Developing yourself as an effective HR practitioner

What are the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to be effective in your HRM/D role?

The HR Profession map was designed and created in 2009 by leading HR specialists and generalists around the world. The map is used by many organisations and is universally acknowledged as the guidelines for the structure of the HR profession. The map is built up of ten professional areas, eight behaviours and four bands. The professional areas are different skills and specialisms that are within HR, employee relations and resourcing talent would be two examples.

The eight behaviours are characteristics you need to have to be able to succeed as an HR practitioner, these include being a decisive thinker and being a role model. The bands show the level of competency and knowledge you are required to have at each stage of your career. The map can be used for an individual, a team or even the whole organisation. The map covers all aspects of the profession whether it be large or small.

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The core of the map shows two professional areas which are strategies, insights and solutions and leading HR. These are at the core because regardless what level you are at in your career you must be able to demonstrate the skills required in these two areas to be in any HR role. They are fundamental to any organisation.

Insights, Strategy and Solutions:

This area focuses on the understanding of the organisation you work in and the development of that. This could include collating ideas and observations from colleagues and trying to influence policies and put forward ideas in band one to assessing the social and economic environment to create change in an organisation which would demonstrate skills from band four.

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Of all the behaviours there are some that are required more in certain professions. Being able to demonstrate yourself as a skilled influencer would be very beneficial in this area as you could be required to influence the stakeholders or senior management to go ahead with your proposed changes or the need to influence the organisation with new policies.

Being curious would be another behaviour required for this as you would want to seek ways to develop the organisation and add value, to do this you would need to actively develop understanding of the sector you are in and all that encompasses that to make effective decisions.

Collaborative is another behaviour and this would link well with the curious behaviour as this one shows respect and empathy to all cultures and beliefs within band one and going up the bands you are able to effectively work with a range of people inside your organisation and outside. You are able to bring people together to make positive decisions for the organisation.

Leading HR:

This core professional area is about maximising the contribution you, the whole HR function or the specialist function make on the organisation. You should always be aware of any issues or threats to the organisation and prioritise the needs of the business. Within band one you are able to provide sound advice and understanding based in the organisations policies and within band four you are able to lead and develop whole functions or organisations.

The development of being a role model is required in this profession as all the competency levels require you to lead by example and encourage positive change. You are able to set the standards required for the organisation which will then be conveyed to the rest of the business.

The courage to challenge is going to always be a requirement for an HR practitioner and is an important behaviour. Within this professional area you would need to stand by your decisions and be ready to face difficult questions and provide substantial evidence to prove the need for your proposals.

Driven to deliver is the underpinning of being a good HR practitioner as you need to show consistency and determination to deliver the best HR you can. Showing ways to work efficiently and effectively are strong characteristics required for this behaviour and within the professional area of leading HR.

Employee Relations:

This professional area is necessary to be able to keep good working relations between employers and employees. The HR act as the go between to ensure the employers are acting appropriately and the employees are managed correctly. This is all done by having clear frameworks within the organisation and by abiding the relevant employment law.

To be able to do this you need to be personally credible and able to develop your own skills and performance to convey the right message to others. Within higher bands your skills would be efficient to mentor and coach others across the organisation and to highly impact key decisions within the business.

Within employee relations many situations could arise including uncomfortable and highly sensitive ones so being a decisive thinker is very important. You are able to identify the most appropriate solution which will resolve any employee issue but will also be supporting the organisation. Leading negotiations with unions and so forth would require decisive thinking and to not become complacent as this could damage the organisation.

My current role is an HR Administrator for a manufacturing company that operate worldwide. I would place myself in band one at present but in some areas I show skills and behaviours from band two. My main professional area currently would be service delivery and information and this is where I have developed many of the band two competencies. I Maintain and develop the HR database, I also consolidate and send out information required by the business. My goal is to now develop myself and work towards achieving the skills within band two in the other professional areas to progress and move to an HR advisory role as a generalist in the not too distant future.


  • CIPD. (2014). CIPD. Available: Last accessed 26th October 2014.
  • Malcolm Martin and Fiona Whiting (2013). Human Resource Practice. London: CIPD. p289-p313.
  • CIPD. (2014). Profession Map. Available: Last accessed 26th October 2014.

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Developing yourself as an effective HR practitioner. (2016, Aug 21). Retrieved from

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