The 7 essential skills for an HR in 2019

human resource talent management

It’s no secret…. It is clear that HR are real Swiss knives of the company. In any case, being HR in 2019 means demonstrating diverse and varied skills that are in line with the job, but also with our times. In order to honor the profession and encourage novices to develop their strengths, we have brought together seven aspects that we know are essential for today’s HR.

1# Be innovative and open-minded

Times have changed. A bit of a boat phrase, but which certainly characterizes the HR function. It is no longer possible to practice this profession today as we did yesterday. Why? Why? Because everything has evolved, from recruitment to the operation of companies, including the workers themselves, to the image of the Millennium which is disrupting the labor market. So it is not only the times that have changed, but also the rules!

So there is no choice but to evolve and adapt, because an HR lost in the meanders of “Let’s do as before!” will quickly be overtaken by events.

Our two main tips are as follows:

  • Develop your open-mindedness and know how to adapt, especially when two or three generations have to agree to work together in the same company.
  • Be innovative, using new technologies as tools to work more efficiently, but also daring to revolutionize the procedures in place to adapt to the times.

2# Knowing how to collaborate and delegate

HR must surround itself well and not work alone: today more than ever, it is a manager. If we take the practical example of professional recruitment, knowing how to collaborate with those around him (managers, executives, employees, executive recruiters etc.) and how to delegate certain parts of the process to them will enable HR to be much more effective. Result? Talents that are easier to find and attract, and then ultimately, much better quality hiring with less risk of failure.

This approach obviously applies to all levels of HR work. But don’t make us say what we didn’t say! The objective is never to sit back and watch others work, but to focus on what the core of the business is: supervising human resources at all levels.

3# Be a good salesperson and an excellent negotiator

Negotiation skills are, of course, one of the essential aspects of HR, which must be demonstrated in many situations (salary negotiations, conflict resolution, etc.). But in addition to their negotiating skills, today’s HR professionals must also be excellent salespeople, as they are often on the front line and are one of the company’s main representatives. And if that’s not your strong suit, don’t worry, you have to work on it. Our three tips for being a good “seller” of your company:

  • The preparation. To know the company, its history, its identity, its values, its working atmosphere, the different positions etc.
  • The strong points. Knowing what makes the difference in your company, what makes it better than others. And know how to use that to enhance it!
  • The people around you. HR cannot know everything at its fingertips, especially in terms of the technicality of jobs. It is therefore necessary to dare to call on other people in the company, more knowledgeable on these points (involving managers and employees for example).

4# Have legal knowledge

It is not the most “fun” skill to develop, but it is undoubtedly one of the most useful. Once again, you should not hesitate to be accompanied to learn more about this subject and be up to date. Why is this so important?

  • Regulations change regularly and rapidly, and it is obviously necessary to know and understand them well in order to be able to adapt to them.
  • This will allow you to manage grey areas when necessary. Is that discrimination? Is this harassment? It is up to HR to deal with this type of situation in the first place.
  • This avoids being surprised. Social law is complex, and being surprised by a situation or by an individual who would master it better than you would be complex to manage.

5# Be king/queen of the organization

In the same way that we talk about healthy living, we could talk about healthy working conditions. HR must necessarily have a rigorous work ethic, and through this term, we are obviously talking about organization.

The four pillars of the organization as HR are:
– Time management
– Prioritizing tasks and knowing how to say no when necessary
– The development of precise and easily repeatable processes
– Multitastking (know how to manage, at the same time, several tasks)

Fortunately, new technologies allow us to maximize our organization on a daily basis, so we should not hesitate to integrate them into HR work. The example we prefer is that of recruitment software, ATSs as we say in the jargon, which make it possible to develop, apply and facilitate recruitment processes.

6# Being able to juggle between communication and discretion

In an era where everything is communication, it would be inconceivable that an HR person would not know how to master its principles and tools. In fact, it is so obvious to today’s HR that the challenge is no longer to be able to communicate effectively, but rather to be discreet when necessary. A good HR person will be able to communicate perfectly, while an excellent HR person will master the balance between communication and discretion.

Thus, to ensure that you respect your colleagues, your company and your profession, you must, among other things:

  • Judging what is good or bad about making public
  • Distill information in such a way that it is easily captured and integrated by the public concerned
  • Evaluate the impact of words used and timing

7# Knowing how to manage crises and conflicts

Finally, in the event of a crisis and conflict, HR must position itself as a mediator on the one hand, and as an actor in the resolution on the other. The art is to remain impartial without falling into the trap of inaction. This competence could in fact be at the crossroads of the six qualities mentioned above, because in crisis management it is necessary:

  • Be organized. Have procedures ready for as many eventualities as possible and easy to apply.
  • Be an excellent negotiator to get out of the crisis from the top.
  • Know how to manage the people involved.
  • Be an outstanding communicator to defuse and explain.
  • Have the necessary legal knowledge (or dare to seek help).
  • Be open-minded and think “out of the box”, as each conflict/crisis requires adaptation to the situation.

Published by Dave John

Decade of work experience in leadership consulting with strong focus on talent acquisition & assessment across different industries and geographies.

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