HR practitioners play a crucial role during the hiring process for organizations. Many at times the HR advisor will be on the look out for the desired skills and behavioral traitsthat make an interviewee the best fit for the role in question.
To execute this mandate successfully, the HR professionals must also bear certain key qualities or skills.
Literally put, when any Human Resource Management professional is interviewed or when given the opportunity to excecute the important role of being the organizations’ trusted advisor on people issues, then the following skills must be demonstrated through and through:
1: Great organization
The HR professional must be orderly. Certain features including well organized files, strong time management skills, and personal efficiency are key to HR effectiveness.
Managing self and your work around the available working time and other resources is key to ones success.
Organizations trust HR practitioners with the lives and careers of their people thus one must always be ready to offer support to the business and managers when called upon.
You’re dealing with employee’s lives and careers here, and when a line manager requests help with a termination or a compensation recommendation or recognition program, it won’t help say, “I’ll try to get to that if I have time.”
2: Ability to multitask
One thing that marks HR pros’ day in the office is the inflow in their in-tray of a myriad of issues that have to be reviewed and resolved in the most amicable manner.
At one point the HR person will be dealing with an employee’s personal issues, another time there will be a question about staff leave, not long after that, a manager will be seeking some feedback on the progress of a position that need to be filled ASAP.
Every other minute there will be something critical that HR personnel must attend to and while each is crucial, the individual recipients of your service will care less to know that other requests from the organization were at your desk as well.
In HR, if it’s not one thing, it’s another. Priorities and business needs move fast and change fast.
You need to be able to handle it all at once.
3: Handling the Grey
One interesting aspect of issues that are faced and handled by HR managers is that most bear a significant percentage of ambiguity. You could mention it from workplace discrimination, employee harassment, expatriate accommodation, how far over backward do you have to lean to approve intermittent leave? and so on.
As a Human Resource professional, you must learn to act and make decisions with incomplete and “best available” information. You must also know when you need to seek professional help from colleagues and other experts.
4: The art of negotiation
As you take on the role of HR manager, you will certainly face more than one views and opposing ideas about the projects and issues at hand.
To be a successful HR pro, you must learn to always find an acceptable and most profitable 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.
5: Communication skills
All HR professionals will be tasked with the daily duty of communicating. You will have to communicate up to the senior management, across to fellow managers, to potential employees, and down to all levels of current employees.
Communicating will take varying forms inluding writing, speaking and now through social media.
You must be professional, relevant, convincing, caring, and believable.
6: Discrete and Ethical
The HR function MUST be an embodiment of the culture of the company they work for.
As a HR professional you will be entrusted to keep employees confidential information.
As you serve the needs of top management, you will also need to monitor their actions toward employees to be sure that policies and regulations are followed at the senior most level of the organization.
You need to be able to push back when they aren’t in order to keep the firm on the straight and narrow path of business success.
Definitely it is not an easy responsibility that is why only the HR pro can handle.
You must demonstrate the ability to always handle confidential information appropriately, and never divulge it to any unauthorized person.
7: Dual Focus
All HR professionals, will always operate between the rock and a hard place. Employees have an expectation that you will 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 parties
You will have tough times when you have to make a decision to protect an individual staff 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 all your choices might compromise confidential information.
YOU MUST keep your focus on the most important things at all times without loosing sight of any no matter how many they are.
8: Conflict Management and Problem Solving
The workplace is a human environment thus staff will have those moments they will clash and injure their workplace relationships.
As a HR pro, you have to find ways to allow healthy conflict to happen while at the same time addressing every aspect of it to ensure workplace relationships are healthy and promote productivity.
9: Change Management skill
Organizations are constantly changing. 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.
Employees at all levels of the organization get freaked out during this periods of change.
A competent HR professional, must be able to help everyone else cope with the constant and uncomfortable business changes.
Besides being important, the HR position can be a tricky one too. HR must understand and faithfully serve the larger business strategy thus any HR professional has to know what that strategy is and what makes the business tick so that the HR approach can be tailored accordingly.
Serving the HR call to the organization demands that you think of your role in an all encompassing way rather than in isolation. The tone, ethics and culture set by HR pros will soon permeate across the entire organization.
Ensure you set the right professional tone as a Human Resource professional.