Human Resources (HR) professionals play a key role in finding, training, and retaining the right people for an organization. Anyone considering a career in HR should have the necessary skills to connect with employees and make difficult decisions on a daily basis. We have created a list of the most important HR skills and simple ways to improve them.
Communication is one of the most important soft skills for anyone considering a career in HR. People in HR are often required to give presentations, resolve conflicts, conduct interviews, and explain company policies to employees.
Active listening. Being a good listener builds trust, defuses anger, and promotes honest discussions. It allows you to gauge alternate points of view and find beneficial solutions.
Written communication. Sending emails, writing reports, and creating policies are just some of the key duties of HR professionals. Good writing skills help avoid miscommunications and document errors.
Verbal and presentation skills. HR professionals often present training programs and speak to employees about work-related issues. Those with good verbal and presentation skills are viewed as competent and trustworthy.
Tips For Improving Your Communication Skills:
- Hone your presentation skills by attending a Toastmasters meetup.
- Ask an editor or colleague to proofread your documents and staff communications.
- Read books on soft skills in the workplace.
- Ask your colleagues to conduct conflict roleplay scenarios with you.
- Get in touch with the sales team for ideas on improving your persuasion skills.
People in HR make a lot of decisions for a company. During the recruitment process, HR professionals must decide whether a candidate will be a good fit for the company. They also make decisions on how to resolve conflicts between employees and who to let go when the company is downsizing.
Critical thinking. Being able to weigh up the pros and cons of an event and arrive at an informed decision.
Impartial behavior. HR professionals must put aside their personal feelings when reviewing a dispute and making decisions.
Decisive action. Often decisions need to be made quickly to avoid escalation. When there is no time to mull over the problem, HR professionals must decide and act quickly with the facts they have on hand.
Tips For Improving Your Decision-Making Skills:
- Set time limits on decisions that still need to be made.
- Practice making quick decisions when shopping or picking outfits.
- Trust your first instinct.
- Try to disprove yourself before you make your final decision.
HR professionals oversee many functions including recruitment, development and training, performance appraisals, and employee relations. They also liaise between employees and department heads and must have a systematic way of completing tasks, filing paperwork, and engaging with employees.
Time management. Managing your time effectively will ensure you get through all your daily tasks without rushing or forgetting something important.
Calendar management. Effective calendar management helps busy HR professionals stay productive with scheduled meetings, tasks, and events.
Records management. People in HR are required to create, store, and update company records on a daily basis. Effective records management makes this process easier, freeing up time for other important tasks.
Tips For Improving Your Organizational Skills:
- Measure how much time is required for each task and dedicate timeslots accordingly.
- Consider using applications like Evernote or Todoist to prioritize your daily duties.
- Use calendar management applications like Google Calendar or Calendly to schedule meetings, tasks, and events.
- Use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to sort resumes and store documents for easy access.
Training and Development Skills:
Many HR professionals are actively involved in the training and development of company employees. Advanced training skills are needed to ensure employees understand and incorporate the information and skills you are trying to impart.
Research. Effective research skills will ensure that your training content is relevant and beneficial to the company.
Adaptability. Adaptability skills are beneficial when conducting training courses. People retain information in different ways which means you may need to adapt your training style to include visual, auditory, and hands-on work.
Evaluation. At the end of a training session, HR professionals must evaluate employees and provide corrective and positive feedback. Good evaluation skills will ensure the information is correctly interpreted and incorporated.
Tips For Improving Your Training Skills:
- Encourage senior staff to attend your training and provide course suggestions.
- Consider offering mini follow-up sessions to go over important concepts.
- Cater to different learning styles with visual presentations and hands-on exercises.
- Incorporate trainee feedback into future training sessions.
What skills do you need to work in HR?
What is the role of human resources?
Human resources is the department responsible for the recruitment and training of employees, developing workplace policies, and administering employee benefits.
What are the qualities of a good HR professional?
- Impartiality and objectivity.
- Strong ethics.
- Critical thinking.
Is HR a good career option?
Human resources is a broad and rewarding career field with ample growth opportunities. Although the work can be stressful, HR professionals have reported high job satisfaction with many advancement opportunities.