technology and research methods and systems driven (Competence 9 of A&R)

7.      Personnel Management IR, and Administrative Skill (Competency 3 of A&R). 

8. Execution Skills: Planning and monitoring skills, decision making, cultural sensitivity, persuasive skills, behavior modification techniques and group dynamics, ability to craft interventions for implementation, cost and quality sensitivity (Competencies 10& 11 of A & R).

9. Learning Attitude and Self- management: Self-awareness and desire to learn, time management, networking, research, and analytical skills (13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 of A&R. 

10. Personal Credibility (Competence 12 12 of A&R)

 A competence that is not included in our list is the Social leadership.

 On the basis of their study of 30 HR leaders Agrawal and Rao identified a list of 20 competencies, in five categories.

 A.    Business Leadership: contributions to business which deals with Business acumen, business information, business decision making, entrepreneurship, knowledge of all functions like fiancé and accounts, marketing, production, logistics, Information technology.

 B.     Functional Leadership: Dealing with HR function and includes expertise in the HR function, its strategy, systems, processes, technology, talent management and execution etc. A good part of people management skills get classified here as it is a part of the HR profession.

 C.     Professional Leadership: largely dealing with contributions to the profession in the country and across the globe, adding to professional knowledge, dissemination, membership and leadership in professional forums and bodies and professional innovations that go beyond the organization and benefit to the profession and Professional bodies, writing, influencing Govt. etc.

 D.    Personal Leadership: Which largely tarts with self and self-management, self-renewal, initiative, drive, creativity and such other personal qualities that put the person in the leader’s seat. These are also required for functional leadership but these are more of Individual competencies going beyond the function.

 E.      Social Leadership:  Which largely deals with contributions to the society and humanity at large and is also contributions to society and larger causes.

These five categories competencies are explained below as given by Agrawal and Rao (2022)

1.      Business sense and Business Partnership: (Driving Business). HR function must be sensitive to the business goals and business realities. People are recruited to accomplish organizational goals and achieve the vision and mission of organizations and even keep creating one or take it to newer levels. While it is often attributed to the founders and CEOs and top management and Boards, in recent times HR has also played a great role in making employees feel that they work for larger goals than annul targets and KRAs. This enhances commitment and makes work enjoyable. A HR leader must learn about business, customers, marketplace, suppliers, and all other stakeholders besides the employees themselves. This requires the CHRO to acquire knowledge about the business he/she is working with and create a sense of purpose and partnership in all employees.

 Integrating ability: ability to connect discipline -- eclectic mind; appreciation for interdisciplinary solutions to problems Includes: Integrating Cross functional work and navigating proposals in the Board and global academic institutions, Integrating multiple cultures and Aligning HR agenda with business needs etc.

Functional Skills: Industrial relations as mentioned in the earlier chapter, being good at handling irate union, ability to deal with workers and workers categories, knowledge of law and laboratory education, Manageing compensation and benefits including Ability to creating the compensation structure, and manage wage negotiations; HR interventions for business results, OD and Talent Management etc.

4.      Driving Change  

5.      Communication skills

6.      Courage of Conviction

7.      People Leadership: These skills included: Interpersonal competence and encouraging and empowering juniors as well as other employees and setting a climate and culture of empowerment, investing on developing others, conflict management, managing differences and setting a climate of mutual respect and collaboration.

        Strategic Thinking This competence deals with both HR strategies and business strategies based on HR or the quality of talent the firm has.

9.    Systems thinking and Technology Savvy: Creating and establishing processes for defining and practices for engendering competitive corporate cultures, undertaken information dissemination and responsiveness to turbulence in the business environment. Systems like climate survey, fast track career progression, creation of non-technical officers’ career cadre, assessment center, and policies for master craftsmen were all indigenously developed.  They used systems and processes for business goals, and showed an ability to use technology,

10.  Decision making.

11.  Execution capability and skills  

12.  Credibility: Credibility comes from being fair, consistent, honest, upright, transparent, and consistent.  All competency models including CIPD, HR Scape, SHRM, and Dave Ulrich point to the importance of this competence. SHRM competence list for people profession calls it ethical practice (ability to integrate core values, integrity and accountability into all business decisions), and leadership and navigation (the ability to contribute to initiatives and processes withing the organization). Our HRLs depict these competencies w very aptly.

13.  Hard work and High Energy; an interesting competency observed in most of them is their high energy and hard work.

14.  Innovation:

15.  Learning Agility:

16.  Problem solving and Process Orientation skills:

17.  Adaptability and Resilience:

18.  Self-Management and Rejuvenation: Self-management as a critical competence of leaders is indicated by a large number of researchers and scholars. For example Peter Drucker, Daniel Goleman’s emotional intelligence and leadership concepts are based on this.

19.  Networking Skills and Networking with others: Networking and networking skills has been observed to be a critical competence in recent times. It helps the leader to discover new areas of work by being in touch with customers, employees, professional bodies, experts, and various other knowledge givers and sources of wisdom.

20.  Social Sensitivity, Sharing, service and sense of responsibility: Peter Drucker maintained that all good leaders have a high sense of social responsibility.

Human Service Managers: Spencer and Spencer (2008) identified 14 generic competencies for Helping and Human service Professionals. These include:

1.      Impact and Influence

2.      Developing others

3.      Interpersonal understanding

4.      Self confidence

5.      Self-control

6.      Personal effectiveness

7.      Professional expertise

8.      Customer service orientation

9.      Teamwork and cooperation

10.  Analytical thinking

11.  Conceptual thinking

12.  Initiative

13.  Flexibility, and

14.  Defectiveness or assertiveness


The 2021 Model of HR competencies of Dave Ulrich: The HRCS 8 study—hosted by The RBL Group, Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, and 19 regional partners across the globe— surveyed over 27,000 participants rating the competencies and performance of more than 3,500 HR professionals and more than 1,500 organizations. Below is the new HR competency model.

