5 must have skills for HR in any company

Do you have what it takes to make a success of HR.

How HR departments function and operate have evolved. This holds true for HR teams in any industry. Whether a company sells hardware tools like The Home Depot, or makes skincare products like Nu Skin, company reviews demonstrate just how effectively those HR departments are adapting.

HR departments no longer only take care of payroll or handle employee disputes. For HR Professionals to succeed, they need to have the necessary skills for their respective job functions. Here are five “must have” skills for HR in any company:

1. Strategic thinking

Gone are the days where HR simply gives new company employees a key to the front door and explains insurance benefits. The days are also over where HR employees function purely as comment suggestion boxes. In order for the HR department to be taken seriously, HR Professionals need to become strategic thinkers. HR Professionals need to rise above menial tasks that will eventually be taken over by software programmes, such as compliance and payroll. To become strategic thinkers, members of HR need to understand how they can add value to the goals and objectives of a company.

2. Data analysis

Being able to understand the value of Big Data and how to make data-based decisions is a must-have skill for HR. The use of Cloud-based HR systems has given HR departments all around the world the opportunity to gather data that can be used to make better decisions. As HR practitioners learn to use data, they will be able to add greater value to the organisation they are a part of. They will be able to improve employee productivity, attract the best talent, and improve how their company takes care of employees.

3. Improved internal communications

How many employees actually know the benefits they are entitled to? Do all members of the company know when the next “town hall” meeting is? The percentage of information employees receive can drastically improve with creative communications. Methods used by HR to share information need to adapt and evolve with the times. This is due in part to the fact that the workforce is changing in age, and technology has changed the way people want to receive information. Companies can enable HR departments to more effectively communicate internally by using media such as video to announce policy changes and upcoming parties. Simply stapling a flyer on the bulletin board next to the bathroom will no longer do the job. It’s not good enough. HR practitioners need to be creative and resourceful.

4. People-savvy skills

As most people know, HR Professionals need to have great people skills. Interpersonal skills are critical to the success of any HR department. Without these skills to effectively engage with people in any setting, the members of any HR department cannot succeed. The ability to keep the human element in mind is vital to the long-term success of any company whether it’s a company of 100 people or a company of 100,000 people.

5. Risk management

All HR Professionals need to know how to handle things when something goes wrong. HR Professionals also need to know what to do to prevent problems and also need to understand the risk involved in the following HR functions:
a. Compensation negotiation;
b. Benefits;
c. Employee supervision;
d. Exiting employees; and
e. Onboarding new employees.

When HR Professionals understand how to handle risk involved, they can be more effective and save the company money in the long run.

Lindsey Patterson is a freelance writer and entrepreneur based in the US who specialises in business technology, customer relationship management, and lead management. She also writes about the latest social trends, specifically involving social media.

This article appeared in the August 2018 issue of HR Future magazine.

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