6 Characteristics of HR Professionals that Make the Greatest Impact

In the February 2014 edition of Sounding Board (The Vancouver Board of Trade), Jason McRobbie interviews expert Dave Ulrich, professor at Ross School of Business, about what skillsets HR professionals need to make the greatest impact on their companies. Ulrich identifies six that he believes are imperative for HR professionals to gain a competitive edge:

  • Strategic positioners align the organization with internal and external stakeholders
  • Credible activists build relationships and take a proactive view about business
  • Capability builders diagnose capabilities and shape and evolve culture
  • Change champions initiate and sustain change
  • Innovators and integrators offer integrated solutions to business challenges
  • Technology proponents use information and make informed decisions

Ulrich feels that credible activists are the most important, as HR has to build trust and relationships to get things done. Studies show that business improved the most when HR focused on the external customer needs and reacted appropriately to define HR priorities.

As the role of HR evolves, and the pace of business continues to accelerate, Ulrich says the emphasis is now on productivity rather than knowledge. He asks, “How can you take what you know and make something happen?”