When we think of who a Human Resources professional is, we think about the qualities, characteristics, and the skills he or she possesses. The qualities identified below define the key strengths of a good Human Resources professional.

Knowledge and Expertise in Human Resources

You must have a core foundation in the many functions of Human Resources. An ongoing requirement is that you must be able to deal with the daily challenges that arise. You may have to resolve something as simple as an employee being paid the wrong rate of pay. Or it could be a much more difficult issue such as a pending sexual harassment investigation being conducted by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Whether the issue is something simple or more complex, a good Human Resources professional must be able to resolve all types of issues, calmly and fairly.


Human Resource professionals can’t survive if they don’t have excellent communication skills. Communication skills encompass a large range; it’s not just one specific thing, because there are many forms of communication. Being able to listen and hear what the other person is saying is a real skill. Many people listen, but they don’t really hear what is being said. What is the point? You must be able to deal with people in a friendly and professional manner so that people can relate to you easily. The majority of your communications will be verbal, but written communication is also very important. It’s best to structure your written communication like your verbal communication, and be friendly yet professional. Everyone goes to Human Resources for assistance and advice, so being able to communicate effectively is essential.

Time Management and Self Discipline

There are not enough hours in the day for a Human Resource professional to be able to get all of his or her work done. As in any job, you have daily tasks that must be completed, but we all know how that goes. When working in Human Resources, you’re happy if you can get some of the tasks completed. More often than not, you are faced with sudden issues that come up and require your immediate attention. Some days you may only have one or two incidents to deal with, but other days your whole time could be spent on these types of incidents. When this happens, the daily tasks get put on hold. But at some point, you have to stop and play catch up. For this, self-discipline is a must. It is imperative that you designate a time to complete your most important tasks on a daily basis. Knowing how to manage your time is necessary for survival. You will constantly have deadlines to meet and a heavy workload that may require you to work sixteen-hour days. You’ll have to learn to manage your time wisely so you don’t get burned out.


This quality is probably the most important one that any good Human Resources professional needs. People will only open up to someone they can trust. They must believe that you will do the right thing and have their best interests at heart. Along with trust comes confidentiality, because if someone is sharing personal information with you, they need to trust that you will keep it confidential and not share it with anyone else. Being known as a trustworthy Human Resources professional gives you great credibility. If you lose your credibility, you will have a very difficult time doing your job, since no one will feel that they can trust you. Trying to regain your credibility is difficult, but not impossible. Make sure you do your best to keep your credibility.

Impartial and Objective

As a Human Resources professional, you must be able to remain neutral. When dealing with a work incident or employee issue, you must be able to be objective and impartial. Your personal opinion does not count—these types of decisions must be based solely on the facts presented. Having excellent problem-solving skills is a must, and you’ll need to apply them in numerous situations. A big factor is knowing when you are not able to be objective or impartial about a particular incident or issue, so that you can remove yourself from the situation and have someone else handle it. You must be able to perform well under pressure and be able to make informed decisions based on facts, not emotions. This is especially important when negative scenarios come up, and you have to come up with positive resolutions. The good news is that you will get better at this with time and experience.

Train, Develop, and Mentor

One of the many jobs of Human Resources professionals is providing training to employees and management. Employees need to be kept up-to-date and educated on the skills and training needed to perform their job. Helping employees develop their skills to enhance their job knowledge and performance not only benefits the employee’s career, but the company as well. There are so many individuals out there who would do just about anything to have someone coach and mentor them. When you provide these services, you help them to grow both personally and professionally. Knowing that you have helped someone and made a difference in his or her life is such a great feeling.

There are many other qualities that make a good Human Resources professional, but these are the most important in my opinion. I think these are some great qualities to have!

I would love to hear what you think. Your comments are welcome.

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Andreea Hrab

International HR Director for OSF Global Services, Andreea is a veteran recruiter who has seen them all. She developed HR recruiting strategies and retention programs that guarantees the success of the company. She is a people person and she handles very easy new relationships with new employees, but her most interesting challenge is to find the middle way between company’s best interests and employee’s needs. To learn more about Andreea contact her on LinkedIn.


