I have been interviewing new hires for the last seven years. During my early days in the human resource (HR) profession, all I was doing was assess a candidate against a list of skills and personal attributes. I believe that I was lucky to get the concept right early, and this saw me change jobs and climb up the career ladder relatively fast.


As much as I could identify good employees with ease, though not always, I was not sure of the attributes I was to look for had it been that I was looking for a human resource professional. Through my decade-long career, I now understand what it takes to succeed in the HR profession.


Effective HR management practices go a long way in preventing company-wide anarchy. So which qualities should a human resource professional demonstrate? In no way is this list of HR attributes authoritative, but it is only a collection of my thoughts, informed by my long career as an HR professional.


Communication Skills

Any HR professional should be an excellent communicator. In the line of duty, you must communicate with the management, current employees, and even potential employees. Principally, HR professionals should be able to communicate clearly through writing and also orally. Ideally, establishing close links to others and having an open door is critical in keeping track of the goings around the company and ensuring that the whole operation stays on track.


Organization Skills

HR professionals should be orderly. You have to be organized to be successful in this career. This means that you should organize your documents, manage your time, and be efficient at everything you do. Remember that this career is all about dealing with people. With lives and decorated careers at stake, organization skills are indispensable. Make an effort to prioritize your tasks, work with a routine, and avoid procrastination.


Multitasking Abilities

The HR profession means that you will be working with all manner of people, with different issues. You might be dealing with a personal problem at one point, only to be required to work on a recruiting strategy, intermittent list, or an appraisal a minute after. Priorities change incredibly fast in this profession, so multitasking skills are indispensable in this profession.


Negotiation Skills

HR professionals have to deal with a broad spectrum of issues. And when you have to deal with opposing views, it is your responsibility to find an acceptable middle ground. Getting parties to agree is not always easy. But with some negotiation skills and some experience, you will undoubtedly find it easy to bring employees together. If you find it quite hard to negotiate, Scotwork’s proven negotiation training programmes could help you.


Problem Solving Skills

You cannot have anyone getting along with the other. Conflicts are usually the order of the day in any working place. As the HR manager, it is your responsibility to ensure that employees work together civilly, and you have to find the best ways of making this happen. This means that you have to be prepared for any problem that gets to your desk.



As the HR manager, you strive to ensure that managerial responsibilities are met. You also need to ensure that company policies and regulations are also informed by best HR management practices. Striking a balance is not always easy. And most importantly, you should be able to handle confidential information appropriately.


As far as professionalism goes, employees expect HR managers to advocate for their concerns. The management, on the other hand, requires that you enforce their policies. Professionalism requires that you should be able to strike a balance between all parties.



As a human resource professional, it is vital to learn how the company operates to see the ‘bigger’ picture. Knowing how the company works will help you understand the relationships between employees and teams with each other. This goes a long way in helping you cope with the dynamics in the company.


It is also worth noting that most companies are usually in a constant state of flux. Hierarchies can be squashed, teams disbanded, or new matrices spring into being. HR professionals should be adaptable to help employees cope with key changes.


That’s all I had to share for today, but of course, I know that I might not have everything. If you have your eyes set on becoming a successful HR professional, take heed of these qualities and keep looking for more insights. Here’s my take, success in any professional is all about constant learning and willing to make continuous changes.