In any organization, human resources (HR/HRM) refers to the individuals who deal with the prime activities of management and handling of staff, development, recruitment, employee and labour relations and acting as a link between the executive team and the employees.
A person who specializes in human resources or a human resource professional is hired by companies to manage and govern recruiting, taking interviews, onboarding, handling employee relations, payroll, benefits, and providing training as well as workforce engagement.
To be considered an HR professional, one requires top-notch skills in dealing with people and maintaining employee and employer relationships with the company. One has to be highly skilled in organization, time management, and efficiency.
Human Resources are extremely important and play a key role in determining the success of any organization.
Recruiting and selecting talents and potential employees, conducting numerous interviews is a challenge in itself. One must be knowledgeable in the needs, demands, and values of the company as well as the skill of identifying high-performing employees who will meet the expectations of the company is difficult.
The human resources team also deals with the performance, providing the right training, governs general satisfaction in the workplace, reinforces the values of the business, keeping records of the performance of the employees, and interpersonal and work relations in the company. The HRM team also acts as a bridge between the employees and the strategic objectives of the organization.
Leadership is one of the most crucial qualities of an HR manager. You will have to lead and manage all the employees and the success of the organization, as well as the performance of the employees, is dependent on you.
Here are a few tips to develop leadership skills:
Take initiative in social situations
Learn skills of active listening and empathy
Conflict management skills
Books to read on leadership
Start With Why by Simon Sinek
Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
2. Ability to work with teams
Teamwork plays an important role in the success of any company. The work of human resources management is to make the team as one and drive it towards the goals and objectives of the company.
Here are some tips for effective teamwork:
Learn collaborative skills
Develop interpersonal relationships
Empathic listening skills
Books on team working skills and team leadership:
Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Field Guide for Leaders, Managers, and Facilitators by Patrick Lencioni
The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork: Embrace Them and Empower Your Team by John C. Maxwell
The Best Team Wins: The New Science of High Performance by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton
3. Ability to command respect and trustworthiness
Commanding respect means being someone who is admired, acknowledged, and looked up to by people. When you command respect, people take you more seriously and will be more open to following your suggestion. Your confidence, the way you carry yourself, your self-image, and core values as an HR professional determine how people perceive you.
Here are some tips on how to be respected by people:
Give respect to receive respect
Treat yourself the way you’d want to be treated
Being thoughtful and practising gratitude
Books on commanding respect:
Executive Presence: The Art of Commanding Respect Like a CEO by Harrison Monarth
Honouringgetscounsellorthe Self by Nathaniel Branden
The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Branden
Self-discipline; the ability to control and monitor yourself and complete the task once you’ve set a goal. Self-discipline is crucial when you are dealing with tasks and goals that you may not be so excited about as an HR professional.
Here are some tips on building self-discipline:
Start embracing discomfort
Start small and take baby steps
Follow a routine
Books on self-discipline:
No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline by Brian Tracy
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by John Tierney and Roy Baumeister
Empathy is referred to as the ability to understand, relate and share the feelings of another person. As an HR professional, the ability to relate and understand others is crucial. Understanding issues and queries from all different perspectives and being able to negotiate and navigate the situation is an everyday job for an HR professional.
Few tips to be more empathetic:
Show share and concern
Practice empathic listening
Don’t be judgemental
Show emotional support
Books on empathy:
The Art of Empathy: A Complete Guide to Life's Most Essential Skill by Karla McLaren
I Am Human: A Book of Empathy by Susan Verde
Empathy: Why It Matters, and How to Get It by Roman Krznaric
6. Time management skills
As an HR professional, time management is a crucial skill to have. You will have to manage multiple tasks and deal with all the employees of the whole organization, this requires a lot of mental energy and management of one’s own time ensuring success and efficiency.
Here are few tips to develop time management skills:
Set goals and be smart
Make a priority list
Set a schedule and use a planner
Books on time management:
Getting Things Done by David Allen
Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy
The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
Organizational skills refer to your abilities as an HR to stay focused and use your time, energy, and skills to achieve the objectives of the organization you work for. Having organizational skills boost your productivity, not procrastinate and get things done.