  • Avatar Ann Ashley says:

    Any HR pro, should, first of all, love people and view all of them very positively. In other case, it’s better to start thinking about changing the career. HR pro should also know people, recognize different character types; be able to differentiate whether a person is lying or not; what are his/her real goals and whether this person is suitable for a particular kind of job.

    • Avatar Rhonda Knisley says:

      Hi Ashley,

      You are so on point about having to love people to be a great HR professional. You
      must be in tune with people and be able to read them. That is a very important skill to have. Thank you for sharing and identifying important traits an HR professional needs.

      Warm Regards,

  • Avatar Sally Stein says:

    HR pro should definitely be a master of communication. Sounds so easy – but it’s not. HR pro should both communicate one’s thoughts clearly and should be able to listen to people and really understand what they are saying. It’s also important to be able to deliver negative information politely, without offending others.

    • Avatar Rhonda Knisley says:

      Hello Sally,

      Communication is key, and you are right is is not easy. You need to be able to read the individual, be sensitive to their needs, and diplomatic in your responses. So many people are guilty of saying they listen, but they don’t hear what is being said. Delivery is of the utmost importance and at times you have to deliver negative info/feedback, but being tactful and sensitive in your response is a must.

      You make great points. Thank you for contributing.

      Warm Regards, Rhonda

    • Avatar Rhonda Knisley says:

      Hi Mary,

      I think we all need to be aware and want to improve on our personal self-development. We do have to stay on top of what is going on and the new trends. This is important and we have to be able to put what we have learned into practical use.

      Thank you for your great points and contribution to the post.

  • Avatar Mary Smith says:

    Constant self-development is of great importance for any job, including HR-related jobs. Nowadays everything changes so quickly – and we can only be successful if we are aware of these changes. We can only see successful results of our work if we make some real effort to achieve such results and constantly keep ourselves informed about new trends within our professional area.

  • Avatar Nafiz says:

    The given traits are top most important it is ok but in my perception I think priority should be given on “Forecasting traits” as well as the given traits.because forecast will help you what resource now you have and what you need in future.

  • Avatar Sushant.More says:

    nice 1

  • Avatar Chay says:

    Its very helpful. Thank you. Hope that someday ill become a pro HR

  • Avatar mugisha says:

    thanks a lot for the ideas given.i need ideas how can i improve on public speaking cause im very shy and the work i do needs me some time to speak in the public

  • Avatar Priya says:

    Hello I’m a student from Chennai doing a course relevant to HR field. Before I started my course I dint know about HR and all those stuff. Now I understand the whole value of it. I’m doing my bachelor degree. Please take me as your friend and give some suggestions. What else course I need to study?

  • Avatar Kavitha says:

    Thank you so much, It is very satisfied and helpful answer.

  • Avatar tsvakai hondova says:

    One of hr duties is training but am not good at standing in front of people all the time. How can i improve and gain confidence

  • Avatar Tina Swamy says:

    Hi, this is Tina,
    I m working as a F.O.E since last 6 yrs. But i m interested in HR. Is that possible for me to become an hr executive or HR manager.?

  • Avatar Rakesh says:


  • Avatar Michael Haberman says:

    You need to understand business. HR needs to know how companies work. A good HR person is a business manager who understands how to support the business by making the people part work. But if you don’t understand productivity, profitability and other business challenges you will not be taken seriously.

  • Avatar Meenakshi says:

    Hello All,

    This is Meenakshi & I have recently completed my MBA in HR specialization.I have even started my career as a recruiter.
    I just wanted to share that how people can easily excel and that is you just need to be aware about your professional work and your surroundings.

  • Avatar Guadalupe Rodriguez says:

    Hello Rhonda,

    I’m so glad to have find this blog of yours. I’ve been searching for something like this, thank you in advance. I know that I will find great tips and great advises to perform better at my new position as HR. I do need a mentor that can guide through this new journey. I am excited to explore, learn, and most of all I want to become the best HR person ever.

    Guadalupe Rodriguez is my name and it would a great honor to follow you.

  • Avatar Stevedus says:

    Find out what you need to improve in yourself to become more effective!

  • Avatar Changu Chimuka Ngandu says:

    This was very helpful. I am a recent graduate in the field of Social Work but am considering getting into HR.

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