The Ultimate Guide to Selecting Human Resource Professionals
What skills should you expect from human resource professionals?
Human resource professionals have a difficult job because their roles balance the needs of the company with the needs (and often legal rights) of employees. These two responsibilities are sometimes at odds with one another. From approving leave to creating effective employee recognition programs, your HR pros have to possess the skills and knowledge to do what’s best for the company as a whole, even if it’s not what will make the boss happy in the moment.
If you make the wrong choice with human resource professionals, you might find yourself with someone who is willing to undercut benefits for the sake of your profits, which could eventually drive your employer brand into the dust. Taking great care when selecting human resource professionals is critical to the success of your business.
You need someone who can easily prioritize and multitask, stay organized and communicate in a polite, professional and discrete manner, even when dealing with difficult parties. How can you find the right person to fill the role? When hiring HR professionals, keep an eye out for the following essential traits:
- Positive Communication Skills – Candidates should demonstrate the ability to have a positive conversation in-person and over the phone, as well as present themselves well through written exchanges. Writing should be free of grammatical errors and have an appropriate tone for business communication.
- Professional Attitudes – HR issues can be emotional and embarrassing to discuss. It’s imperative your staff is able to stay professional instead of losing their tempers. They also need to be able to keep information confidential. HR staff members must be able to see business as business instead of forming grudges or cliques. Too many companies are plagued by sour-tongued gossips, setting the company up for conflict. If there’s one department where you need cool-headed people in charge, it’s in human resources.
- Fair Judgment – Once your company is big enough, your HR staff will handle many of the requests coming through from employees. Days off, family leave, shift change requests and other decisions will be left to these people, and they’d better be able to balance what’s best for employees with what’s best for the business. There will be situations where the company has to take a hit, especially regarding issues where federal regulations are at play, and times when they’ll have to tell workers they can’t get what they want.
- Clear Organization – Human resource professionals need to be able to juggle several different tasks and re-prioritize them as needed. They’ll have a wide range of skills and the ability to form the relationships needed to fill in those gaps. The best candidates will have a record of meeting or beating deadlines and a method of keeping on top of projects in process. For companies hiring an HR professional through a PEO, this will likely be the latest industry software or other high-tech tools you wouldn’t be able to afford on your own.
- Effective Conflict & Change Management – The American workforce is shifting away from the bottom-up advancement models of the past. People are brought in at senior management level while departments get reorganized, and workers are forced to choose between shifting roles and losing their jobs. It’s not uncommon for former superiors and their staff to end up working together and for those awkward situations to cause personal problems. HR representatives must be able not only to offer solutions but to help workers accept them. They have to be able to consider the people involved and find resolutions helpful for everyone.
The quality of your HR workforce is paramount to a smoothly running company. If you choose the wrong people for these roles, you could find yourself with higher turnover rates, lower employee satisfaction, more sick days and less progress overall.