7 On-Demand HR Skills Your Team Should Master

You’ve always been interested in a career in HR. 

However, with competition on the rise within the field, you’re starting to doubt whether or not your current skill set truly sets you apart from other applicants.

You have excellent organization skills, you can multitask, and you have a gift for making people feel heard. 

But what else do you need to know?

Read on to learn more about the top HR skills that you need to have if you want to land a job at your dream company.

1. Defining the Grey Areas

The toughest part of any HR job is defining and dealing with those “grey areas” in company policies. 

You’ll need to be able to define tricky things like “reasonable” accommodation, whether or not something is harassment, whether or not to issue time off to an employee, and of course, how to manage a difficult hire. 

This requires a strong professional network to pull from, an understanding of the law, and a willingness to work with the best available information. 

It also requires patience, employee management skills, and above all, discretion.  

2. Onboarding Assistance 

As an HR professional, you’ll also assist with onboarding new employees. (In some cases, you may even be a part of their interview process.)

This means making sure that the previous employee trains or leaves instructions/notes for the person filling their shoes.

It also means making sure the new employee understands company policy as well as their unique responsibilities. 

Above all, you’ll need to do everything you can to ensure a smooth and comfortable transition for both the new employee and everyone else in the office. 

3. Excellent Negotiation Skills

Another one of the must-have HR skills for resume building? 

The ability to negotiate. 

HR isn’t about giving everyone everything they want. Instead, it’s about finding a workable and fair solution for both parties. You’ll need to be able to make team members see the value in compromise in order to manage employee relations. 

Your goal is to stop the problem from getting worse than it already is, and often, that will require a sacrifice from everyone involved in a dispute. Conflict management and resolution is the name of the game here. 

Spin those compromises into a positive, and you’ll make the workplace a more relaxed and less contentious place for everyone. 

4. An Ability to Develop a Workplace Culture

HR isn’t all about handling conflicts—it’s also about making sure employees feel valued and like they’re a part of a cohesive unit. 

It’s your job to develop a fun, supportive, and inclusive workplace culture. 

This can mean planning corporate events and parties, bringing in wellness experts, or even developing in-office corporate wellness programs and team-building activities.

You’ll also need to ensure that the workplace properly invests in its employees through continuing education and training. 

You should meet with leadership to get a core understanding of company values and speak with employees to learn what they feel is lacking. 

5. An Understanding of Worker’s Compensation Laws

Next up on your HR skills list? 

An ability to understand the ins and outs of worker’s compensation claims. Often, you’re the company’s first line of defense from a claim. 

You’ll need to investigate the claim’s validity, interview the employee, inspect the workplace, hire outside legal help if necessary, and, above all, negotiate with the employee. 

You’ll also need to strategically plan for a potential lawsuit against the company before one even happens in the first place.

Because these laws are often complicated, we suggest that you learn more about HR training programs that can develop your competency with and understanding of these legal issues. 

6. Ability to Develop a Company Ethics Policy 

Especially in today’s workplace environments, having detailed and concrete ethical and harassment policies in place is absolutely non-negotiable. 

That’s why one of the key HR skills you’ll need is the ability to not only deliver a clear and straightforward ethics plan but also the ability to implement it. 

Often, this means organizing workshops on diversity, what constitutes harassment, how to be assertive in the workforce, appropriate communication between employers, and more.

You’ll also need to outline rules regarding office relationships and even potentially paternity/maternity leave. Familiarity with ADA regulations is also essential. 

You’ll need to be able to conduct workshops that reinforce these policies throughout the year and meet with employees to ensure that everyone feels the policies protect and cover their needs. 

7. Above All, Superior Communication Skills 

Of course, the most important of all human resource skills is excellent communication.

You’ll need to be able to clearly explain company expectations and ensure that you correctly understand any complaints or conflicts employees bring to you. 

You’ll have to address these complaints with the other party in a way that isn’t overly accusatory and doesn’t make them feel personally attacked—something that can be even trickier when a lower-level employee has an issue with a higher-ranking employee. 

You may even need to work on ironing out communication issues between customers and members of your workplace. You’ll craft internal memos and emails, official documents, and more.

In short, you’ll need to be a communications “jack of all trades.” 

Do You Have the HR Skills You Need to Succeed?

We hope this post has highlighted some of the top HR skills that you can’t expect to succeed without mastering.

Maybe you already have an HR team in-house, but you’re curious about the kinds of certification and training programs that they could benefit from. 

Perhaps you need advice about what you can do to improve office security, become a better leader, and ensure that every member of your team feels valued. 

Whether you’re working in HR, own your own company, or are simply interested in learning what it takes to succeed in the workplace—or land an interview—in today’s world, our blog is the place for you.

Bookmark us to be certain that you always have a plan in place before a problem even crops up. 

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.