The development of a diagnostic tool for the assessment of competencies for human resource management professionals in South Africa
Schutte, Nico Eric
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For the pilot study, exploratory factor analyses resulted in three distinguishable competence dimensions for HR professionals: (1) Professional behaviour and leadership (with the factors of Leadership- and personal credibility, Organisational capability, Solution creation, Interpersonal communication, and Citizenship); (2) Service orientation and execution (with the factors of Talent management, HR governance, Analytics and measurement, and HR service delivery); and (3) Business intelligence (with the factors of Strategic contribution, HR business knowledge, and HR technology). All factors showed excellent reliabilities. In the validation study, exploratory factor analyses resulted in three distinguishable competence dimensions for HR professionals: (1) Professional behaviour and leadership (with the factors of Leadership- and personal credibility, solution creation, interpersonal communication, and Innovation); (2) Service orientation and execution (with the factors of Talent management, HR risk, HR metrics, and HR service delivery); and (3) Business intelligence (with the factors of Strategic impact, HR business knowledge, Business acumen, and HR technology). All factors showed acceptable construct equivalence for the English and indigenous language groups. The results furthermore showed that significant differences exist between the respondents regarding the importance of HR competencies, based on the variables age, qualification, job level, and years of work experience. Younger-generation respondents with a higher level qualification viewed Leadership- and personal credibility, Solution creation, interpersonal communication, and Innovation as more important than did those with a lower level qualification. Furthermore, respondents on management levels with more work experience regarded solution creation and implementation as more important, compared to operational groups and those with less work expenence. Finally, the results showed that HR many competencies are poorly applied in both private- and public-sector workplaces. The application of talent management, HR metrics, HR business knowledge, and innovation was considered the poorest. Furthermore, the results also showed that white ethnic groups experienced a poorer application of all HRM competencies compared to the experience of the black African groups. This research makes important theoretical, methodological, and practical contributions. From a theoretical perspective, this study adds to the limited empirical knowledge that exists on HRM competencies in the South African workplace. Moreover, this research also contributes to the clustering and refining of key HR competencies, to provide a more holistic and condensed approach to achieving HR professionalism. Methodologically, this research introduces a new and reliable HR competence measure that can be used to track the development of HR professionalism and competence in the workplace. Managers and HR professionals can therefore use this measurement as a basis to improve HR competencies and subsequent HR service delivery.
- Humanities