Top Skills for Successful HR Managers

Josh Bersin is an HR analyst who identified the top skills and traits that play an important part in the evolving role of HR professionals. It may surprise you that HR domain expertise is not the most critical requirement. Bersin says:

Mindset, problem-solving capabilities, listening and communication skills, and relationship building are what really drive value in the HR role.

Taking a human resources job to the next level necessitates the deliberate acquisition of a set of skills that many people overlook. That is why HR leaders stand out. They possess certain personal attributes that appear to come naturally, yet they can be cultivated with effort and training. To succeed in the field of human resources, you must develop your leadership characteristics and talents. Hard skills certainly help but it is the soft skills that matter most in the HR role. So, what are the top 4 skills needed to be a successful HR professional?


As an HR manager, you’re likely to encounter situations where you’ll need to react to change fast, such as filling a crucial function when an employee unexpectedly quits. Agility and problem-solving skills are critical for the HR professional to effectively respond to shifting employee expectations, workplace upheavals, and business needs.

Employee development plays a key function here as it can help HR in adapting to changing business requirements. By allowing and encouraging employees to continuously enhance their skills and experiences, they are well-equipped to move fluidly within the business. HR managers can create and maintain an adaptive workforce ready for innovation and change by providing career development opportunities to all employees. Employee reskilling and upskilling are critical components of both career development and advancement. Skill-building enables you to provide a culture of continuous learning to help your employees develop and maintain a growth mindset, expand their skills, and ensure these skills align with your evolving business needs.


HR managers interact with a wide range of people daily, from potential employees to senior management, so strong written and verbal communication skills are essential. Communication and conflict resolution skills are vital in team management and dealing with various employee and workplace difficulties.

So, maintaining transparency in all communications is one of the most critical things you can do as an HR manager. During times of uncertainty, vague (or no) communication can leave employees guessing. An effective and supportive approach to any difficult situation minimizes negativity. Transparent communications can help you foster employee loyalty and trust, leading to increased productivity and long-term business success.

Compassion and Empathy

Employees regard an HR manager as a trusted resource they can approach when they have questions or issues. Top HR managers usually keep an open-door policy (even if it’s only virtual) and create a welcoming, comfortable environment that makes employees feel safe and respected.

Being a good listener is an important part of demonstrating empathy and compassion. If an employee approaches you with a problem, genuinely listen and examine the situation from the employee’s perspective before suggesting a solution. Empathy is necessary for trust to develop. When you show that you are aware of your employees’ feelings, whether you’re engaging with them one-on-one about a specific concern or delivering challenging news like announcing a restructure, you develop trust. Employee engagement, cooperation, and productivity all improve when you build trustworthy relationships with them.

Ethics and Discretion

HR managers have access to a substantial amount of personal and professional information about their employees. Personnel problems, such as discipline, complaints, development, and layoffs, must be handled with complete discretion. To be a competent HR manager, you must be able to handle sensitive information correctly and only share it with authorized individuals while keeping the best interests of the employees in mind. Employee confidence can be eroded by mistakes relating to confidentiality, but they can also lead to compliance concerns and even legal ramifications.

Concluding Thoughts

HR was previously a field where you had complete control over a straightforward process. However, disruptive innovations have flipped business models on their heads, altering how people and businesses approached work, employment, and how they integrated into everyday life. Through these changes, also comes rapid digitalization. KRIS Document Management System (DMS) is an innovative tool for companies that can leverage technology so HR can evolve into an employee-centered process. The success of each employee leads to the company’s successes. So, by adopting these fundamental skills and strategies, you can get ahead of the competition.






Find out how a Document Management System can simplify your everyday office processes.