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Roles of the HR Professional

Technical Specialist circle inside of Advisor circle that is inside of Strategic Partner circle that is inside of Leadership Circle

Whatever your career aspirations, there is a place for you in the transforming human resources profession - and the HRU Portal can guide you there! Building from the core competencies common to all HR roles (Technical Specialist, Advisor, Strategic Partner, and/or Leader/Manager), you can choose to follow a traditional path or carve out your own journey. Here you will find descriptions of the four roles, the competencies associated with each and how to gain/enhance your proficiency levels. By following the guides contained in this HRU Portal, you can begin to determine how to best achieve your career goals.

All HR professionals should be a technical specialist in one or more technical areas. HR professionals should develop advisor and strategic partner skills in order to become more effective in providing technical guidance and human capital services to their organization. Leaders can be found in any of the roles. HR professionals can demonstrate leadership skills at every organizational level whether or not they are in a formal leadership roles. We recommend that all HR professionals enhance their leadership skills.

Select each HR role to learn more about it.

Technical Specialist
Technical specialists apply intensive knowledge of specific technical areas to address and resolve immediate needs of business. The thirteen critical general competencies in this role are: Attention to Detail; Customer Service; Information Management; Integrity/Honesty; Interpersonal Skills; Legal, Government, and Jurisprudence; Oral Communication; Reading; Self-Management; Stress Tolerance; Teamwork; Technical Competence; Writing.
As technical consultants, advisors develop innovative HR solutions to address customer issues and achieve specific business goals (with an eye on those of tomorrow). The seven critical general competencies in this role are: Creative Thinking, Client Engagement/Change Management, Decision Making, Flexibility, Influencing/Negotiating, Project Management, Reasoning.
Strategic Partner
Strategic business partners identify broad HR issues ahead of business leaders; they are high-level consultants who develop strategies to address long-term business needs. The ten critical general competencies in this role are: Client Engagement/Change Management, Decision Making, Flexibility, Influencing/Negotiating, Organizational Awareness, Planning and Evaluating, Problem Solving, Project Management, Reasoning, Workforce Planning.
The leadership/management role can be — and often is — incorporated into any of the above roles or stand alone, depending on where in the organization it is found. This role may involve managing projects, managing people, managing systems and/or leading strategically.

NOTE: The HR Professional Roles include six competencies that are cross-cutting general (core) competencies, critical for both HR Advisors and HR Strategic Partners. These are Client Engagement/Change Management, Decision Making, Flexibility, Influencing/Negotiating.