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.
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.
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.
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.
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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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.