Human Resources Subject Areas and Competencies


We offer the information on this page to help create a shared understanding of the competencies that unit-based human resources staff, managers, and leaders should develop and cultivate in each subject area.  We look forward to continuing to explore the ways in which our various roles can and should intersect to create a supportive and efficient HR structure at the UO.

Jump to subject area competencies:

General Competencies

Community-Wide Competencies 

  • Demonstrated ability to advance diversity and inclusion efforts through their own actions and influencing actions of others.
  • Understanding of effective supervisory practices and techniques, employee and employer relationships, and management principles.
  • Discretion, tact, and professionalism when handling sensitive and or confidential materials.
  • Aptitude or experience leveraging a wide array of technologies, such as an applicant tracking system, productivity, and communication tools. This includes accessing web-based reference material.
  • Building productive relationships with internal and external constituencies.
  • Exercises good judgment, diplomacy, professional boundaries and perceptual objectivity to effectively and appropriately make decisions.

Leader and Manager Competencies

  • Demonstrated in-depth knowledge of strategic HR in context of one or more of the following areas: policy, process, organizational culture, laws/regulations, collective bargaining agreements, and practical realities. Aptitude and skill to describe options for top management clearly and concisely. This includes continued efforts to maintain knowledge of changes and trends in Human Resources and within the context of their unit.
  • Demonstrated in-depth knowledge of three of any of the following HR subject matters: compensation, benefits, recruitment, employee development, employee and labor relations, and HR systems, data, and analytics.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and build productive relationships with external and internal contacts, including presentation and facilitation skills.
  • Long range planning: Identifies long-range goals and designs realistic plans to attain them; sees the big picture and then determines which direction to take and how to use resources to attain future goals.
  • Identifies the elements of a problem and understands which components are critical; sees different types of situation structures and therefore, different types of solutions.
  • Aptitude to define problems, identify trends, collect data, and establish facts to draw valid conclusions.
  • Exercises good judgment, diplomacy, and objectivity to effectively and appropriately make decisions. 
  • Experience working both independently and collaboratively with staff, faculty, various levels of the organization, and University Human Resources to identify and implement strategic HR solutions.
  • Utilizes critical thinking skills to determine when a topic/issue should be elevated to subject matter experts in University Human Resources.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage change in a complex environment and adjust planning and activities to support changing priorities.

HR/Personnel Transaction Processing Competencies

  • Maintain a working knowledge of HR processes and procedures.
  • Identify issues and make connections with the appropriate resources to resolve matters.
  • Prepare and complete necessary HR transactions in an accurate and timely manner.
  • Uses critical thinking skills to determine when a topic/issue should be elevated to subject matter experts in either unit HR leadership or University Human Resources.

HR Subject Area Competencies


  • Understands and demonstrates knowledge of general concepts, principles and practices related to a vast array of benefit programs, such as retirement plans, insurance, injury compensation, non-insurance benefits (paid and unpaid leaves, child care, wellness programs, etc.) and other employee benefits programs.
  • Understands process for UO employees to access benefits information and general awareness of eligibility requirements.
  • Understands UO, State, and Federal leave benefits, general eligibility rules, and understands who to refer employees to for additional information.

Classification & Compensation

  • Demonstrates knowledge of compensation and classification concepts and principles, including UO pay structures and practices.
  • Develops, monitors, and maintains unit based compensation related practices to include hours of work and schedules, flexible work weeks, remote work options, etc. consistent with UO policy.
  • Implements UO pay-increase programs including merit pay programs consistent with UO policy and collective bargaining agreements.
  • Has knowledge of compensation-related laws, rules, regulations, policies, and collective bargaining agreements; understands their impact to the unit, and how to implement and apply them to maintain compliance.
  • Ability to analyze and recommend approaches to address issues such as compression, noncompetitive pay rates, retention offers, expansion of duties, and inconsistent titling and pay within UO policy.
  • Provides compensation advice and consultation to managers and supervisors consistent with UO policy.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with supervisors to create effective and accurate position descriptions, as well as ability to analyze and recommend appropriate classifications for positions.

Talent Acquisition

  • Understands and demonstrates knowledge of the concepts, principles and practices related to identifying, attracting, selecting and retaining individuals to address institutional needs consistent with UO policy and procedures.
  • Partners with hiring managers to ensure search processes and selection decisions are compliant with policy, laws, and regulations, and selections are appropriately documented.
  • Understands relevant HR laws, rules, regulations, and UO policy related to recruiting and hiring (e.g., veteran’s preference, OEPA, adverse action, etc.)
  • Familiarity with typical recruitment metrics and their use in meeting key performance indicators.
  • Advises on and utilizes a full spectrum of recruitment strategies when working with managers on searches.
  • Maintains knowledge of UO talent management system (MyTrack) and authorized processes and procedures.
  • Maintains knowledge of the labor market and recruiting resources for managers supported.
  • Oversees or advises search or selection committees, including developing strategies consistent with best practice and compliant with applicable laws.
  • Assist managers with presenting offer packages and negotiation strategies.
  • Establishes University onboarding approach to ensure an effective transition for incoming employees.
  • Demonstrated ability to strategically evaluate and consult with supervisors on current and future workforce needs, trends, and organizational structures.

Employee & Labor Relations

  • Understands and demonstrates knowledge of laws, rules, regulations, UO policy/procedure, applicable unit level policies and procedures, principles and practices related to employee conduct, employee leaves, workplace accommodations, motivation, performance, rewards and dispute resolution.
  • Understands practices and policies at UO regarding a unionized workforce, including the ELR interpretation of collective bargaining agreements.
  • Demonstrates knowledge of a variety of HR issues to include performance management, employee conduct and other work life issues.
  • Identifies, evaluates, and recommends management interventions to solve problems and issues consistent with UO labor agreements, policies, procedures and practice.
  • Ability to communicate difficult and complicated messages to leadership, supervisors and employees regarding complex employment issues, tough decisions, available options and associated risks.
  • Ability to provide strategic leadership and direction to unit leaders and supervisors regarding unit culture and climate. This includes being able to provide advice on and weigh risks associated with employee actions and the unit’s climate and culture.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with employees, supervisors and the ADA coordinator on accommodation analyses including but not limited to undue hardship reviews, reasonable accommodations and funding sources.
  • Understands concepts related to progressive discipline, investigations, just cause/due process, Weingarten rights, Union rights around communicating with members (signs, shirts, postings, email, etc.)
  • Applies knowledge of consensus building, negotiation, coalition building, meditation and other non-adversarial problem-solving approaches to resolve problems and advise management.

Learning & Development

  • Demonstrates knowledge of professional development and training concepts and resources.
  • Designs and implements development activities for employees for current and future roles and/or assists with finding available resources and training opportunities, such as those available in the UO MyTrack system.
  • Advises and coaches supervisors to enable them to help employees formulate professional development plans and career goals.
  • Establishes mentoring opportunities for employees, as appropriate.
  • Supports a culture of continuous learning within the unit; encourages supervisors to provide dedicated time for employees to participate in development opportunities.

HR Data, Systems & Analytics

  • Leverages HRIS reporting available to assist with influencing unit decisions.
  • Identifies needed data and requests reports as needed to assist with obtaining the information.
  • Understands UO data constructs and uses this understanding to assist with maintaining or improving unit workflows to maintain or improve data quality.
  • Interprets how metrics and analytics work to maximize individual and unit performance as well as influence unit decisions.