5 Leadership Skills to Help You Become an HR Manager

Published: December 11, 2014 Author: Clearpoint Tags: Manager's Corner, News

The role of the human resource professional has expanded tremendously, especially over the last few decades as technology plays a larger role in every aspect of business. Through technology, HR managers have been able to automate a lot of tedious administrative tasks, freeing them to assume more strategic roles within organizations.

Today's successful HR leaders understand more than human capital. While they're skilled in the foundational responsibilities of human resources, they also have a thorough understanding of broad operations and business processes, and the ability to link HR performance to operations, finance, and marketing.

If you're looking to elevate your HR career to a leadership level, here are the skills you can develop to become an effective and sought-after HR manager.

Talent recruitment

With increasing competition for talent, especially in IT fields, the core skill of recruiting has never been more important for HR professionals. A successful HR leader will be able to design, implement, and maintain an effective recruiting program that uses online and offline networking to attract the talent an organization needs.

A global mindset

The modern talent competition is global, thanks to vanishing geographic limitations made possible by the Internet and other evolving technologies. HR leaders today must have a global mindset, and not only understand how to work with a culturally diverse workforce, but also know (or be willing to learn) labor relations, laws, and regulations for other countries the organization may work with.

Organizational development

Another core component of the human resource industry, today's HR managers need comprehensive skills that revolve around training, performance tracking, and other development activities. Four main issues drive the importance of employee development:

  • Organizations must develop new successions of leadership as the baby boomer generation retires in droves
  • Training existing employees is easier, less time-consuming, and requires fewer resources than recruiting new employees
  • When employees aren't challenged, productivity decreases and interest levels wane
  • Millennials, the up-and-coming workforce majority, place a high value on career development and upward mobility
Technological savvy

Gone are the days are working with paper files and Excel spreadsheets. Today's successful HR leaders must be familiar and comfortable with technology--especially HRIS (Human Resource Information System) or HRMS (Human Resource Management System) platforms and Talent Management solutions.

Strategic thinking

A crucial skill for leaders in any area, HR managers must be able to view their department strategically, both as a contained unit and as an integral part of the broader organization. The best HR leaders will be able to advise the C-suite of the best ways for the company to develop a workforce that meets both current and future needs, and design solutions that effectively recruit, train, and manage that workforce.

Strategic thinking involves applying actionable, cost-effective strategies that consider the company's overall goals and mission, as well as the ability to prioritize, set goals, solve problems, and provide effective change management.

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