2009 EDINEB Conference Baltimore, md Human Resource competency/ Curriculum Study: in a nontraditional setting Presenter: Dr. James Neblett, SPHR, GPHR
10 years of HR Leadership experience in Telecommunications and Retail industries
6 years as a Professor and Department Chair for HR
Current Trends in HR curriculum
Follow up survey results
Possible Career choices
Future Research opportunities
As HR professionals advance in their careers it may be the case that different knowledge, skills and abilities are needed to contribute on an advanced level.
Past surveys by the SHRM in 2003 and 2005 have found that business professionals place a premium on strong oral and written communications skills and ethics.
Best in class organizations not only attain distinctive operational excellence, but also align their human assets with strategies and goals (Schoonover, 2003).
An advisory board was established for soliciting HR practitioners both domestically and internationally. The Board is make up is HR Consultants, HR Directors, HR Managers, HR coordinators, and HR students.
Once the board was established the researcher requested that the Board complete a 12 question survey about their attitudes on the HR profession as it relates to important HR competencies (the results to follow).
Lastly, the Board was sent a follow up survey after the researcher developed HR curriculum (the results to follow)
HR Competencies HR Professional Business Competence Professional & Technical Knowledge Integration Competence Ability to Manage and/or Lead Change Noe, R. A., Hollenbeck, J. R., Gerhart, B., & Wright, P. M. (2000). Human resource management: Gaining a competitive advantage (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Irwin McGraw-Hill
Survey results by question
1. How many people does your organization employ?
The advisory committee was asked to describe the size of their organization and resulting headcount varies from 0 to 1000. The predominant headcount from the committee was +1000 employees which made up 29.2% and the lowest was 251-500 employees which comprised 12.5%.
2.What is the size of the human resources department at your location?
Each of the committee members was asked to describe their size of their HR department and the results indicate a very al HR department comprised of 1 to 10 employees.
Most organizations have at least 1 HR Exempt professional to 250 employees. There are only a few individuals that indicate that they have no HR support which is indicative of most small firms in the United States.
3. Indicate the geographic location in which you are located.
The committee members where solicited from Linkedin.com the composition of the groups is quite diverse with representation from each of the main geographic areas in the United States and the world at large.
4. In what industry are you reporting?
The committee members are comprised from a diverse range of industries. The majority do not fit into the generic category.
However, the main industries that are represented in the communities that CUC serve.
5. Do you participate in the hiring process for Human Resources?
The majorities of committee members’ participate in the hiring process and/or participate in the hiring decisions which comprise over 80% of the respondents. The small amount indicating other are on hiring committee or have some part contribution to the screen process for their department.
6. Have you ever hired a recent college graduate (someone who was hired less than one year after college graduation)?
The majority of the committee members have hired recent college graduates. This is important as this gives the researcher an idea of the committee members understanding of recent hiring needs for their organizations as well gives them perspective of what HR competencies businesses value.
7. Below are lists of competencies that may be required in a human resources position. Please indicate the importance of each item for an entry level human resources position using a scale of 1-5 (1=not important, 5=absolutely essential).
The top three competencies that business look for are interpersonal skills, writing skills and good ethical business practices. The bottom three competencies are mergers and acquisitions, accounting and finance and a four way tie for economics, risk management, marketing, and statistics.
Identifying, developing and retaining high potential individuals and preparing them for their next set of challenges and responsibilities is an essential part of maximizing organizational performance (Metz, 1998). While these are vital business skills the committee members did not think they are skills in entry level HR professional will need initially.
8. Is it important for job applicants to have a professional designation?
The senior professional in human resources (SPHR) typically has 7 or more years of exempt human resources experience. Based on that most entry level graduates would not have a wealth of experience to sit for the exam. However, most professional in human resources (PHR) typically have 2 or more years of exempt human resource experience. The later designation is within reach of junior human resources professional. While there is no requirement sit for professional certification typically most entry level human resources positions advertisements indicate this to be desirable.
9. What percentage of your employees has a SPHR/PHR certification?
While professional certification is not a requirement practice human resources most organizations like to see a percentage certified. This is also good for CUC in that after students complete the Bachelor of Science in Human Resources they would be more likely to pursue certification which is currently offered.
10. Do you think an internship (on-the-job work experience for college credit) is an important component to an undergraduate HR Program?
The committee does feel that having an internship is highly desirable. This opinion is shared by SHRM in two recent studies (2003 and 2007). CUC currently offers internships in most professional studies programs. As of 2008 SHRM has begun to offer stipends to companies to support Internship for HR graduates. If the internship becomes a part of the curriculum there does need to support locally for interested students.
11. What is the most important competency you feel is a necessary of new hires with a bachelor's degree in human resources?
The main theme of the verbatim statements filter into five main areas which are:
Basic business acumen 29.0 %
Influence skills 37.5 %
Conceptual knowledge 25%
Conflict Negotiation skills 9.25%
Employment law 9.25%
12. What is the most important competence deficiency you feel is missing from new hires with a bachelor's degree in human resources?
