The Human Resource professionals generally require a plethora of skills to do their work best. The HR profession which was once considered as mostly to do with administrative and compliance driven tasks has come a long way now to be the fastest growing and most sought-after careers today. As the developments post the industrial revolution changed the way the employers treated their workers, the role of HR professionals became more dominant in every organizations since then. The current market scenario requires HR professionals to be not only proficient with the general task of hiring, compensation and trainings but also much more, so that various functions in the organization operates smoothly. Here, we will be discussing 6 top skills that are important for an HR. Doesn’t matter whether you are just kickstarting or thinking about your career in Human Resources or even if you are an experienced HR professional. These skills will help you to flourish and be updated with the current requirements.
1. Communication Skills
Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill. — Gautama Buddha
Good communication skills are without doubts mandatory for all HR professionals, but if you are not that strong in it – don’t worry, it is something that can be easily mastered. HRs need to constantly interact with employees and need to answer them on any queries they raise. The human resource professionals not only act as a link between the employees and the employer, but also has the role to represent the organization. They need to communicate equally across all people in the organization from entry level employees to even the CEO. Often activities like giving presentations, conducting interviews, or even resolving conflicts are done by HRs and all of them requires good communication skills, without which the HR will fail to express things clearly.
Human Resource professionals need to interact with people daily and will need to communicate with them either through phone or thorough emails, both of which requires good communication skills. Having a good writing skill can avoid miscommunications and minimize the number of messages that needs to be passed back and forth. Having a good listening skill is also part of a good communication, as it helps the HRs to have honest discussions with employees and managers.
Improving your communication skills
Communication skills can be improved through reading lots of books, taking short courses on negotiation, critical listening, empathy and conflict management. Other than these, if you want to avoid spending money and learn then the best way is to talk to people who are good in communication and listen to podcasts. These will help you improve to a great extent.
2. Conflict management and problem solving
Dialogue Is the Most Effective Way of Resolving Conflict— Dalai Lama
In an inclusive work culture, there will be employees from various cultures and lifestyle. Though this has got wide benefits for the company, different personalities working together can become catalysts for conflicts. Conflicts can happen due to a wide variety of reasons and can happen between two employees at the same position or between an employee and his manager. It’s at these situations where the negotiation and mediation skills of an HR comes into play. The HR needs to listen patiently to both the parties and needs to resolve it in a respectful and appropriate manner.
The skill to resolve conflicts can be very much useful at some of the uncomfortable situations like an exit interview, appraisal times, mass layoffs, and even during inclusion of some new technology when the employees fear loss of their jobs.
Ways to resolve conflicts
Some of the ways for an HR to resolve conflicts are as follows:
Create Healthy Environment: The parties involved in the conflict should be asked first to treat each other with respect and avoid further conflicts. They should be encouraged to be honest and open with their opinions.
Understanding the disagreement: The HR should try to understand what is the root cause of the conflict and get an agreement from both sides about the cause of the conflict.
Listen Effectively: Once the issue is identified, the HR needs to listen patiently to both parties to let them talk about their personal opinions. This way the HR will have an understanding of each of their concerns and even how the conflict would have been originated.
Considering Solutions: Understanding the whole scenario, the HR should use their problem-solving skill to come up with a mutually agreeable solution from both the parties.
Acknowledging the solution: Once a solution is mutually agreed, both the parties involved in the conflict should take up the responsibility to acknowledge the agreement and avoid future conflicts. The HR should ask them to shake hands, apologize and thank each other for taking effort to resolve the matter.
3. Decision making skills
The HR professionals are involved in a lot of decision-making in their day today activities at work place. Decisions can range from resolving conflicts as explained earlier, to recruitment related choice on whether to take an applicant or not for a particular position. The decision-making human resource skills comes naturally with experience and sometimes with an individual’s thinking strategy or even with their intuitive abilities.
The HR can get support for his or her decision-making skills from the use of technology or software like the ATS recruitment tool. However, the final success of their decision is dependent on how the person used his skills along with the technology to come up with a final decision.
4. HRIS knowledge skills
The knowledge of HRIS (Human Resource Information Systems) may not be a necessity for an entry-level HR. However, those who already have spent some time in the industry should have experience in one or more of these digital tools. Most of the organizations these days look for HRIS experience when hiring people for the senior HR jobs and it has become on of the top technology human resource skills required for an HR professional today.
The HRIS also known as HRMS (Human Resource Management System) is a form of software used by the HR professional for automating and smooth functioning of various processes like hiring, appraisals, payrolls and even rewards for the employees. Different organizations use HRIS from different providers based on their requirements. For example, large companies mostly use SAP or Oracle systems, while smaller companies use local solutions.
Though the Human Resource Information Systems automate the work to a great extent, it is not enough to know how to use this software. The HR professional must also know how to segregate the data and analyze them to come up with best decisions.
5. Ethical Approach
The HR professionals in many companies are exposed to lots of personal, and confidential information about its employees and organization. They must have the skills to keep this data secure adhering to privacy policies of the organization. The HR should be very careful while sharing the information to the appropriate people. They also need to verify that both the employees as well as the employee follow the standards and do not violate any of the company ethical standards. It is the responsibility of the HR to identify those who violate the standards and hold them accountable.
6. Teamwork and collaborations skills
Finally, teamwork and collaborative skill is one of the most important human resource skills that cannot be ignored. The HR managers mostly works together with their colleagues or mangers and rarely does anything in solo, unless otherwise asked for some very specific tasks. When people work together to achieve the same end goal, it is known as teamwork. Collaboration means that the members of the team may have different skill sets and different area of experience, but still have the same goals and resources.
It is quite possible for most of the HR professionals to not have any employees reporting directly to them. However, they need to know how to manage people and coach them. Promoting a good teamwork and collaborating together benefits both the organization as well as the Human Resource.
In conclusion, the HR profession is a great career path with lots of opportunities. But, if you need to succeed as an HR professional, you need to have the right amount of skills and be real “people person”. In this article, we have discussed 6 of the top skills that we believe is a must to succeed in your HR career. If you think that we have missed any of the skills or you do not agree with any one mentioned here, kindly let us know through your comments here.