HR IQ: 9 Important HR Skills You Should Have

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The human resources department of any organization is its backbone. If the people managing the system break down, nothing will work as it should.

A mismanaged or incompetent HR team can lead to the ruin of your company. Do you work in human resources or are you wondering how to get the most out of your team?

There are certain HR skills that you and the team need to have. Keeping reading for our list of nine essential HR skills and competences.

The Humanity of the HR Team

Being an excellent HR professional requires you to have a broad range of skills and attributes. Surely, many smart people with good intentions can struggle. 

Just remember, these are all skills that can be worked on. Visit this link for the top PHRi training in Nigeria.

Your List of Essential HR Skills

Do you think you have what it takes for a successful HR professional?

Many of the same skills needed for HR are the same needed to be an effective leader. It should come as no surprise that many of the greatest leaders in business, politics, and other fields are the greatest at managing their human resources.

If you’re interested in this field, check out this human resources skills list. See where your strengths are and which aspects need improvement.

Soft Skills

They are called soft skills but don’t let that name fool you. These are just as essential to a company as the foundation of the building itself. 

Measuring one’s competency in these areas is less straight forward compared to other skill sets. However, they are things that can be worked on and taught. 

Effective leadership will encourage the fostering of much-needed soft skills.

1. Interpersonal Communication

We’ll never be able to effectively work together if we can’t communicate. Despite how simple and obvious this seems, it can be a lot easier said than done.

Getting the message across one person or group to another isn’t always so simple. There can be a number of barriers in the way of this. An effective communicator HR can even help those around them to communicate better.

2. Conflict Resolution

They say that the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. No matter what systems you have in place, mistakes happen, communication can break down, and misunderstandings occur.

This is particularly true when it comes to larger companies with numerous departments. What matters now is how you respond.

HR personnel needs to know how to identify problems as soon as they appear and find ways to solve them.

3. Proactive Human Resource Skills

Proactivity is one of the most important skills needed for HR departments. Proactively avoiding problems is just as, if not more, useful than being able to solve them.

Perhaps the best way to be proactive is to have a plan and to strategize. This is superior to reactive HR management that only acts to repair damage after the fact.

4. Coaching and Mentoring

No person is an island. People that are the most passionate about what they do aren’t content to just do it.  

Not only are you passing the tools of the trade along to other people, but you are also making yourself an invaluable asset to the company. Coaching and mentoring programs allow for the development and optimization of all the skills needed for an HR professional.

Remember, coaching itself is a skill that, in most cases, needs to be taught in order to master.

5. Language Skills

There are four basic language skills. Being an effective HR manager requires proficiency in all four areas.


Reading is one of the most crucial language skills for HR. In this field, you will spend a significant portion of your day scouring our emails and documents.

You must be able to quickly capture the message and apply proactive critical thinking.


This is the most basic of the four language skills. Generally, it’s how we begin to learn a given language.

You will be working with people face-to-face. Learning to be a good listener will improve your relationships and gives those around you a sense of trust.


Reading emails is a big part of the job.  But remember that you will probably have to respond to these. Plus, you’ll have to proactively send out a whole lot of more.


Since communicating will often take place in person or over video chat. You will need to feel comfortable speaking.

Like any other leader, you need to effectively speak and be heard.

6. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Depending on your industry, the ‘team’ could be a few people, it could be several dozen, or a few thousand.

Either way, getting on the same page and working together is key. That means working with people from all backgrounds. A big part of your job will be making sure that they all work together fluidly.

Within the HR department itself, teamwork is important. Be sure that everyone understands the goal and knows their role. 

Hard Skills

Here are a couple of hard skills that should be on your HR skills list. Having a few of these on your resume will make you stand out from your competitors.

7. Legal Knowledge

Working knowledge of the law as it relates to human resource management is useful.

Understanding and knowing how to recognize possible legal issues will save you trouble down the line.

8. Computer Skills

You will be spending a lot of time in an office setting. In today’s world, you’ll be hardpressed to find a good job that doesn’t require a certain level of tech-savviness.

9. Finances

People don’t tend to relate financial issues with HR departments. However, they often deal with issues with payroll and benefits, for example.

HR Professionals Are in High Demand

HR management is crucial for any business. Expertise in this area is needed across the globe. If you are interested, be sure to develop your HR skills and highlight them in your curriculum.

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