There are currently 275,000 members of the Society for Human Resource Management. These several thousand people all have to wear multiple hats: they must be adept at employee relations and employee development, knowledgeable about workplace regulations, and walk a fine line between protecting the needs of the employees and the needs of the organization.
With all these HR professionals floating around in the world, it may be useful for us to take a look at the five qualities that all modern HR professionals must have in order to succeed.
1. The HR Pro Must Be Adept at Employee Relations
HR professionals should have the best interests of the company’s employees at heart — they are, after all, responsible for maintaining and managing the employer/employee relationships that contribute to morale and motivation. For this reason, it is crucial that HR professionals have the emotional intelligence necessary to support these relationships. It is also essential that HR professionals help employees realize their goals within the company, as well as align those employee goals with the goals of the company overall
2. The HR Pro Is Organized and Skilled in Time Management
Given the number of tasks an HR professional has to juggle at any given time, strong organizational skills are crucial. Projects and details have to be prioritized effectively in order to meet organizational deadlines.
Because the HR department is responsible for compliance in matters of corporate labor law, HR professionals have to be organized. Without a heightened sense of organization, the department might fall short of code and regulation.
3. The HR Pro Adapts to Technology and Industry Development
The world of technology grows constantly. HR professionals have to take such progress in stride. Adapting to change isn’t a luxury: it’s mandatory. In order to remain successful and continue to develop, HR professionals must adjust with the times.
For example, 20 years ago, resumes were sorted by hand. A recruiter read each and every one of them individually. However, explosive developments in computer technology brought forth the applicant tracking system. Now, at least 90 percent of large organizations use ATSs — and HR professionals had to master these tools in order for them to be effective.
Recently, HR has continued to adapt to technology, learning about mobile devices, social media, and a slew of other advances that affect hiring and training processes.
4. The HR Pro is a Friendly Mentor and Training Resource
The best HR professionals are skilled in written and oral communication and have impeccable people skills. These skills are crucial because HR is the department to which employees turn when they seek professional development, training, or an opportunity to air and address their grievances.
5. The HR Pro Understands What Drives Company Success
Successful HR professionals need more than just human relations knowledge — they need industry knowledge, too. Well-rounded HR professionals go out of their way to continue their education and keep up on the latest HR trends, policies, and legislations. Michael Meere, director of HR at the College for Adult Learning, writes that
“A rare quality in an HR director is one who is motivated to ask a question or do extra research. Laws change, and it is up to the HR director to make sure the company meets the latest standards in terms of health, safety, and other labour laws [sic]. If it means doing some added research or reaching out to labour offices [sic] for help, a good HR director should be willing to do so.”
It is necessary to have a combination of hard and soft skills to be an effective HR professional. Every professional in the HR department has to be a face for the organization, both internally and externally. An HR manager should be organized, because employment policies and legislation change regularly, and HR professionals must continuously expand their knowledge of the industry in order to keep up.
The HR department has to be well-rounded and ready to adapt. Are your HR pros up to par?