Attributes of a Good HR Professional

Attributes of a Good HR Professional

The attributes of a good human resources professional

If you’re considering human resources as a career, or you are an existing HR professional who wants to develop your skills, what are the traits demonstrated by the best people in this field?

Communication skills. Firstly, you need the ability to listen to another party’s arguments, this might for example be those of a candidate in an interview; or a colleague facing disciplinary action, or who is subject to a consultation ahead of possible redundancy. You then need excellent spoken communication skills, for example to explain the rationale behind a business decision, or to give general advice on HR matters. Finally, you may sometimes be asked to explain these issues in writing, so good written communication skills are also important.

Knowledge. Human resources can encompass a number of diverse areas, from recruitment and employee welfare to disciplinary matters and redundancy situations. The best HR people not only have an excellent knowledge of these areas, but are able to keep up with legislative changes.

Time management. As your role might encompass all of the areas listed above, you need good organisational skills to balance the conflicting demands of each part of the role.

Trustworthiness. HR professionals are sometimes entrusted with information that is not for general dissemination across the company. This might relate to proposed re-structuring, or confidential information about an individual employee. No HR professional can afford to have a loose tongue and pass this information to anyone who doesn’t need to know about it.

Friendliness and approachability. You are likely to find yourself asked to assist with problems, issues, queries and grievances on a regular basis, and you need to present yourself as being willing to help.

Decision making. You are likely to be called upon to make decisions about incidents in the workplace and issues affecting individual colleagues or groups of employees. These decisions must only be made based on the facts of the case and not on your individual opinions or prejudices.

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