By CSU Global - February 8th, 2019
Are you considering a career in human resources? This exciting role functions as the heartbeat of any organization — without acquiring new talent, and retaining that talent, workplaces would cease to function.
Being a great HR manager is about more than sending LinkedIn recruitment messages and organizing team-building events, though. And with the industry growing about as fast as the national average, at 9%, it’s more important than ever to equip yourself with a comprehensive skill set that will set you apart from the competition. We’ll explore some key traits, like good communication, organization, and conflict-management skills, that can help you determine if you’ll find success in this industry.
Great Communication Skills
An essential aspect of any HR job is communication. Whether you’re interviewing candidates, facilitating interactions between team members, relaying policy changes, or helping resolve conflicts, it’s essential that you’re a confident and competent communicator.
As an HR manager, you’ll likely also be responsible for onboarding and running training sessions for new employees. Doing so may involve speaking in front of crowds, giving presentations, working through training materials, and ensuring that the company’s expectations for the job are clearly understood by new employees. By having great communication skills, you can help new employees understand their roles and the culture of their new workplace, resulting in a smoother onboarding experience.
Conflict Management Skills
The role of an HR manager extends far beyond hiring and onboarding. While new talent acquisition is a crucial element of any organization’s overall health, retaining existing talent is also extremely important. With the United States’ overall unemployment rate at an 18-year low (3.9%) and with its continuous, eight-year streak of job growth, the job market is incredibly strong. Because of this, employees are more empowered than ever to seek out other employment if they’re unhappy in their current position. This truth makes conflict resolution all the more important.
The ability to help two parties bridge communication issues or workplace conflicts is key to retaining employees and maintaining a healthy workplace culture. According to The Balance, one of the top reasons good employees quit is their relationship with coworkers. If co-working relationships are toxic, that contributes negatively to the workplace environment and can drive up attrition rates. Acting as a liaison and neutral party between two parties can help resolve issues and conflicts before they grow out of proportion.
As an HR professional, you’ll have your hands full. In many cases, you’ll be responsible for coordinating and managing meetings, handling documents, and keeping track of employee applications. Translation: you’ll need to be extremely organized to perform in this role.
You’ll also be party to sensitive conversations and information regarding employee conflicts and personal issues. Staying organized reduces the risk of private information being shared inappropriately and helps you maintain your trustworthiness in employees’ eyes.
If you feel that your organizational skills need work, there are numerous options for improvement. Try downloading a to-do list app, and make a habit of using your calendar to manage your time. You can also improve this and other key “soft skills” through various programs that focus on career-readiness for the modern workplace.
Expertise in the Industry and a Drive to Keep Learning
Great HR professionals are experts in their respective fields — most managers have five years of experience and a bachelor’s degree. Earning your degree in human resources management is an excellent (and, in today’s economy, necessary) step, but great HR professionals are continuous learners.
Trends in the workplace dictate changes in management structures, compensation packages, employee relations, and more. It’s critical for HR managers to continuously learn, grow, and respond to these changes in order to optimize workplaces and retain employees.
Human Resources is crucial to the overall success of an organization. If you’re interested in a career that involves working with people, contributing to a positive workplace environment, and managing several different aspects of a business’s human-centric operations, then a career in human resources may be for you.
The CSU Global staff continually researches topics that are of interest to CSU Global students. Our goal is to support student success and learning outcomes.