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When interviewing a potential new hire, it’s standard procedure for a Human Resources professional to assess the candidate as compared to a list of key skills and personal characteristics needed for the job.
In considering ideas to start our new HR Daily Advisor service, some at BLR thought it might be interesting to turn the tables on the profession, and come up with a list of such attributes for Human Resources professionals themselves.
In no way is this authoritative, but it is the opinion of people, including BLR Founder and Publisher Bob Brady, who’ve spent decades meeting with HR professionals, supporting their goals and reporting their achievements. You may agree or not with our assessments, but either way, we’d like to hear about it via the “share comments” link on this page.
That said, here goes:
Human Resources Management Key Skill #1: Organization
Human Resources management requires an orderly approach. Organized files, strong time management skills and personal efficiency are key to the Human Resources function. You’re dealing with people’s lives and careers here, and when a manager requests a personnel file or a compensation recommendation that lines up with both the organization and the industry, it won’t do to say, “Hold on. I’ll see if I can find it.”
Human Resources Management Key Skill #2: Multitasking
On any day, an HR professional will deal with an employee’s personal issue one minute, a benefit claim the next and a recruiting strategy for a hard-to-fill job the minute after. Priorities and business needs move fast and change fast, and colleague A who needs something doesn’t much care if you’re already helping colleague B. You need to be able to handle it all, all at once.
Human Resources Management Key Skill #3: Discretion and Business Ethics
Human Resources 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 officers’ approaches to employees to ensure proper ethics are observed. You need to be able to push back when they aren’t, to keep the firm on the straight and narrow. Not an easy responsibility! Of course, you always handle appropriately, and never divulge to any unauthorized person, confidential information about anyone in the organization.
Human Resources Management Key Skill #4: Dual Focus
HR professionals need to consider the needs of both employees and management. 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.
Human Resources Management Key Skill #5: Employee Trust
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.
Human Resources Management Key Skill #6: Fairness
Successful HR professionals demonstrate fairness. This means that communication is clear, that peoples’ voices are heard, that laws and policies are followed, and that privacy and respect is maintained.
Human Resources Management Key Skill #7: Dedication to Continuous Improvement
HR professionals need to help managers coach and develop their employees. The goal is continued improvement and innovation as well as remediation. And looking to their own houses, the HR professional also uses technology and other means to continuously improve the HR function itself.
Human Resources Management Key Skill #8: Strategic Orientation
Forward-thinking HR professionals take a leadership role and influence management’s strategic path. In gauging and filling the labor needs of the company, devising compensation schemes, and bringing on board new skill sets leading to business growth, they provide the proof for the often-heard management comment, “People are our most important asset.”
Human Resources Management Key Skill #9: Team Orientation
Once, companies were organized into hierarchies of workers headed by supervisors. Today, the team is king. HR managers must consequently understand team dynamics and find ways to bring disparate personalities together and make the team work.
Nine Skills, But Also One Caveat
As we listed these skills, one thing we didn’t do was try to prioritize them. Because no general list of skills can take into account the business strategy at your particular organization.
Which leads to the caveat we mentioned, as expressed by Bob Brady.
“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 Human Resources professionals think of themselves as ‘just HR,’ that’s what the rest of the organization will think too.”
From India, Madras
From India, Madras
1. Communication Skill : -to communicate promptly to the queries of employees, which is the most basic requirement of an HR Manager.
2. Decision making skill :- HR manager should hv the ability to take up decisions promptly looking up to the strategic implications also.
3. Coordinator - he should be able to coordinate among his staff, and departments to collect information.
4. Attention to details
From India, Bhopal
I shall let down some points which shall add up to this thread.
The Skills of an Human Resource personnel are
- Handling Difficult People
- Developing a Positive Attitude
- Communication Skills
- Conflict Management
- Negotiating with Confidence
- Effective Listening
- Inspire Any Audience: Presentational
- Customer Service Skills
- Sold on Selling: Skills and Techniques
- Telephone Communication Skills
- Stress Management
- Conducting Performance Appraisals
- Diversity Management
- Taking the Step Up as a model Supervisor
- Sexual Harassment Prevention
- Managing Employees: Legalities in the Workplace
- Documenting Employee Discipline
- Career Development and Personal Improvement
- Time Management
- Interviewing Skills
- Teamwork Skills
- Leading Teams
From India, Bangalore
I would firmly say apart from all these things, an HR Professional must be strong in calculations as well as the data statistics..that is what comes in strategic role as well.
So he/she must be statistically strong headed, the data information should be on the tips.
Anybody's suggestions are most welcomed.
From India, Delhi
Mr. Mahr had already quoted the required skills. I would like to add some more -
1. Must be good at language & people skills
2. Must be honest, fair & square with others
4. Must be thorough with current HR practices
Hope this helps.
From India, Mumbai
From India, Indore
From India, Mathura
1) You are very good in legal aspects particularly Labour Laws. You have thorough knowledge about various provisions of Labour Laws, Various forms associated with those laws and implications.
2) You are excellent in Database Management and can Generate N number of reports in just fraction of seconds.
3) You are very good with Number- statistical tools, Mathematical Formulae, Income Tax Provisions (particularly those related to Salary), Costing (Cost Analysis).
4) You have a sharp eye for recognizing the talent, talent identification, talent management and talent development. (Just like Bhuvan did in movie Lagan - Oscar Nominated Movie)
You can read the complete article at <link outdated-removed> ( Search On Cite | Search On Google )
5) You are great negotiator and can negotiate a best deal with management and employees (Read it as Trade Unions)
6) You are an excellent motivator and can motivate any person to get best out of him. You have a talent to motivate and inspire a non-performer in such a way that over a period of time that person gets counted in the high-performers of your organization and starts getting rewards for his performance.
7) You are a great strategist. You can think like "Chankaya"; you are clever "Birbal" (Both are characters from Indian History) and an Cajole people like Lord Krishna (A mythological Character)
8) You are much matured. You don't think from your heart but you are empathetic. You are not emotional but can understand the way people think. You can solve any work related or professional problem of any of your employee, without getting carried away.
9) You are great in crisis management. If there is any incident or accident in the organization; if there is any rumour in the organization or any crisis…you can ensure that a minimum possible damage is caused…keeping in mind the interests of the organization and its people.
10) You have deep knowledge about various industries. You are like a knowledge hub. You know all about who's who in the field; business models; success stories (case studies) and best practices being adopted by different companies in different industries.
11) You are not a great leader but an excellent leader, who can inspire their team and can get best out of them. No one wants you to be Mahatma Gandhi or Nelson Mandela but yes, you need to be like Ricky Pointing or Steve Waugh (Cricket Captain of Australia ) or like Hansie Cronje (Former Cricket Captain of South Africa ) or like Saurav Ganguly (Former Cricket Captain of India ).
12) They are life long learners. They never think that…it's enough. They keep on learning…new HR related Techniques, HR Strategist, about new-new businesses etc.
From Finland, Espoo