Human Resource Management

8 Essential HR Skills Every Professional Should Develop

By on February 16, 2023

The effectiveness of human resources (HR) professionals can lift an organization to punch above its weight. From talent acquisition to retention, they play a significant role in the employee life cycle and can play an integral part in improving performance of the entire organisation.
With the changing world, the demands of hybrid work have put a strain on an already overloaded HR department. But paying attention to specific skills and taking advantage of advances in HR tools, can provide significant relief and returns to all stakeholders.

Essential HR Skills Every Professional Should Develop

Essential HR skills every professional should develop

1. How to Improve HR knowledge to gain expertise

As the societal & macroeconomic changes impact corporations, they also influence lives of individuals. With the dynamic nature of these changes, it is imperative that the Human resources team members keep on learning about various nuances in the discipline. Challenges such as moonlighting & quiet quitting require a different type of approach hitherto unknown to them. Thus, expanding their expertise in dealing with Human resources is a given expectation that every executive has from her HR department

Even from their own career growth perspective, HR teams should continue to plan & execute learning & development programs. This will then include honing interpersonal skills, avoiding cognitive biases, keeping themselves abreast about regulations & labour laws of the geographies they operate in & more. To put it in a single line – HR teams should dog food the L&D programs they develop for the rest of the organization.

2. Strategy creation & execution

In addition to running the tactical & operational tasks on a day-to-day basis, HR teams should definitely look to have a strategic impact on an organisation’s growth trajectory. With requisite human resources knowledge and a deep understanding of the organization’s needs, HR teams can have a larger impact by aligning their own goals with the company objectives, be it increased efficiency, cost savings, or improved employee satisfaction. HR practices can zero in on a list of practical solutions to help their teams. With tools to tackle routine HR tasks, human resources teams can focus on contributing to the stated strategies. Aligning these new HR strategies with the organization’s existing systems ensures a seamless employee experience.

3. Performance management

Developing an effective performance management process requires astute planning skills. Right from helping teams and individuals understand the organization’s vision, mission, and goals, Human Resource professionals assume responsibility for every aspect of the performance management process. They are also called upon to distinguish between compensation and performance management. Adopting goal-setting frameworks like OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) can help employees better understand their jobs’ end goals, irrespective of the industry in which their organization works. Bringing in agility through continuous feedback conversations can also add an element of motivation to the entire workforce. With every organisation having its own cultural appetite, molding the performance management process accordingly is a task entrusted to the HR folks. 

4. Recruitment and selection

For the recruitment process to succeed, HR professionals should define the role clearly, including the duties, responsibilities, required human resource skills, and qualifications. Having these basic details highlighted ensures that suitable candidates apply for the job. Recruitment sources such as job boards, social media, and employee referrals can increase the candidate pool – and structured interviews can help to identify the best fit through a fair and consistent assessment, where all candidates are asked the same set of questions. Using assessment tools such as skills tests, personality assessments, etc., can go a long way in shortlisting the best candidates for the job. 

Apart from the traditional ways of hiring, HR teams should learn Employer branding & come up with innovative ways to reach out to the potential employees.

5. Being analytical and data-driven

Good people and analytical skills of HR personnel play an essential role when used with performance data. Together, they drive better returns on the investments made by organizations. HR professionals should keep an eye on improving their analytical skills to make informed decisions that are needed by the organization and employees. Timely interventions and suggestions from HR managers can help team leads devise better training and coaching modules, improve the interaction between colleagues, and allow all team members to understand their role in the success of their organization. Human resource departments can also rely on HR analytics tools to help them see through the clutter & find the useful insights.

6. Wellness and wellbeing

A happy workforce is more likely to succeed and thrive than a dull one – wellness and well-being are essential for that to happen. HR professionals must create the right work environment – to boost engagement, efficiency, and productivity across levels. With constant check-ins, team interactions, and other activities, HR professionals can ensure that hybrid working employees’ efforts are recognized at the same level. Providing timely feedback that keeps employees engaged improves their experience and output. Regularly reviewing and assessing these processes adds efficiency, reduces employee anxiety, and allows Human Resource management systems to plug the gaps – skills or otherwise – in their teams.

7. Technology Command

Identifying and developing the skills and abilities of employees, as well as planning for succession and retention, is not easy – even for most seasoned HR professionals. Using technology to strengthen employee relations can solve employee conflicts, grievances, and other issues that may become troublesome in the future. Using tools with many bells and whistles can add a steep learning curve to an already packed workday of HR professionals – and it is essential to find the sweet spot where the tools adopted ease up the work while also providing ways to understand data that the organization generates.

8. Reporting skills

HR professionals are tasked with generating multiple reports – from training and development documents to designing and delivering appropriate learning programs, everything is considered an HR initiative. Tools that give them access to data should be able to bring up the data points deemed relevant and help HR professionals comply with these requirements. Good reports also help the leadership in strategic planning, and HR professionals contribute to the overall direction by aligning evidence-based HR initiatives with business goals.


Today’s ultra-competitive and hybrid world makes it necessary for HR professionals to keep up with interpersonal, technological, and administration skills that are in vogue. The influx of newer generations that demand more accountability from their workplace requires HR professionals ready to learn and ensure employee concerns are taken seriously. With these essential skills taken care of, HR teams can focus on helping their organization succeed – instead of struggling to meet the ever-changing requirements of their job.

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