Accelerates Business and results. This includes: generate competitive market insights, have personal capital, have the skills to influence the business, and get the most important things done and build agility throughout the. Additionally, they must help drive agility throughout the organization. 

Advances Human Capability : This includes: the extent to which HR professionals can successfully advance human capability in the organization, deliver solutions, that improve both individual talent (human) and organization performance (capability) with specific focus on championing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace to improve overall organizational performance. 

Simplifies Complexity : This includes the extent to which HR professionals can think critically and objectively about the challenges their organization think independently, and discover opportunity even during times of uncertainty or crisis. 

Mobilizes Information: This includes the extent to which HR professionals are able to access, analyse, and act on information by using technology to solve problems and influence decisions, and understanding of social issues that will impact the organization. 

Fosters Collaboration: Includes successfully fostering collaboration of working together, being open and self-aware, inspire trust and respect, and how effectively they build relationships that bring people together. 

The SHRM Competency Model provides the foundation for talent management throughout the HR lifecycle and helps organizations ensure that HR professionals are proficient in the critical behaviours and knowledge necessary to solve today's most pressing people issues. The model is based on input from 1200 professionals from 29 cities and 111 focussed groups from different cities. It is validated by 32000 subject matter specialists. The model consists of the following nine competencies: Human Resource Expertise (HR Knowledge); Ethical Practice; Leadership and Navigation; Business acumen; Consultation; Critical evaluation; Communication; Global and Cultural effectiveness; and Relationship Management. SHRM research indicates that LBIT model explains largely success of HR Professionals. T stands for technical knowledge, and three clusters including L for leadership, B for Business and I for Interpersonal relations. HR Leaders in our study undoubtedly LBIT competencies to a large extent. There could be minor individual variations in each of the components but in general there is a good fir.

CIPD’s Professional Map:  Designed to respond to the changing role of people professionals, the map aims to help people professionals face the future with confidence, by setting out the knowledge, values and behaviors they’ll need to thrive in a changing world. CIPD claims  for those working in HR or L&D, it will help them to make good decisions, perform at their best, further career and drive change in their workplace.

There are four key elements at the heart of the Profession Map. 1. Purpose-Having a shared purpose; 2. Core knowledge- (six core areas of knowledge create value, drive change and positively impact workplace: 1.Culture and behaviour, 2. Business acumen, 3. Analytics and creating value, 4. Digital working, and 6. Change) and 3. Core behaviours- (eight ways of thinking and acting that enable one to become an effective professional: Working inclusively, Commercial drive, Valuing people, passion for learning, Change, focus on insights, Ethical practice, Professional courage and influence and Situational decision-making. 4. Specialist knowledge- (9 areas of specialist knowledge within the people profession include: Organizational development and design, People analytics, Resourcing, Rewards, Talent management, Employee experience, Employee relations, Diversity and inclusion, and Learning and development)

National HRD Network: HRScape includes four Behavioral Competencies and eight Functional Competencies: 1. Credible Champion denotes the ability to demonstrate high integrity in personal and professional transactions: Integrity and Fairness; Building Trust; Emotional Maturity and Ethics; 2. Diversity and Inclusion: Diversity & Inclusion refers to the comprehensive set of organizational policies, processes & practices that respect, value and support differences, diverse perspectives at workplace for leveraging & maximizing the potential of all employees context of diversity, cross-cultural sensitivity and inclusive practices; 3. Service Orientation: Service Orientation refers to the ability to imbibe and demonstrate readiness to respond to the needs and concerns of internal and external customers; Customer Orientation, Problem solving and Process Orientation and Improvement and service delivery; 4. Managing Change: Managing Change refer to the ability to diagnose, design and deliver change processes for individual and organizational transformation; Designing Change Interventions, Managing Resistance and Communicating change

Functional Competencies Include: Employee Relations; Strategic HRM; Organizational Design; Workforce Planning and staffing; Talent management; Total Rewards; Learning and development and Performance Management.

As indicated in the beginning the competency framework used for HRD staff in the first volume of HRD Score card has only been slightly modified and largely retained as in the original. The main reason being the context of HRD Audit. Various parts of HRD are being audited under systems, culture and values and Impact. As an author I feel that we are not assessing CHROs or HR Leaders in the HRD Audit. We are assessing all HR staff and hence we don’t require to sue standards that are sued for CHROs and HR Leaders as in Agrawal and Rao’s book or Dave Ulrich’s and SHRM or CIPD model. These models however are relevant and if we examine the 2500 points they are reflected in some part or the other.




Agrawal, Arvind and Rao, T. V. (2022) Leaders in the Making: The Crucibles of Change makers in HR; New Delhi: Penguin Randomhouse India

L. M. Spencer and P. S. M. Spencer, Competence at Work Models for Superior Performance, John Wiley & Sons, 2008.

The CIPD Professional Map Downloaded on 7-9-2021): https://www.coursesonline.co.uk/everything-you-need-to-know-about-cipds-new-2021-qualifications/


SHRM Competency model: https://www.shrm.org/learningandcareer/career/pages/shrm-competency-model.aspx Downloaded on 7-9-2021

Dave Ulrich Competency model: https://www.hrdconnect.com/2022/02/28/dave-ulrich-5-hr-competencies-and-actions-to-enable-renewal-through-human-capability/

Rao, T. V. (2023) HRD Score card 2500: Tools for Renewal through HRD Audit, Mumbai: KBI Publishers


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