‘’ Dear Perminus, I have an HR interview next week. Over the years, I have been on the other side of the table of interviews. I have not had a formal job interview for a job for the last 5 years but I finally am. I look forward to it as it will get me to the next level in my career. I am looking for your opinion on what you think employers are looking for in an HR professional these days’’ – I got an email from Ruth (not her real name), an HR professional preparing for an interview.
When you think of an effective HR professional, you think of one who is not only good at their job but one who has qualities that set themselves apart to be able to come on top of the current competitive market.
As an HR professional, you act as a bridge between employers and employees and being driven and organized to help your organization achieve its goals and employees grow.
This is what I told Ruth. In the current job market, it is important to continuously work on your personal and career development. This is because business leaders are looking for HR who are going to make things easier, cheaper and efficient to ensure business growth.
So, what are these qualities?
1. Your HR Expertise
As an HR professional, being multifaceted is crucial to know how to approach workplace issues.
Being competent in key HR issues such as recruitment, engagement and retention, labor relations, compensation, training and performance is important for any HR professional.
To ensure that these processes run smoothly, one can consider establishing good relationships with employees and management, be proactive to ensure needs are identified and attended to on time while building trust with your team and bosses to ensure that you make an actual impact in the firm.
However, having knowledge and experience in these areas usually when you get on a certain level is usually assumed, thus bringing the question, what other areas can set you apart?
2.Your Business Knowledge
Joy, an HR professional noticed that her advice was not been taken up by management. She later found out that understanding the tactical needs of HR was not enough. Her boss needed her to understand the business as well.
She realized that she needed to comprehend the industry the business operated in as well as the bigger picture of the management for the business. This included being in the know of any external factors affecting the business and who the competitors were and knowing their operations to know how they can emerge on top.
Only then was she able to be included when they made strategic decisions and her contribution was sought out.
She was even able to step in on behalf of her boss and give business updates to the board when the boss was absent.
3. Consider Being Conversant with HR Analytics
Joy also realized that the management appreciated it when she based every suggestion and contribution she had on solid data and research.
Knowing the strategic needs of your company at all levels is important. Doing internal surveys, for instance, can help you identify gaps and needs and you can hire people who can meet these needs and retain people who meet them.
It is essential to leverage the power of data analytics to help advise your employer to make informed decisions to improve the business.
4. Your HR Leadership Ability
Employers will appreciate HR professionals who can influence, inspire and motivate the employees.
With leadership skills, you can communicate better by providing, accepting and utilizing feedback and influencing other leaders to do so. You are also able to resolve workplace conflicts with emotional intelligence to promote a healthy working environment.
Being able to lead change by ensuring that employees adapt is important. Incorporating programs such as team building activities brings people to work together towards a common goal.
Having an HR who sees to the growth of employees for business growth is also preferred.
To ensure that you stay at the top of your performance, consider continually seeking to improve your skills to equip you to lead your department and to set yourself apart.
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