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6 Essential Technical Skills for HR Staff [2020]

Having the right skills is essential for success in any role. During the hiring process, employers often look for applicants with an ideal balance of soft skills and technical (or “hard”) skills. Technical skills are quantifiable traits that are often job-specific—and typically acquired through formal training. In contrast, soft skills (also known as people skills) are positive personality traits that enable effective cooperation and social interaction.

Human resources professionals need a healthy mix of both technical and soft skills to excel in their field. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to lock down the most valuable technical skills to look for in your prospective HR employees—especially as the field and its technologies evolve. So today, let’s take a moment to explore six technical skills that are perfect for top-performing HR professionals in 2020 and beyond.

1. Business & Project Management

To succeed in their role, HR professionals need to be proficient in business management. This key technical skill encompasses several administrative skills required for running and growing a business—including finding, hiring, managing, and retaining the right employees.

Along with business management, HR professionals will be responsible for managing a range of internal projects—including developing HR policies, performance management systems, and more. Today’s employers need experts with exceptional project management skills to keep their HR efforts as efficient and impactful as possible.

2. Human Resources Information Software (HRIS)

Modern HR professionals also need to be comfortable with harnessing human resources information software (HRIS). This is a powerful asset that digitizes many HR activities and processes, empowering your team to streamline, track, and optimize its HR efforts. HRIS also grants HR teams access to in-depth data across employee activities, unlocking invaluable business insights. Prioritizing HR candidates who understand HRIS will help make your team more efficient—and position your enterprise for future success.

3. Finance

HR professionals manage payroll, annual budgeting, benefits administration, and many other tasks related to company finances. That’s why it’s so valuable to invest in HR candidates with potent financial knowledge. Ideally, your HR team will work closely with the accounting and finance departments to align and optimize their efforts. An HR expert with financial competency can help support these interactions along with day-to-day workflow, driving better decision-making and financial health for your enterprise.

4. Performance Management

Your HR department is responsible for managing and enhancing the performance of employees. This effort involves continually communicating with employees—and helping them improve in their roles to achieve the strategic goals of the company. Because high employee performance is so essential, many of today’s employers are focusing on HR candidates with superb performance management skills.

There are many aspects to performance management, including defining clear expectations for staff, determining specific goals, and evaluating employee performance data. Talented HR staff who understand how to assess and improve employee performance can make all the difference for your company’s stability and bottom line.

5. Legal Knowledge

It’s critical for HR managers and staff to stay current with continuously changing employment laws at both the state and federal level. Having legal knowledge is a vital skill for HR staff, as they are responsible for ensuring the company is compliant with laws regarding employee conflict, education and training, equal pay, and much more. This skill will play an important role in helping your organization avoid expensive fines—and manage any legal challenges proactively instead of reactively.

6. Technological Competency

Savviness with technology is required in many modern jobs—especially those connected to human resources. Technology is always changing, which is exactly why HR professionals with technology skills are so valuable to employers. Human resources departments are becoming increasingly reliant on technology to manage employees, source candidates, gather and leverage business data, and so much more. As a result, tech-savvy HR candidates will become even more essential for businesses in the coming years.

Hire the Right Candidate for Your HR Role

Since 1995, HR Personnel Services has sourced exceptional candidates for businesses of all sizes—ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. In fact, we’ve been recognized by Forbes as one of “America’s Best Recruiting Firms” for two years running. We’re committed to finding driven HR candidates who are prepared to make an immediate impact within your company.

If you’re ready to find the ideal HR candidate for your growing team, then be sure to get in contact with us today. Our seasoned hiring professionals will take the time to understand your company mission, values, and goals—connecting you with top-level HR candidates who complement and build upon your culture.

You can also reach out with any questions you have about the ideal soft and hard skills to look for in your HR candidates. We’re always happy to help.

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