In recent years, the role of an HR manager has gone through a significant transformation. There was a time when the HR manager would spend considerable time in transactional work and answering employee queries. But not anymore. Now it is a complex role that demands the person to think and act more strategically. Moreover, the daily routine involves a heterogeneous mix of various tasks.
Consequently, it takes a lot more than academic excellence to shine as an HR manager. We have compiled a list of skills and competencies that may help you in this regard.
The role of an HR manager involves constant communication and interaction with various stakeholders. Business leaders, candidates and line managers are a few of them. An HR manager should be able to develop healthy relationships with these parties and influence their decisions. There are times when business leaders may have firm opinions about a few policies or practices. They may even have conflicting views that may cause discord in the organisation. In other instances, engaging passive candidates often need a high level of persuasion skills.
An HR manager can effectively turnaround such situations by planning and frequent consulting. Negotiation is also an essential competency for an Hr manager. It can help in arriving at mutually acceptable decisions.
In this data-driven world, all major business decisions have the backing of data and insightful information. In this scenario, business leaders expect similar inputs from the HR department. Whether it is to launch a new initiative, study the effectiveness of past interventions or suggesting policy changes. The HR manager can get easy approvals and buy-ins from the business if there is data to support the proposals. Moreover, data can also help in improving processes and curbing costs. For instance, data analytics on recruitment can evaluate the best sourcing strategies or the levels of engagement in the organisation.
HR managers can use readily-available tools for more complex reports and simplify this task.
HR is a dynamic profession and is constantly evolving. More so in this digital age when technology is ushering a significant transformation. Although technology can automate a large part of the transactional work of an HR manager, it cannot replicate human behaviour. While a professional degree may acquaint a person with theories and concepts, it is not enough. There is a need to continually update oneself with what is happening in the world of HR.
There is a wealth of resources on the internet like podcasts, case studies, white papers, survey reports that on can access in this regard.
At the end of the day, an HR manager is a service provider. The job of HR professionals is to ensure impeccable services to the customers of their organisations. By customers, we don’t mean the end clients. Instead, it is the employees and potential candidates that compromise this group.
The HR manager has to walk the thin line of balancing employee satisfaction and high productivity. Right training, fair and competitive compensation, development opportunities can ensure the former. Similarly, the HR professional must collaborate with the business leaders to ensure high levels of efficiency and productivity at work. It may include determining and acting upon the right motivators and rewarding high performance.
Employee satisfaction surveys can help immensely in this regard. Firstly, it can give a clear picture of the pulse of an organisation. The HR managers can work on the results to enhance the overall engagement levels. Secondly, such initiatives also help in identifying the challenges and launching new initiatives for resolving them.
Walking the talk
HR managers are the representatives of an organisation. Due to this reason, they need to embrace organisational policies and act in accordance. The HR leaders should ensure that the HR teams work harmoniously and are efficient and productive. The HR managers, in turn, must ensure similar adherence in the business teams they support.
A simple way to ensure this is by following organisational priorities to identify HR agendas. For instance, if an organisation is on a cost-cutting spree, the HR teams must ensure the same when they hire candidates or propose new programs.
Apart from this, the role of an HR manager demands compassion and emotional intelligence. While these qualities are inherent in some individuals, HR managers can also work upon these to perform well in their roles.