12 Crucial HR Skills Employers Are Looking For in 2021

Human resources management is one of the most popular fields among Indian professionals.

If you want to pursue a career in this field, you’ve come to the right place! Today, we’ll discuss the various skills required for HR professionals so you know what skills to acquire to kickstart your career right away.

Top Skills Required for HR Professionals 

We’ve listed the top skills required for HR professionals, starting with the most important ones at the top: 

1. Recruitment and Hiring

In human resources management, you’d have to handle recruitment for your company many times. It’s one of the most important aspects of HR management as companies have to constantly add new talent to their pool.

You should know how to analyze resumes and figure out which candidates would be suitable for your company. It requires a knack for understanding people and their skill sets. You should also know how to motivate recruits so they can work comfortably without facing any issues. 

It requires strong decision-making skills as you’d have to pick one candidate from many others. You would have to study the interview process and figure out how to interview a potential candidate and analyze their optimal potential.

2. HRIS Expertise

HRIS refers to the Human Resource Information System and an HRIS solution simplifies HR tasks for you. There are many kinds of HRIS solutions according to various HR responsibilities and you should be familiar with them. 

These solutions focus on automating basic HR tasks so you can be more productive and efficient. Many companies use HRIS solutions to ensure their HR department runs smoothly without hiccups. 

There are many kinds of HRIS software such as ATS (Applicant Tracking System) and HCM (Human Capital Management) software. You must also be familiar with payroll management software which allows businesses to manage their employees’ compensation from one place.

It’s a highly in-demand skill as professionals with HRIS skills earn INR 11 lakh per annum on average. As you gain more industry experience, your pay can go up to INR 20 lakh per annum. 

3. Analytical Skills

Analytical skills refer to the ability to interpret a problem through gathering and analyzing the necessary data and draw conclusions based on the data insights. Many aspects of HR require you to have strong analytical skills including recruitment, organization, and software management

Nearly every crucial decision in HR requires you to gather the necessary data and generate valuable insights.

Some prominent HR analytical skills are:

  • Data aggregation
  • Data analytical techniques
  • Mathematical modelling

You can develop analytical skills by identifying business problems in HR and devising solutions for them. Familiarizing yourself with the technical aspects of HR software and focus on improving your problem-solving skills to boost your analytical ability. 

4. Teamwork

As an HR professional, you’ll always be working in teams. Human resource management focuses exclusively on the employees of a company, so you must know how to work in teams and collaborate on projects properly. 

One of the best ways to strengthen your teamwork skills is by taking part in team-based sports such as cricket, football, or basketball. They help you understand how you communicate in teams and how you manage one. You should know how to motivate your fellow teammates and help them with their tasks. 

As an HR professional, you’ll have to guide the employees on a diverse range of business scenarios, which brings us to our next skill:

5. Advising Skills

Advising skills are vital for HR professionals because in many cases, you’ll be responsible for helping another employee solve an issue. You should know how to understand and analyze another person’s problems to guide them accordingly.

You can start improving your advising skills by starting to focus on listening. Good listening skills will help you in figuring out their issues and give concise and accurate advice. It’s a soft skill that many recruiters value and it would surely make you stand out in the competition. 

6. Administration

If you want to pursue senior roles in HR management, it would be best to develop administrative skills. Administrative skills focus on finishing management-related tasks including meeting with stakeholders, filing paperwork, answering staff’s questions, etc. 

In many cases, you’ll be responsible for the efficiency and smooth-functioning of your particular department. As an HR manager, you’d have to interact with the team leader to solve the staff’s problems and provide them with a productive environment. 

That’s why having strong administrative skills is a must for HR professionals. Having them on your CV will certainly boost your chances of bagging senior-level roles in an organization. 

7. Communication

HR professionals must have strong communication skills as this field demands a lot of interactions and talking. You’d be conducting multiple interviews, delivering presentations, and leading conflict resolutions. 

You must be verbally adept to be able to convey your thoughts to others effectively and make clear statements each time. 

Apart from strong verbal skills, you must also have strong writing skills. They will help you in writing policy handbooks and memos that are easy to understand and help the employees. Effective communication is a key tenet of every HR professional. 

8. Coaching

HR professionals are responsible for training staff from time to time so you must have effective coaching skills. One of the prominent duties of an HR professional is to enhance the employees’ value and performance. That’s why they hold training sessions and improve their skill sets through the same. 

You must be able to explain difficult concepts and create presentations that simplify learning for fellow employees. 

HR professionals hold many kinds of training sessions. For example, you might hold a session on inclusivity and teach the employees about the importance of valuing different opinions and cultures. Not only does it help the company but it also helps the employees in growing both personally and professionally. 

9. HRM Expertise

Certainly one of the most important skills required for HR professionals is the knowledge of human resources management concepts. You should be familiar with the basic and advanced concepts of HRM as it helps you with plenty of additional HR duties while ensuring that you can solve problems in this field much easier. 

It’s among the most popular skills among HR managers and offers high pay as HR managers with this skill earn around INR 7.36 lakh per annum. 

Familiarity with HRM concepts will help you with many HR fields such as selection, reporting, administration, recruitment, and many others. It would be best to have a certification in HR so you can display your expertise in this field to recruiters. 

10. Intercultural Understanding

If you want to pursue a career with MNCs and major corporations, you must focus on understanding different cultures and the differences between them. Moreover, when you work with employees and managers from other countries, it would be vital to know the intercultural differences.

For example, a common tendency in China is that the workers would go to their birthplace unannounced to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Additionally, many of those employees never return to the workplace as they find work near their birthplace. 

You must be aware of these cultural issues while making vital hiring and communication decisions. It would help you with evaluating candidates. For example, people from different regions tend to have different communication tendencies. 

Russian and Israeli professionals have a direct discourse while Indians and other Southeast Asian people tend to follow a more indirect approach for discussing topics. 

11. Reporting Skills

HR professionals create a lot of reports. Creating accurate reports that detail every event properly is among the most in-demand HR skills. 

You should know how to write, read, and comprehend HR reports. Familiarity with HRIS solutions will help you with this skill as modern-day HR professionals rely on them for generating HR reports. 

HR professionals must report on key metrics to advise employees and managers as it helps them make better-informed decisions. 

12. Time Management and Organization

HR professions require a ton of diverse responsibilities including performance reviews, interviews, recruitments, and training. These roles demand strong time management skills so you can function smoothly and efficiently while giving sufficient time to every task. 

You must know how to manage various tasks and responsibilities at once. Having good multitasking skills will help you with time management

How to Learn HR Skills?

HR is a lucrative field with tons of growth prospects. However, you must try to gain as many of the above-mentioned skills as you can if you wish to excel in this domain. The most effective way to learn the skills required for HR professionals is through taking a course in HR. 

First, the course will provide you with a structured curriculum that helps you learn all the concepts and gain hands-on experience while learning. You get to interact with top mentors and instructors and connect with peers from across the country. Not to forget, having a certification shows the recruiter that you have all the necessary skills and expertise to be considered for a particular role. 

At upGrad, we offer plenty of HR courses. We offer an exclusive Executive Post-Graduate Program in Human Resource Management that offers more than 300 hours of learning material with multiple assignments and case studies. 

The course lasts only for 11 months and covers many advanced concepts such as counselling skills, industrial relations, training, and development, etc. You get access to our Job Opportunities Portal where you get personalized job recommendations from upGrad’s 300+ hiring partners. 

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