Skills of Human Resources Management – How Many Do You Have?
Qualities and characteristics of successful Human Resource Managers
When we interview a potential new hire, HR professionals assess the candidate against a list of key skills and personal characteristics needed for the job. Let’s turn the tables and see what that list of key attributes would look like for a human resources management professional.
You may agree or not with our assessments, but either way, we’d like to hear about it via the “Share Your Comments” link at the end of the article.
That said, here goes:
HR Management Key Skill #1: Organization
HR management requires an orderly approach. Organized files, strong time management skills, and personal efficiency are key to HR effectiveness. You’re dealing with people’s lives and careers here, and when a manager requests help with a termination or a compensation recommendation or recognition program, it won’t do to say, “I’ll try to get to that if I have time.”
HR Management Key Skill #2—Multitasking
On a typical HR day, an HR professional will deal with an employee’s personal issue one minute, an intermittent leave question the next, and a recruiting strategy for a hard-to-fill job the minute after. And that’s to say nothing of social media, wage/hour, engagement, retention, and a whole host of other things, every one critical to someone.
In HR, if it’s not one thing, it’s another. Priorities and business needs move fast and change fast, and manager A who needs someone hired doesn’t much care if you’re already helping manager B who needs someone fired. You need to be able to handle it all, all at once.
HR Management Key Skill #3—Dealing with Grey
A surprisingly large percentage of the issues HR managers face are in “the grey area.” Is it discrimination? Is it harassment? What’s a “reasonable” accommodation? How far over backward do you have to lean to approve intermittent leave? HR managers have to be able to act with incomplete and “best available” information, and they have to know when to seek the professional help of colleagues, attorneys, and other experts.
HR Management Key Skill #4—Negotiation
Along with grey comes the need to negotiate—there are often two or more opposing views, and the successful HR pro can find an acceptable middle ground. Remember, the goal of negotiation is to end up with two parties that are satisfied with the outcome, and that’s not often easy to achieve.
HR Management Key Skill #5—Communication
HR professionals have to communicate up to management, over to managers, out to potential employees, and down to all levels of current employees. And they have to do it in writing, while speaking to large and small groups and, increasingly, through social media. They have to be convincing, caring, and believable.
Communicator: Communication plays a vital role in any organization and HR takes a major role in this. HR managers play a major role in this. One of the quality of a good communicator is to have good listening skills. Employees come to HR managers on various issues. Listening to employees with full attention is one of good quality of a successful HR Manager.
Human Resource professionals can’t survive if they don’t have excellent communication skills. Communication skills encompass a large range; it’s not just one specific thing, because there are many forms of communication. Being able to listen and hear what the other person is saying is a real skill. Many people listen, but they don’t really hear what is being said. What is the point? You must be able to deal with people in a friendly and professional manner, so that people can relate to you easily. The majority of your communications will be verbal, but written communication is also very important. It’s best to structure your written communication like your verbal communication, and be friendly yet professional. Everyone goes to Human Resources for assistance and advice, so being able to communicate effectively is essential.
HR Management Key Skill #6—Discrete and Ethical
HR professionals are the conscience of the company, as well as the keepers of confidential information. As you serve the needs of top management, you also monitor their actions toward employees to be sure that policies and regulations are followed. You need to be able to push back when they aren’t in order to keep the firm on the straight and narrow. Not an easy responsibility!
Of course, you always handle confidential information appropriately, and never divulge it to any unauthorized person.
HR Management Key Skill #7—Dual Focus
Employees expect human resources professionals to advocate for their concerns, yet you must also enforce top management’s policies. The HR professional who can pull off this delicate balancing act wins trust from all concerned.
There are times you must make decisions to protect the individual and other times when you protect the organization, its culture, and values. These decisions may be misunderstood by some, and you may catch flak because of it, but you know that explaining your choices might compromise confidential information. That’s something you would never do.
HR Management Key Skill #8—Conflict Management and Problem Solving
News flash! Everyone doesn’t always get along with everyone else. High productivity demands that people work together at least civilly. HR has to find ways to allow that to happen. And that’s to say nothing of the myriad other problems that hit HR’s in-box—you can’t be effective without problem-solving ability.
HR Management Key Skill #9—Change Management
Most companies today are in a constant state of flux. Task forces, matrices, and teams spring into being, do their jobs, and disband as others form. Hierarchies have been squashed, and companies have four or five generations working side by side. A lot of people are freaked out by what’s going on. HR has to help everyone cope with the constant changes.
