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HR core competencies

Last Updated: October 2019

Hyperlinks for each competency will take you to more detailed information on that competency.

Competencies denoted with an asterisk (*) have linked job aids that are still under development. Some elements of the job aid are in place but work continues on the final document.



Key Actions

Making [doc]

Identifying and understanding problems and opportunities by gathering, analyzing, and interpreting quantitative and qualitative information. Choosing the best course of action by establishing clear decision criteria, generating and evaluating alternatives, and making timely decisions. Taking action that is consistent with available facts and constraints, and optimizes probable consequences.

Identifies problems and opportunities. Gathers information. Interprets information. Generates alternatives. Evaluates alternatives and risks. Chooses an effective option. Commits to action. Considers others’ perspectives.


Effectively conveying information and ideas clearly to individuals or groups in an engaging manner that helps them understand and retain the message. Listening actively to others.

Organizes the communication. Maintains attention. Adjusts to the listener. Ensures understanding. Listens actively. Conveys a professional presence.

Trust [doc]

Gaining others’ confidence by acting with integrity and following through on commitments, while sharing own perspective. Treating others and their ideas with respect, and supporting them in the face of challenges.

Acts with integrity. Shares own perspective. Remains open to ideas. Values others.

Standards [doc]

Managing one's time and resources effectively. Setting high standards of performance for self and others. Assuming responsibility and accountability for successful completion of assignments or tasks. Self-imposing standards of excellence rather than having standards imposed.

Prioritizes. Makes preparations. Schedules. Leverages resources. Stays focused. Sets standards for excellence. Ensures high quality. Takes responsibility. Encourages others to take responsibility.

Others [doc]

Developing and leveraging relationships within and across work groups to achieve results. Working effectively with individuals of diverse cultures, interpersonal styles, abilities, motivations, or backgrounds. Seeking out and using unique abilities, insights, and ideas from diverse individuals.

Seeks opportunities to build relationships. Clarifies shared goals. Develops others and own ideas. Facilitates agreement. Supports partners. Involves others. Maintains and enhances self-esteem.  Seeks understanding. Conveys respect. Uses diversity as an advantage.


Using effective involvement and persuasion strategies to gain acceptance of ideas, and commitment to actions that support specific work outcomes.

Clarifies the situation. Shares own perspective to build trust. Builds a compelling case. Involves others in exploring solutions. Empathizes with others concerns. Steers commitment to action.

Behavior [doc]

Modeling agency values in support of vision and mission. Establishing and sustaining trusting relationships by accurately interpreting interpersonal interactions, managing one’s own reactions, and appropriately responding to others’ behavior.

Builds self-awareness. Maintains self-control. Maintains or enhances self-esteem. Listens and responds with empathy. Asks for help and encourages involvement. Shares thoughts, feelings and rationale. Provides support without removing responsibility. Takes full advantage to receive and explore feedback about own performance. Uses feedback to take action to improve knowledge, skill, behavior, and impact on others.

Focus [doc]

Understanding who the external and internal customers are and what they value.  Meeting and exceeding customer needs while cultivating relationships that secure commitment and trust. Promoting and operationalizing best customer service practices as a value.  Helping others deal effectively with difficult situations, minimizing damage to the relationship while promoting shared goals. Using appropriate methods to facilitate agreement.

Enhances the customer experience. Clarifies the customer situation/needs/expectations/values. Involves the customer and uses feedback to improve processes. Identifies and responds to customer service issues. Supports customer-focused practices. Confirms that customer needs have been met or exceeded. Uses coaching and proven problem-solving methods to help resolve conflict. Stays focused on resolution. Helps others generate ideas for resolving conflict or problems. Seeks to gain agreement to a resolution. Handles dissatisfied customers by hearing the customer out. Empathizes with the customer’s situation and associated feelings. Acknowledges and takes responsibility for actions.



Last updated
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
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