Components of the National HR

The competency model consists of three broad competence areas:

1. The four pillars of professionalism form the square shape of the “house” as the foundation for professional HR practice.
2. Five core competencies needed by HR professionals to do high quality HR work constitute the building blocks.
3. Five HR capabilities required to ensure strategic HR impact form the roof.

Pillars of HR Professionalism


The four pillars of HR professionalism form the foundation of the HR Competency Model:

1. Duty to Society - HR professionals have a duty to society in delivering high quality HR work that has an impact on society.
2. Ethics - HR professionalism should contribute to ethics in organisations and drive ethics in accordance with the SABPP HR Guide on Ethics.
3. Professionalism - HR professionals should manage themselves professionally in acting and behaving like true professionals in the standard of HR work they deliver.
4. HR and Business Knowledge - HR professionals must have good HR and sound business knowledge if they want to be successful as professionals and strategic partners.

Considering these pillars, one could also say that our duty to society forms the foundation of the HR competency house. Ethics and professionalism are the walls. If the foundation and walls are not strong, the house will fall down. Furthermore, HR and business knowledge is the ceiling of the house: acquiring sound HR and business knowledge opens up opportunities for HR professionals to move to the strategic level of the HR house, i.e. the roof.

Core Competencies


The five core competencies constitute the different building blocks of the house.

These competencies are the basic competencies all HR professionals need to be effective in the workplace:

1. Leadership and Personal Credibility - All HR professionals should possess leadership skills to drive the HR profession. Likewise, HR professionals should have personal credibility in organisations, irrespective of level in the organisation, but this can only be achieved if they display a high level of competence in executing professional HR work.
2. Organisational capability - Understanding the organisational context and needs of the business is critical in the process of planning and delivering HR practices.
3. Solution Creation and Implementation - HR professionals create, plan and implement HR solutions, including interventions and practices according to the needs of the organisation.
4. Interpersonal and communication skills - All HR work depends on successful relationships, and excellent interpersonal and communication skills are of utmost importance.
5. Citizenship for the future - Over and above the HR strategic partner role, the new business environment requires HR professionals who can drive innovation, optimise technology and contribute to sustainability. Thus, HR professionals become citizens for the future in ensuring sustainability of organisations and the environment.

HR Capabilities


Applying five strategic capabilities in driving business excellence enables HR to do high level strategic HR work.

Typically, the five strategic HR capabilities are as follows:

1. Strategy - HR professionals contribute to business strategy by drafting HR strategies aligned to the overall strategy of the organisation. However, this is more than just alignment, it requires the ability and influence to create people-driven business strategy in partnership with other executives.
2. Talent management - Once business and HR strategy are clear, HR professionals should work with line management in implementing a talent management plan for an organisation.
3. HR governance, risk and compliance - Governing the HR function to make effective people decisions for the business, including managing HR risks and ensuring compliance to employment laws, rules, codes and HR standards elevate HR from business partners to HR governors.
4. Analytics and measurement - Another core capability is to be able to generate a systematic and integrated approach to HR analytics and measures in demonstrating HR impact on the business.
5. HR service delivery - Ultimately HR professionals should be able to deliver high quality HR products and services for the organisation and meeting or exceeding the needs of management, employees and other key stakeholders.

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