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10 Essential Human Resources Skills You Need for an HR Career

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 152,100 human resource jobs in the year 2018. These figures will continue to rise steadily as more bachelor degree students join the labor markets. HR managers play an essential role in coordinating all administrative functions in the business setting. 

Having the right human resource skills when managing the various business processes is critical. This is especially evident considering the changing dynamics in the administration of businesses in the age of technology. So, this begs the question, what makes a competent HR professional?

Are you wondering how to become a human resource manager par excellence? Find out when you read this list of human resources skills that are essential for a job in HR.


1. You Must Exhibit Unique Communication Skills 

Taking a positive approach to communication is a critical skill for any HR professional.  You must be capable of keeping the communication within the organization functional at all times. HR managers are a bridge between top-level management and the employees.  

For this reason, succeeding in the management of employee affairs may require exceptional communication skills. You need to ensure a day-to-day emphasis on direct relations with your juniors and seniors. This is because it is through such relationships you can navigate the challenges of information flow.

2. Your Organizational Skills Matter  

Your role as a human resource manager entails more than just hiring and firing. You are responsible for organizing, managing, and controlling a core department within the business. This means that you are expected to organize the HR department in a way that ensures proper management of all the organizational operations.

You must be able to manage the time, calendars, duties, and records of employees in a way that enhances order. A professional human resource manager must also be able to manage transitions among employees to ensure that there are no vacuums even when such staff transitions. 

3. Negotiation Skills 

You need to harness the power of negotiation as an HR manager. This is critical, especially when making arbitrative decisions on salary and remuneration. Most HR managers fail in their management of talent because they are either too aggressive or uncompromising when it really matters. 

4. Relational Skills Are Critical 

While most people can communicate, very few people can form healthy relations. This also applies to human resource managers. It is common to find HR professionals who can give orders and communicate relevant information to juniors. 

However, it is rare to find HR managers who can go beyond just communication. HR managers need interpersonal skills, which allow them to show empathy when dealing with employees. Being a relational human resource manager ensures that the employees can confide in you even on the most confidential issues. 

5. Conflict Solving Is Among the Key Human Resources Skills 

Human resource managers act as a go-between in fostering a relationship between the management and the employees. However, even between the employees, there will often be conflicts that require a resolutory process. Most of these conflicts between employees end up in the human resource office.

Conflict resolution must, therefore, be among the core human resources skills for such HR managers. No one wants to operate in a highly acrimonious working environment. Consequently, it is upon the HR managers to develop skills that can ensure the amicable resolution of conflicts.

6. Decision Making Skills Are the Core of HR Management 

Managing human resource teams involves a lot of decision making.  As an HR manager, decision-making skills are among the necessary qualities. Right from the recruiting process, human resource managers have to make hard decisions that may shape the direction of the organization. 

Some of these decisions may seem unpopular but must be made either way. At times companies need to downsize their workforce due to various reasons. In such cases, human resource managers must make such critical decisions. 

You need to make a sound decision on the issues that affect the organization. Decision making may require a level of assertiveness that can ensure you stand your grounds even when you are likely to face opposition. 

7. You Need to Be Good With Numbers

One of the critical roles of human resource managers relates to setting compensation and benefits structures. You need to be good at budgeting to ensure that you have a clear allocation plan for all the related HR functions. As an HR manager, you need to ensure that you have a clear financial plan for each fiscal year.

Your primary role as the HR manager is to ensure that you limit the extent of expenditure when undertaking the various HR functions. Having a sound financial plan, therefore, requires a grasp of basic accounting information.  This would ensure that you can keep track of all functions without incurring additional expenses. 

8. Multitasking 

You must be able to balance many roles as an HR. You may be firing a group of employees while also training new ones at the same time. This means that you must be able to multitask and navigate the many functions and responsibilities simultaneously.  

9. Confidentiality Skills Will Set You Apart 

Among the human qualities that are critical for a human resource manager are the confidentiality skills. You need to be a person who can easily connect with people’s problems and keep such concerns a secret. You must be able to differentiate confidential issues and matters that do not require secrecy.  

As a human resource manager, discretion is at the core of your role. You need to ensure that you can handle such confidential issues with the utmost caution. Such skills also require a high sense of ethics. This means that as an HR manager, you respect the need for privacy when dealing with the most delicate issues.

10. IT Skills Are a Must Have 

You won’t thrive as a human resource manager without strong Information technology skills. As the world goes increasingly digital, IT skills will be a must-have for HR managers. You’ll be expected to do more using your information technology expertise, which may require a greater extent of tech-savviness.  

The modern human resource landscape is moving toward software systems and other HR programs. These advances are critical towards supporting efficiency in achieving the various HR goals. Learning the latest IT trends in HR management will not only make your work more comfortable, but it will also give you an edge as a tech-savvy manager.   

You can learn about IT staffing as you kick start your path towards digitized human resource management.   

Success Is Guaranteed If You Harness These Human Resource Management Skills

The evolving role of human resource management demands more than just the traditional approaches to management. You need to ensure that you are an all-rounded manager with the capacity to incorporate human resources skills that emphasize your professional strengths. While most of the other skills can be self-taught, you need to learn essential IT skills that endear you towards more efficient HR management.

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