4 HR Disciplines and Competencies that help in Smooth Functioning of an Organization

The deliverables of a HR manager are quite diverse. Their roles cannot be defined and constantly evolve with the changing business and life stage of a business. Other than the primary responsibilities, a HR is also responsible in carving the shape of an organization. The following article talks about the basic responsibilities of a HR and what competencies must one possess in today’s HR job market.

What does a Human Resource Manager do? Right from recruiting to retaining the best ones, there are a lot of responsibilities in a HR manager’s bag. The role depends on the size of the organization. Therefore a human resource manager must be well versed in all the disciplines – compensation and benefits, employee relations, recruitment and selection and training and development. Strong communication skills, decision making capabilities, analytical skills and critical thought process. Similar to other departments, a HR manager has primarily two tasks in its plate, firstly to oversee department functions and secondly managing employees. The organizations expect the HR managers to have the skills of every HR function and perform as per the time and need.

With the changing times, the role of a HR also changes and molds itself to meet the requirements of changing times and businesses.

The New Role of HR

The role of a HR is taking new twists according to the changing needs and to fit into the fast growing modern business practices of today. Unlike the earlier times where HR was only responsible for administrative roles like keeping records and paying salaries, today the role of a HR is vast and covers a lot of functions. All the functions that are listed under the job category of a HR today are important for smooth functioning of an organization.

Understanding the basic 4 disciplines of Human Resource

Having strategic and functional responsibilities for all disciplines is what a HR manager is expected to have. This includes the basic four responsibilities. Discussing each of them briefly:

Training and Development

Under this heading, a HR is responsible for the orientation of new hires, to arrange professional development seminars and workshops in order to enhance the qualities of the present employees. Also, the HR is required to assess the need of these seminars and workshops. Analyzing employees and their performance and judging key areas of improvement and implementing employee development strategy. Also, they are responsible for succession planning use of the knowledge they have and design career tracks for employees under this discipline.

Recruitment and Selection

To meet the workforce demand of an organization is the key responsibility of a HR under this function.  Other than finding the right candidate, a HR is also responsible for framing strategies that will help the organization in retaining its employees. These strategies may include incentive programs, cross-training programs and more.

Compensation and Benefits

The next step after recruiting and selecting a candidate is deciding the compensation and benefits that are employee friendly as well organization friendly. Human resource managers are expected to design strategic compensation plans. Other than that they are expected to align performance management systems with compensation structures under this function.

Employee Relations

A HR under this discipline is responsible for investigating and resolving workplace issues and it is the sole responsibility of the HR to maintain employer-employee relationship. They are responsible of drafting strategies that ensure the overall wellbeing of an employee. 

This video below gives a clear importance of HR in a company:

Understanding the 4 competencies required for a HR manager

With the changing roles of HR, there are certain competencies that a candidate must have in order to have the job of a HR manager. Understanding each of these competencies in detail:

Personal Attribute Competencies

Under this head, a HR is expected to have competencies like honesty, integrity, continuous learning behaviors, willingness to self-motivate, having result oriented actions, to be able to work in a team and adapt well to changes.  A HR working under any function is expected to possess these qualities.

Core Competencies

Knowledge, skills and focus form the core competencies of a HR. A HR is expected to have detailed knowledge about all the happenings in an organization and understand the HR laws and policies. The HR should have the ability to support ethical business practices. This competency helps in creating a better employer-employee relationship as it is required to identify, address and monitor the required HR programs for betterment of an employee.  The HR is the middle person between the employees and the upper management and therefore it is the duty of the HR to balance the needs of the company as against those of the employees.

Role Specific Competencies

These competencies specifically relate to HR management specialties. Here the HR must possess qualities that are specifically related to the disciplines discussed above. Here, the role as HR professional sticks to the discipline allotted. This competency is mostly required in big organizations where every function has a different department in itself.

Leadership and Management Competencies

One of the most important competencies, this competency focuses on motivating and managing employees. The tasks of a HR include both employee focused and organization focused and it demands them to work in the benefit of both. Management specific competencies hence include skills that help in critical thinking, in depth knowledge that helps in planning strategies, ability to monitor employee goals and achieve company objectives.

HR Job Market and Salary Trends

The market has an upsurge in demand for human resource professionals which is in it an indicator that the job market is of the hiring spree. Firms tend to increase their HR employees when they require more number of people to manage their resources. 

With a positive job market, HR jobs at every level are created. There is a demand in the market that has job postings starting from HR manager to VP level jobs. The increasing demand for careers in HR requires high professional skill and should meet the required competencies.

If we talk about the salary trends, the following table summarizes the expected salary trends of HR professionals with different job titles:

Job Titles

Average Salary (INR) (per annum)

HR Manager


Director (HR)


Vice President (HR)



Final Words

In this changing and developing times the role of a HR must parallel the needs of the organizations. Today the organizations focus in creating employee oriented workplace that caters to the needs of the employees that seek growth, challenge, effective leadership, meaningful work and communication.  The organizations are becoming more adaptable and resilient and will struggle for good talent in the near future.

The changing times demand a lot out of a HR professional as he is the one whose talents are utilized by the organizations to meet the demand of the work force.  A HR professional has as big responsibility of shaping an organization to as small as dealing with the day to day problems and complaints of the employees. 

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