Five Skills All Human Resources Workers Must Have

  • Organization
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Concurrent Tasking
  • Negotiation

Trends and best practices within human resources have undergone a dramatic shift in the past few years, with more changes to come, according to Forbes . But even with all the changes the HR industry has undergone and will yet face, the root skills required to be effective in human resources have largely remained the same. Here are five skills necessary to succeed in a human resources job.

1. Organization

Staying organized not only means keeping literature, records, and materials in order, or maintaining a tidy office. It also means carefully organizing events, departmental calendars, meetings, and projects. All human resources professionals must possess organization as a skill – not least because HR typically involves not only a great deal of paperwork but regular meetings and staff events that require a sharp eye for detail while still keeping the focus on the larger picture.

2. Communication

While communication is an important skill in many positions, it is an absolutely critical skill to HR professionals. Communicating effectively involves being able to relate and share information rapidly and efficiently, and in many instances involves elements of social engineering and discussion to create harmony and balance in the workplace, particularly when conflict arises. HR professionals should be able to effectively communicate across multiple mediums as well, whether speaking in person or composing a professional email or letter.

3. Problem Solving

Problem-solving can be something of an abstract or even meta-skill, but it is nevertheless a vital skill for the successful human resources professional. Problem-solving involves being able to assess individual factors in a situation, think logically about them, and come up with an effective solution. The ability to problem-solve is strongly correlated with how people think – and individuals able to think abstractly, concretely, and logically will generally be adept problem solvers.

4. Concurrent Tasking

While most would refer to this as multi-tasking, concurrent tasking is not quite the same thing. Concurrent tasking involves prioritizing tasks and determining which tasks require immediate and intense focus and which tasks can be carried out with minimal effort or attention. For example, a human resources professional might need to map a database of current employees eligible for promotion – and they may also need to review prospective hires’ resumes. The worker can set the computer process to run with specific parameters while reviewing the resumes and returning to review the database list later on. Concurrent tasking is a great way to ensure that everything gets done in a day, especially if there is a great deal to do.

5. Negotiation

Human resources professionals will regularly have to engage in negotiation, requiring diplomacy and highly effective communication skills. HR workers may find themselves mediating a conflict between two employees, or helping to negotiate the salary of a new hire based on their experience and the company’s available resources. The art of negotiation involves the ability to think logically, to be able to consider multiple points of view, and especially the ability to be an active listener.

Each of these skills is critical to succeeding in a human resources job. Whether an HR worker is just entering the field or is a twenty-year veteran, continuing to develop these skills can help companies to run more smoothly as well as add to the professional’s job satisfaction through the life of their career.

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