Shape the future of HR

For the past 30 years, the Human Resource Competency Study (HRCS) has identified crucial abilities for HR professionals and high-performing leaders. Round 8 of this study seeks to answer the questions: “How can you as an HR professional standout in your business?”, “How does the maturity and sophistication of the HR department impact business performance?”, “What competencies are most important for your professional development?” and “How do business build capabilities?”

In partnership with AHRI, the RBL Group and the Michigan Ross School of Business, we invite you to participate.

What's in it for you, as an HR professional?

Participants will receive an individual report with regional and global benchmarks, and focused feedback on which competencies have the greatest effect on individual effectiveness and business performance.

Key details:

  • No cost for participating organisations with up to 50 participants. 
  • Individual and organisation reports with new global benchmarked data 
  • Individuals learn to better impact business performance
  • Organisations learn to better implement business strategies
  • Opportunity to attend regional feedback sessions and/or webcasts

How it works

The HRCS utilises a 360-degree assessment to gather data that is analysed using current academic methodology to create global and regional benchmarks for HR effectiveness. The HR Competency 360 assessment identifies strengths and opportunities for development for HR professionals.

By measuring individuals against a large, global benchmark and providing the perspective of managers, non-HR business leaders, and peers, HR professionals gain valuable insight into how they can grow and best deliver value to their organisation.

Key dates and timeline:

  • Sign Up to Participate – Now through November 2020
  • Study Open – Mid-September through mid-December 2020
  • Receive Feedback Reports and Org reports – 2-3 months after study closes, early 2021
  • Attend Regional Feedback Conference – TBD 2021

The process


Need more information?
Please reach out to Samantha Smith at for any questions about the HRCS Round 8.



Frequently asked questions

How will my organisation benefit by participating?

The results will help your organisation by comparing your individual and collective competencies against global benchmarks. Building on this base, you and your colleagues will then be able to better implement business strategies. You will also be able to prepare competency-based developmental action plans for yourselves and for your department in order to increase your impact on your organisation’s performance. Professionals from participating organisations will also be invited to attend a one-day feedback conference in which the results of the study are reviewed, and HR trends impacting organisations are examined.

What are the objectives of the HRCS?

Our objective for this round of the HRCS will be to continually evaluate how HR competencies are changing and how those competencies drive business performance. In this round of the study, we will highlight:

  1. The maturity and sophistication of the HR department. Does the maturity and sophistication of the HR department impact business performance?
  2. Business impact. Is it the practice or the outcome of the practice that has the business impact?
  3. Practice. How do businesses build capabilities? Do business processes, systems, technologies build capabilities?
  4. Change. Does the environment for the business change what it needs from HR?

Who is conducting the HRCS?

The Human Resource Competency Study is sponsored by the Ross School of Business at the University Michigan and The RBL Group with assistance from regional partners around the globe. The HRCS is directed by Mike Ulrich, Patrick Wright, and Erin Burns with collaboration from Scott DeRue, Dave Ulrich, and Wayne Brockbank. These individuals have combined to write dozens of books and hundreds of articles about the field of Human Resources that have shaped the role of HR professionals for over 30 years.

What commitments are involved in participation?

Organisation: Identify 5 or more HR professionals in the organisation to participate in a 360 degree survey. Individuals may come from the corporate level or other organisational units. Partially-completed rater surveys will not count towards the minimum number needed for a report.

Senior HR Executives: Communicate with the HR participants stressing the importance of the study, informing them of the organisation’s involvement, and request that they participate.

HR participants: Designate seven to ten associates as raters, including a direct supervisor, and request that they complete a survey to rate you. Partially-completed rater surveys will not count towards the minimum number needed for a report. As such, it is recommended that the HR participant identify seven to ten (or more) associate raters including a direct supervisor to ensure that at least five raters provide feedback. The survey will take about 30-45 minutes to complete.

I have additional questions, where can I find more information on HRCS?

HRCS has published a list of frequently asked questions which you can refer to. 

If you still have questions, please reach out to Samantha Smith at for any questions about the HRCS Round 8.