Tips to develop organizational skills:
Build a to-do list
Organize your materials
Maintain a healthy work-life balance
Input tasks into a schedule
Books on organizational skills:
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
Making difficult decisions and sticking through those decisions is one of the most important skills as an HR professional. To be able to make difficult decisions, one has to think critically and measure the pros and cons of all the options while being farsighted.
Problem-solving refers to the skill of taking a complex problem and finding the best workable solutions for each problem in a time of crisis.
Books on decision making and problem-solving:
The Decision Book: Fifty Models for Strategic Thinking by Mikael Krogerus and Roman Tschappeler
Effective Decision-Making: How to Make Better Decisions Under Uncertainty and Pressure by Edoardo Binda Zane
Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp
9. Stress management and multitasking
As an HRM, while dealing with your own stress, you will also have to do an overall check on stress management of the employees as well. Employees cannot be as productive and efficient when under stress. The same thing goes for the human resources management team as well.
Especially, when one is overloaded with multiple tasks and has to multitask constantly, the skill of stress management is a necessity.
Here are some tips on stress management and multitasking:
Conduct refreshment and wellness program
Plan a schedule with priorities and a to-do list
Take a break
Books on stress management and multitasking:
Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Amelia Nagoski and Emily Nagoski
The Self-Care Prescription: Powerful Solutions to Manage Stress, Reduce Anxiety & Increase Well-Being by Robyn L. Gobin
Effective Multitasking: Learn How to Get More Done in Less Time Through Effective Multitasking and by Avoiding Common Pitfalls of Distracted Multitasking by Justine Gantt
As an HR professional the prime quality you require is to have in-depth knowledge of Human Resources. Without learning fundamentals regarding HR, you can't be considered an HR professional.
Along with a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in a related field, you will also be required to have acquired knowledge from outsources as well.
Books on Human Resources :
HR from the Outside In Six Competencies for the Future of Human Resources by Dave Ulrich and Jon Younger
The Essential HR Handbook, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Quick and Handy Resource for Any Manager Or HR Professional by Barbara Mitchell and Sharon Armstrong
The HR Answer Book: An Indispensable Guide for Managers and Human Resources Professionals by Rebecca Mazin and Shawn A. Smith
HR Disrupted: It's Time for Something Different by Lucy Adams
Investing in People: Financial Impact of Human Resource Initiatives by John Boudreau and Wayne F. Cascio
Predictive HR Analytics: Mastering the HR Metric by Kirsten Edwards and Martin R. Edwards
Effective communication is the skill that enables you to exchange ideas, thoughts, and goals in a way that produces desirable results and the receiver gets the message the way the sender intended to send the message.
As an HR professional, you will have to constantly communicate with the executive team as well as the employees of an organization. You may face problems if you lack effective communication skills and many misunderstandings may arise.
Tips on effective communication.
Be clear when you communicate
Be respectful and thoughtful
Do not say more than necessary
Books on effective communication:
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition by Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, and Ron McMillan
Communication Skills: A Practical Guide to Improving Your Social Intelligence, Presentation, Persuasion and Public Speaking by Ian Tuhovsky
Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
Five Stars: The Communication Secrets to Get from Good to Great by Carmine Gallo
Mentorship is the ability to provide guidance and help others through a task or a journey. As a mentor, you need to be able to act as a consultant, a counsellor with whole people who feel safe to share their issues, and the biggest cheerleader.
As an HR professional, you have the responsibility of the overall performance of the whole organization, while holding such a position, you will have to mentor many employees and provide them with the required training.
Tips for effective mentoring:
Listen to the issues first
Identify the areas of help required
Make a plan
Try to understand the person closely whom you will mentor
Books on mentorship:
The coaching habit (summary): say less, ask more & change the way you lead forever by Michael Bungay Stanier
The Mentoring Manual: Your Step by Step Guide to Being a Better Mentor by Julie Starr
10 Steps to Successful Mentoring by Wendy Axelrod
Human resources are one of the most in-demand and crucial positions in any organization. However, to be known as an HR professional, you will need to have a certain skill set and necessary knowledge to do the work.
Along with socializing and people skills, you need to be a leader who possesses many qualities to help, motivate and encourage people to give their best and take the organization to the next level.