Knowledge and expertise in Human Resources
HR Managers should possess foundation on the functions of human resources. And not only this, successful HR Managers have a zeal to update their knowledge on latest practices and trends in human resources. With their knowledge and expertise, they deal with the daily challenges that arise in the organization.
You must have a core foundation in the many functions of Human Resources. An ongoing requirement is that you must be able to deal with the daily challenges that arise. You may have to resolve something as simple as an employee being paid the wrong rate of pay. Or it could be a much more difficult issue such as a pending sexual harassment investigation being conducted by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Whether the issue is something simple or more complex, a good Human Resources professional must be able to resolve all types of issues, calmly and fairly.
A leader is one who visualizes big picture, focus on people, progress and achievements, does the right thing and encouraging a rewarding culture. And this is what the successful HR Managers possess.
Every employee has different goals and objectives to achieve. Successful HR Managers are committed to motivate. Successful HR Managers know and understand what motivates employees and strive to give it to them.
Successful HR Managers have a flair for metrics as these are useful in improvising various process in the organization.
Time Management and Self Discipline:
There are not enough hours in the day for a Human Resource professional to be able to get all of his or her work done. As in any job, you have daily tasks that must be completed, but we all know how that goes. When working in Human Resources, you’re happy if you can get some of the tasks completed. More often than not, you are faced with sudden issues that come up and require your immediate attention. Some days you may only have one or two incidents to deal with, but other days your whole time could be spent on these types of incidents. When this happens, the daily tasks get put on hold. But at some point you have to stop and play catch up. For this, self-discipline is a must. It is imperative that you designate a time to complete your most important tasks on a daily basis. Knowing how to manage your time is necessary for survival. You will constantly have deadlines to meet and a heavy workload that may require you to work sixteen-hour days. You’ll have to learn to manage your time wisely so you don’t get burned out.
Successful HR Managers are good at managing their time. They plan their day not just to complete their day-to-day activities but also cater time for sudden issues.
This quality is probably the most important one that any good Human Resources professional needs. People will only open up to someone they can trust. They must believe that you will do the right thing and have their best interests at heart. Along with trust comes confidentiality, because if someone is sharing personal information with you, they need to trust that you will keep it confidential and not share it with anyone else. Being known as a trustworthy Human Resources professional gives you great credibility. If you lose your credibility, you will have a very difficult time doing your job, since no one will feel that they can trust you. Trying to regain your credibility is difficult, but not impossible. Make sure you do your best to keep your credibility.
TRAIN, DEVELOP, AND MENTOR
One of the many jobs of Human Resources professionals is providing training to employees and management. Employees need to be kept up-to-date and educated on the skills and training needed to perform their job. Helping employees develop their skills to enhance their job knowledge and performance not only benefits the employee’s career, but the company as well. There are so many individuals out there who would do just about anything to have someone coach and mentor them. When you provide these services, you help them to grow both personally and professionally. Knowing that you have helped someone and made a difference in his or her life is such a great feeling.
IMPARTIAL AND OBJECTIVE
As a Human Resources professional, you must be able to remain neutral. When dealing with a work incident or employee issue, you must be able to be objective and impartial. Your personal opinion does not count—these types of decisions must be based solely on the facts presented. Having excellent problem-solving skills is a must, and you’ll need to apply them in numerous situations. A big factor is knowing when you are not able to be objective or impartial about a particular incident or issue, so that you can remove yourself from the situation and have someone else handle it. You must be able to perform well under pressure and be able to make informed decisions based on facts, not emotions. This is especially important when negative scenarios come up, and you have to come up with positive resolutions. The good news is that you will get better at this with time and experience.
Skills, But Also One Caveat
“HR is a creature of, and serves, the business strategy,” Brady says. “It’s important for HR people to know what that strategy is and what makes the business tick so the approach to HR can be tailored accordingly.
“Never think of HR in isolation,” he advises. “Because if HR professionals think of themselves as ‘just HR,’ that’s what the rest of the organization will think, too.”
Did We Get It Right?
How about our these skills? Do you have a different list? Please share it in the comments below.
What makes Human Resource Managers successful? Is it their expertise in aspects of human resources or problem solving skills or communication skills or any other?
In my view, below are the qualities and characteristics of successful Human Resource Managers:
Presenter: Great presenters attract their audiences’ attention, keep them engaged and deliver the message in a positive manner. Presentations skills are important quality of successful HR Managers as they handle several trainings and present the information to management.
Innovation: Not every issue has a same or easy or ready solution. Successful HR Managers think out of the box and deliver the best solution to their employees and the organization.
Approachable: HR handles various aspects of employees. Successful HR Managers have an open door policy and are approachable to their employees.
