Human Resources Pros: Three Skills to Develop NOW!


Many human resources pros have the desire to make it to the top—becoming a CHRO (Chief Human Resources Officer) or similar position.

Although it is certainly good to aspire to greatness, the truth is there are few C-level management HR roles to go around.

Human resources prosShould the lack of high-level human resources positions hold a motivated human resources go-getter back? No!

Three skills human resources pros can develop RIGHT NOW, to increase their chances of being the best in their profession.

They may not guarantee anyone a shot at the boardroom, but they do better the odds for long-term career success:

Strategic thinking

Human resources pros need both the skills and tools to think analytically. Research shows that successful organizations will base their strategic business decisions on the organizational efficiencies.  Briefly, that means that HR pros must be able to think critically about the consequences of business decisions when it comes to human resources.

Develop a strategic thinking process that involves things like:

  • Environmental analysis
  • Assessment of competencies, strengths  and weaknesses
  • Analysis of the competition
  • Formulate and implement effective strategies that result in competitive advantages.

Strategic thinking requires human resources pros to apply fundamental business skills of planning and managing activities, identifying issues and consider options carefully.

Communication skills

Communication skills are more than just the ability to deliver well-crafted memos, reports and speeches. To be successful in HR depends on the most crucial aspect of communication—listening. Developing good listening skills, as well as observing industry trends and best HR practices of successful companies all comprise the communication process.

Pay attention to employee feedback to develop an understanding of what employees want from the company. Use it to develop an effective plan of action that supports the organization’s goals.

Personal integrity and ethics

Professional integrity and ethical behavior are perfect for personal reliability and professional success in the human resources industry.

Credibility allows you to create authentic relationships, something based on mutual respect and trust. There is no substitute for that when achieving results in HR.  Professional integrity means that you will operate in a professional and ethical manner within the workforce, regardless of whatever situation you face.

The role of the human resources pros is to provide expert knowledge, advice and support to employers. They need to be experts in the most effective use of the company’s human resources.  Human Resources pros should be just as interested (if not more) in achieving the organization’s goals as any industrial, business or government entity.

How can human resources pros remain ethical? They do so by understanding economic, political, financial and other factors that influence an organization’s success.

As advisors to management, or as an existing member of the management team, human resources take an active role in decision-making.  To this end, human resources pros are required to always apply integrity, honesty and appropriate behavior in all activities—business, professional and even personal (related to the job).

The purpose of HR matters more to a business than some human resources pros think. It may not be glamorous, but HR does have a profound effect on the lives of employees. Therefore, Human Resources exist in the crucial crossroads between business and community.

Some of the most influential social trends in society, such as same-sex relationships, health care, single parent and dual-income families, play out through HR departments all over the world. In addition, some of the business practices having the biggest effects on society, like outsourcing and downsizing, also unfold on the HR stage.

Having the skills to succeed as human resources pros not only helps the enterprising individual, but it can also play a larger role in both business and society.

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