Whether you’re hiring an internal HR manager or an HR Services Consultant, there are qualities, abilities, and attributes to look for in an HR professional that supports your business. When hiring for our consultant team, I look for HR specialists who possess and demonstrate skills in these critical areas:
1. HR knowledge
There is an extensive body of knowledge that an HR professional needs to comprehend in order to be effective. To move your mission forward and advance HR programs and processes, this individual should have substantive understanding in the following areas:
- HR Strategic Planning
- Talent Acquisition
- Employee Engagement & Retention
- Learning & Development
- Total Rewards
- Employee & Labor Relations
- Technology Management
- Diversity and Inclusion
- Risk Management
- U.S. Employment Regulations
2. Customer focus
You want someone who will partner with you to build a high-functioning team. This requires the ability to genuinely connect with employees and be cognizant of what they’ll need to thrive now and in the future. Having the ability to balance these needs with the demands of the business is key. Look for a partner who demonstrates thoughtful customer focus for internal customers, external clients and vendors.
3. Technological skills
Whether it’s using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), Learning Management System (LMS) or an HR Information System (HRIS), today’s HR professionals must be astute when it comes to implementing and utilizing systems to create efficiencies, tracking essential employee data, and measuring the success of HR programs. Your tech-savvy HR partner should keep up to date with relevant tech solutions coming down the pipeline, so you don’t have to.
4. Collaborative strategic thinker
If you’ve watched The Office, you’ve seen Toby, the HR professional who doesn’t really speak up. He’s a nice guy but he certainly doesn’t offer strategic advice to drive business results. Some HR professionals look at HR in a vacuum. You need someone who analyzes your business beyond HR and then offers HR strategies and suggestions to drive the business forward.
5. Demonstrated passion for the field of HR
At the core of your HR function should be someone who has a true desire to help develop and strengthen the people within your organization. With the right HR partner, you are equipped to create and reinforce a strong culture to support your organization’s goals.
Whether you’re building the HR function within your organization or seeking to elevate or augment the team you already have in place, these skills are critical to the success of your HR programs and processes. Having a strong HR foundation can be an incredible asset in meeting your goals.