Working in human resources can be as challenging as it is rewarding. From hiring new employees to dealing with grievances, it’s a varied career in a department that’s vital to the day-to-day running of any business.
To be successful in HR you need to be business-focused, while it’s equally important to be friendly and approachable – somebody people feel comfortable opening up to.
You should also have a good level of computer proficiency, while your organisational abilities and previous experience are important to recruiters. However, your personality is the main thing they will assess.
Whether you are applying for an entry-level role or are seeking promotion, employers will look for a certain set of attributes during the interview stage, in order to make sure you are fit for the job and are able to slot seamlessly into the human resources department.
Here are five characteristic strengths they will look for:
Because of the nature of the role, colleagues will naturally want to speak to you about workplace issues, some of which may be private and sensitive. This is where two-way communication is important. If you’re friendly, a good listener, and a problem solver, you will be perfectly set to help out and provide advice on the matter at hand.
Following on from the above, being emotionally mature and able to deal with the sensitive situations you may face in the world of human resources is important.
You might be dealing with people who’re going through turbulent times involving grievances or mental health problems.
Being empathetic is vital but you must also be pragmatic, as it’s important to keep control of your feelings in tricky situations.
Trustworthiness is perhaps the most critical attribute. Dealing with sensitive and personal matters requires integrity, and to fully contribute to an organisation’s future, it’s vital to build trust at all levels.
A strong HR department is built on employees who have long-term commitments to the business. This means HR staff will be able to support the organisation through robust strategies that affect everything from recruitment policies to benefit strategies for existing staff.
5. Negotiation skills
Any business can hit hard times. Financial woes can lead to redundancies, which are tough for everyone involved: from those affected directly by losing their job to the directors who had to make the tough decision.
In most cases, human resources is usually the department tasked with delivering bad news, which could be as severe as immediate redundancy, or the awkward negotiation of severance packages.
The need to be able to negotiate is also vital during the recruitment process, and when developing reward packages geared towards motivating the workforce.
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