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HR Success Factors

Success factors provide guidance on how to maximize your performance and career success as you move through career stages in the Human Resources Management Series (201). These statements are typically broad in scope and can be viewed as "pieces of advice" from senior members who have reflected on their experience in the HR field and provided statements on how to maximize performance and career advancement. You will notice that many of the success factors are not tied to any particular technical area or career stage. In addition, these statements are not tied to any specific position, qualification competency, or developmental experience.
After reading through the success factors, you should seek clarification from your supervisor on how best to implement some of the suggestions.

Career Movement
  • Obtain expertise in staffing and classification as this knowledge is foundational; it is also required for success at higher levels of HR.
  • Become fully proficient in more than one technical area if you wish to enter positions beyond full performance.
  • Develop breadth of experience by working in offices of differing sizes or locations - but gain depth of experience at each position before moving.
  • Before specializing in policy work, gain a solid foundation in operations.

Learning the HR Field
  • Strive to understand the foundation of the entire HR system and how it ties together, such as:
    • Policies, rules, and regulations (e.g., gain knowledge of the pertinent chapters of the Code of Federal Regulations related to your technical area)
    • Recent developments in the HR area (e.g., hiring reform, Federal-wide changes, impacts of legislation)
  • Pay attention to HR-related news within the Federal Government.

Skills to Develop throughout Your Career
  • Learn how to clearly define a problem and probe at the root causes.
  • Learn how to use technology to your advantage.
  • Continually develop your listening and communication skills.
  • Learn how to effectively communicate and navigate the virtual world, including the use of social media.
  • Research best practices, both internal and external to the Federal Government, and gain a broad theoretical and practical background in HR.
  • Learn how to serve as a business partner and advisor. For example:
    • Develop effective consulting skills.
    • Learn the process of data collection and analysis.
    • Learn how to produce well-written and effective reports that communicate useful information.
    • Seek opportunities to prove your value to customers.

Ways to Stand Out
  • Show a willingness to do independent research when solving problems.
  • Adopt a product-focused perspective and learn how to deliver results.
  • Seek out a mentor and consider becoming one when you reach a higher level.
  • Maintain a high level of attention to detail. Do accurate and thorough research.
  • Make a commitment to understand your Agency's organizational structure, mission, and culture.

Working with Your Customers Effectively
  • Attend customer staff meetings and listen for opportunities to show your value.
  • Be resilient and patient when working in the HR field. Avoid taking things personally when solutions are not adopted; many ideas are rejected due to timing.
  • Learn how to be ethical and flexible at the same time. Find ways to get to "yes" legally and meet management needs.
  • Find ways to relate to your customers and better understand them. Use their terminology and translate what you are doing into their language. When you have gathered data, take the time to interpret the data in ways they can understand.