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Top 5 Essential HR Skills

Published: Monday 18th May 2015

Woman assessing skills of an employee whilst sat down

HR is a popular and well paid career choice and because almost all medium to large organisations requires a HR department, there are plenty of opportunities out there to be had. Whether you are a bright young graduate who is looking to get their foot in the door of a HR department, or a seasoned professional, there are certain HR skills you should hone to enhance and support your career.

1. Organisational skills

HR Managers, supported by HR Officers and HR Executives, are responsible for taking charge of the design and ongoing development of the organisation they work for. It is the duty of HR to ensure that the organisation’s value and culture is realised in real terms within the working environment, allowing the organisation to meet their short and long term goals. To do this you need to be a highly competent administrator with strong organisational skills. The ability to process and analyse information efficiently and make sound decisions are also desirable HR skills.

2. Strategic thinking skills

Organisations rely on HR Managers to plan the talent hiring process, ensuring much needed skills are correctly balanced across the workforce. Planning this requires the HR team to have strong strategic skills to ensure different departments are appropriately staffed. As departmental managers are not always going to agree and push for as much manpower as possible for their team, being a skilled influencer who is able to ensure commitment from all quarters of the organisation is also important.

3. Interpersonal skills

Having strong interpersonal skills is probably the most important set of HR skills you can develop in your career. HR Executives are responsible for managing relationships between staff members, management and the wider organisation. To do this you need a confident personable nature and the ability to get on with a wide range of people within the organisation. You may need to help resolve conflicts between individuals or departments for which you need to be diplomatic, objective and able to negotiate tactfully.

4. Innovation skills

The HR department is responsible for devising employee learning and development strategies, making sure all employee skill sets stay up to date and relevant, in order to contribute to the organisation’s success. An important HR skill is to have the creativity to seek out and develop new, innovative ways to train and enhance the existing talent.

5. A strong personal brand

Whether you are an HR Officer, HR Executive or HR Manager, it is important that you have the respect of your colleagues and act as an ambassador for the organisation at all times. Remember you may be the first port of call, should an employee be facing a problem or have the need to discuss an important issue within their career. Therefore you need to project the image of a professional and credible mediator between your colleagues and the organisation. At times in your HR career, you may need the courage to speak up when necessary, even when the point might not be popular or received well by all parties.

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