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What Are Key Competencies Needed by Human Resource Managers?

by Neil Kokemuller

Human resources managers play a critical role in the strategic employment management process. HR managers develop and implement all recruiting, hiring and employee planning processes in an organization. They also develop policy manuals that guide managers and employees on acceptable work behaviors and consequences of violations. Several key competencies help you succeed in an HR manager's role.

Excellent Leadership Skills

HR managers must have excellent leadership abilities. The HR manager is a leader among leaders. In this role, you oversee the entire human resources staff, participate in the company executive team and provide direction for hiring, training and motivation of the workforce. The field of human resources constantly evolves with new laws, ethical standards and best practices. The HR manager must stay on top of these changes and keep others on the staff informed.

Communication and Presentation Abilities

You must have the ability to communicate well in one-on-one, small group and large group situations. HR managers meet with other HR professionals and employees. They must actively engage in executive meetings to help update leaders and plan strategy for talent management. HR managers also commonly lead orientation and training sessions for new hires and established employees. This role makes public speaking and presentation skills important to project the right image and to provide good training experiences.

Organizational Abilities

The process of managing all facets of employee activities in an organization is a massive undertaking. A successful HR manager must have excellent organizational abilities. These skills help you to keep easy-to-find employee files and HR documents. Companies are required, in many cases, to keep certain documents and information on file for all employees. Mistakes in this area can lead to legal problems, fines and negative publicity.

Background Requirements

HR managers develop their skills and abilities through a combination of education and training. A bachelor's degree in human resources or business administration is a common educational requirement to get into this career. A master's degree increases your higher-level employment options and potential compensation. HR managers usually start as front line human resources specialists or coordinators. Many also have previous management experience. Certification from the Society for Human Resource Management is a major feather in the cap of an HR manager. Some employers require this certification.

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