Delegator: It’s not possible to do all the work by one person. And this is understood by successful HR Managers. HR Managers delegate work to their team members so that they get learned and grow as a professional.
Decision maker: Successful HR Managers are strategic planners and take decisions which are apt and considering all the facts. They are not afraid to make the hard decisions for the benefit of the organization.
Business Acumen: Business acumen is keenness and quickness in understanding and dealing with a business situation in a manner that is likely to lead to a good outcome. Successful HR managers possess good knowledge and understanding of the financial, accounting, marketing and operational functions of an organization.
Trust Advisor: Employees will open to someone they trust and seek advice on various areas. This may not be limited to their career but also can be from their personal life. Successful HR Managers advice employees by creating an environment of trust. Successful HR Managers build trust through straight forward communications and interactions.
When we think of who a Human Resources professional is, we think about the qualities, characteristics, and the skills he or she possesses. The qualities identified below define the key strengths of a good Human Resources professional.
There are many other qualities that make a good Human Resources professional, but these are the most important in my opinion. I think these are some great qualities to have!
I would love to hear what you think. Your comments are welcome.
6 Key Qualities of an HR Manager
Human resources (HR) is a great field for driven, organized individuals who are interested in helping businesses reach their goals and helping employees reach their potential. Almost all companies have some form of a human resources department, and as the business world becomes more and more focused on developing human capital, HR professionals are in demand. If you are considering a career in HR, part of your job responsibilities will be to identify candidates for employment that have the characteristics that will make them successful in the role for which you are hiring. However, at Concordia University, St. Paul we know that it is important to understand HR qualities as well. Read on to find out what it takes to be successful as an HR manager and to see if your own traits match up.
One of the most important characteristics of HR professionals is the ability to get organized. This includes strong time management skills and the ability to complete tasks efficiently. On a typical day, you’ll be balancing a variety of different tasks, ranging from hiring and firing, dealing with employees’ personal issues and creating recruitment strategies for open positions. Multitasking is key, as well as self-discipline. You’ll need to set ethical and behavioral standards for others to follow, and make sure you are following them as well. HR professionals also manage deadlines and accomplish tasks quickly so that both employee and employer needs are met.
In a lot of ways, the HR department of a company serves as its conscience. This means that you’ll need to have a keen sense of ethics when it comes to confidential information and following company policies. HR professionals have to earn the trust of company employees and executives so that they can effectively do their job; honesty and discretion are key components of any successful HR department.
A primary function of all HR professionals is facilitating communication between employers and employees. This means that both your oral and written communication skills need to be sharp so that you can relay information clearly and effectively to employees at all levels. Part of the communication requirements also involves negotiation. During the hiring process, or when conflicts arise between employees, successful HR pros are able to help opposing groups compromise and find middle ground.
In order for businesses to function at their best, the HR department must ensure that individuals with different personalities can work together civilly and accomplish company goals. Also, in order to accomplish the other tasks required of you as an HR professional, you have to be skilled at conflict management and diffusing tense or combative situations.
Successful HR professionals are experts on their company’s industry. This will enable you to make informed recruitment and hiring decisions, as well as have a context for company guidelines and policies. Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the fact that HR professionals are business professionals as well. Just because you won’t be working in the accounting department doesn’t mean you don’t need a clear idea of how your company works and the business processes that structure it.
In many situations, employees look to HR professionals for answers and leadership. The nature of many HR positions is that you’ll be seen as an expert on a wide variety of company-related topics, so you’ll need to have the confidence to lead. This can mean anything from finding the answers to employee concerns to putting together a team to run a local 5K race for charity. The best HR professionals can balance being a friendly presence in the office with taking control and helping things run smoothly.
HR Management at Ukraine
Do these traits sound like you and what you’d like to learn? If so, earning your degree in human resources is a great place to start. To help you make the most of your HR career, we offer an online Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Management and an online Master of Arts in Human Resource Management. Both programs are offered 100% online. This means that busy adults like you can complete or advance your degree on your own schedule. You’ll gain comprehensive knowledge and hands-on experience while developing or enhancing the skills required for HR professionals and other organizational leaders. If achieving results through people is your career goal, a CSP Online degree can get you there. You’ll have access to key topics in human resource management and its application to a wide variety of organizations. At Concordia, we know that HR professionals are strategic partners within organizations, and a vital part of business success. That’s why we’ve developed a degree that provides you with the skills you need to be competitive in the job market and an effective member of any HR department.
Really? Oh, well. Here they are.
Knowledge and expertise in Human Resources
Conflict Management and Problem Solving