The main theme of the verbatim statements filter into four main areas which are:
Basic business acumen 63%
Lack of knowledge 12.5%
Problem solving 12.5%
Writing skills 12%
The response rate of the initial survey to the HR Advisory Board was 100%.
Post survey results
Below you will find the questions from the Post survey to the HR advisory Board. You will find the question, verbatim statements and main theme.
1. Based on the Proposed HR undergraduate program materials, do you feel this curriculum meets the needs for an entry level HR professional? Why or why not? If not what would you add?
Verbatim statements theme
Yes, the program seems to encompass the major functions of HR that an entry level individual will be charged with learning and accomplishing.
Yes. It has a well-rounded approach
Yes. In fact looks very strong, and some of these class titles look like content I took for my HR Masters Program.
2. Based on the proposed HR curriculum proposed do you feel that a graduate from the program will be effective for 1 to 3 years, 5 years, and 10 years? Why or why not?
3. Given Chapman University College is a nontraditional education model do you feel this proposed program will a strong competitor in your market? Why or why not? If not give examples.
Yes, because of the HR programs I have personally reviewed and/or enrolled in are lacking in some of the fundamental areas needed by entry level HR individuals.
Since it allows the student to "customize" their learning as to the direction they would like to take their career (electives and core choices), I believe it will be a strong competitor.
This would be a competitive program. Offhand, however, I do not know what other universities offer specifically.
4. Would you apply to this program if you were looking to complete your Bachelor's in Human Resources? If you have completed this level would you recommend this program to a friend or colleague? Why or why not?
Absolutely yes! I would also recommend this program to others seeking an HR degree because of the courses offered. Traditional business programs teach marketing, management, and some leadership, but few 9if any) include benefits, workforce planning, and other similar courses.
Yes I would, I like the variety of courses.
Depending on the friend's background and needs, I would consider recommending this program.
5. Which method of teaching do feel is preferable for this program?
Working professionals expect flexibility in teaching modality.
The results of the survey indicated a strong need for hybrid on ground and online learning. There is some hesitation with a totally online program as there is a perceived stigma attached to an online degree.
6. Is there something else that you feel is missing that would be critical to the success of the program? Please give examples.
The main theme of the verbatim statements is the addition of an Internship. While there is mixed responses as to whether the internship is required or an elective, most HR programs have this as an option to help give students some practical experience prior to graduation.
The response rate of the follow up survey was 58%.
Main HR Competencies and Findings
Main HR competencies
The competencies are Credible activist, Cultural steward, Talent manager/ Organizational Designer, Strategic architect, Business ally and Operational executer (Grossman, 2007).
The results reflect a strong need for business acumen, influence skills and conceptual knowledge. This is also aligns with Noe et 2003 and Mathis and Jackson (2008) which discuss the Credible activist, Business ally and Operational execution.
There are international implications for US and Global organizations given Sarbanes Oxley and local ethics laws.
The top three competencies that business look for are interpersonal skills, writing skills and good ethical business practices.
The bottom three competencies are mergers and acquisitions, accounting and finance and a four way tie for economics, risk management, marketing, and statistics.
In developing an Human Resources Undergraduate curriculum based on the results of the two surveys its important to include courses in with subject matter expertise in employment law, strategic management, performance improvement, compensation and benefits, change management, ethics, training and consulting skills.
Potential Career choices or options
Typical first jobs for Human Resource Management majors include corporate recruiter, employee relations specialist, compensation analyst, corporate trainer, HR generalist, and management trainee.
Typical jobs held five-ten years out include HR director, staffing manager, compensation manager, training manager, and employee relations director.
Human Resource Management majors are encouraged to become involved in the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
Future Research opportunities
A future research implication would be to collect data from chief HR officers in organizations to determine how their view matches with the current perspectives reported in this study.
To the degree that these senior professionals have a clearer view of what future success will look like for HR professionals, the comparison and analysis of any gaps.
Thank you! :^)
References for further reading
Grossman, R. (2007, June). New Competencies for HR. HR Magazine , 58-62.
Mathis, R. & Jackson, J. (2008). Human Resource Management . 12th edition. Mason,
Metz, E. (1998). Designing Succession Systems for New Competitive Realities. Human
Resource Planning , 21.
Noe, R, Hollenbeck, J., Gerhart, B. & Wright, P. (2008). Human Resource Management:
Gaining a competitive advantage . 6th edition. Boston: McGraw-Hill
Schoonover Associates. (2003). HR Competencies for the New Century . Falmouth, MA: Schoonover, D.
Society for Human Resource Management. (2005, November) Graduate HR curriculum
Study . Alexandria, VA: Dooney, J., Smith, N. & Williams, S.
Society for Human Resource Management. (2003, November) Undergraduate HR
Curriculum study. Alexandria, VA: Cohen, D., and Kluttz, L.
Waterman, M. & Stanley, E. (2005). BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium, Beloit, WI
Wilson, E. (2000). Performance Competencies: Making a Difference by Working and