HR Leads Business

May 12, 2017 | Jayne Somes-Schloesser, SPHR, CAE, Guest Blogger

"A Guide to the Human Resource Body of Knowledge," from HRCI, Provides HR Professionals With Preparation and Inspiration

The practical tools and conceptual frameworks used by human resource management professionals are constantly evolving. The second edition of A Guide to the Human Resource Body of Knowledge™ (HRBoK™), presented by HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®), is the go-to source for authoritative insights on the competencies required for HR mastery.

This 624-page second edition of the HRBoK is a must have for both beginning and experienced HR practitioners, covering the full gamut of the most important skills, knowledge and methods that define HR best practices. Of course, if you’re preparing for an HRCI certification exam, this is a must read and, in fact, new HRCI exam applicants receive a free digital version of the guide.

But I would also recommend purchasing a hard copy (an $85 value) as a handy desk reference. The guide serves as a fantastic resource to help you identify areas for personal skill enrichment as an HR professional, and to assist you in benchmarking your organization’s HR practices against HRCI standards. Chocked full of information on the essential HR building blocks, HRBoK is a source of inspiration for new HR ideas and initiatives, every time you pick it up.

This volume, also available as an eBook for Kindle and other readers, covers six areas of HR functional expertise:

  • Business management and strategy
  • Workforce planning and employment
  • Human resource development
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Employee and labor relations
  • Risk management

Beginning with a game-changing forward on the future of HR from Dave Ulrich, the Rensis Likert Professor at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, and a partner at the RBL group, the book provides an in-depth look at the building blocks of HR, essential HR competencies and explains how HR knowledge, skills and abilities are factored into the HRCI suite of credentials such as the PHR® and SPHR®.

The chapter on business management and strategy focuses on HR as a business partner and that important connection serves as the backbone for the chapters on the other essential areas of HR expertise. Leading HR professionals must be capable of:

  • Applying general business principles.
  • Leading change efforts.
  • Acting as a strategic partner for all functions of HR.
  • Applying business strategies to operational activities.
  • Achieving international human resource management goals.
  • Integrating industry best practices and academic theories.
  • Orienting HR activities toward the bottom line.

HR, as Ulrich has said, is no longer just about HR anymore. The needs of the business and customers must be in lock step with the needs of our workforces. HR now plays an essential advisory role to help business create sustainable competitive advantages. That message is clear throughout the HRBoK.

The guide’s author, Sandra M. Reed, SPHR, says it best: "The HRBoK is the helix of human resources, a learning DNA shaped by past practices and evolving needs. Organic in nature, it reflects the need for an organization’s human resources to serve in a consulting role more often than a policing role. It underscores the value of fostering a performance culture across all company departments through thoughtful, systematic programs with clear targets and regular measurement.

Jayne Somes-Schloesser, SPHR, CAE, is Principal of SOS Association Solutions, providing strategic operations solutions to align human resource management strategies with business strategies and mission.