So, How Do You Spot Great HR Hires?
Talent-acquisition leaders should carefully evaluate HR candidates for crucial skill sets that will be vital for success.
By Evette Baker
The role of chief human resource officer is one of the most important positions to have in companies today and, as the talent wars continue to rage, will probably grow even more important in the coming years. Therefore, it makes sense that you take extra care with the people you hire to staff your HR function, mindful that one of these people could someday hold the top HR spot.
Today's human resource professionals are adopting many different roles as the economy continuously evolves into a digital global marketplace and new generations enter the workforce. For these reasons, traditional skill sets once required for HR professionals are transforming to properly support their company and the job seekers they are recruiting. HR individuals are expected to be excellent communicators and forward-thinking in their comprehensive roles. Daily challenges include onboarding employees located both on and off-site, enforcing regulations and ensuring compliance associated with digital initiatives, and branding employee culture. When searching for an HR professional for your organization, make certain they embody these three characteristics to carry your organization seamlessly into the future.
Fundamental Soft Skills
Paramount to their success, these interpersonal skills must be regarded more than ever when understanding a company's culture because these professionals are now communicating with multiple levels of staff who could be logistically spread across the globe. During the interview with an HR candidate, ask behavioral questions on their previous work experience. This allows you to evaluate how the candidate approaches their work using their problem solving capabilities and how well they collaborate with others. Individuals should embody the following three soft skills:
Organizational Skills: These are mandatory to effectively drive multiple HR initiatives while aligning employees and proactively managing programs. Without organization, miscommunication will result and produce inefficiency.
High Moral Standards: Commanding high ethical standards is essential due to the sensitive nature of situations handled. They must inspire trust and hold a confident relationship with everyone in the organization in order for classified information to be divulged. Their high integrity is projected through positive and healthy employee relations.
Excellent Problem-Solver: Having the ability to listen and take deep interest is the key to finding solutions. Millennials and Generation Z especially thrive when given the opportunity to develop programs and lead them to success.
Comprehensive Knowledge of Strategy
HR professionals can now be found at the table with the C-suite executives. They're not only informed on the company's mission and goals, but they are fully involved and looked upon as strategic partners in developing initiatives to lead the company to success and differentiate it from the competition. Individuals with an innovative personality and experience in program implementation and change management will thrive in these HR roles.
Innovative Personality: Outstanding HR practitioners have a comprehensive knowledge of their company so they can align their systems and projects with every need of the business.
Program Implementation Experience: In order for a new program to be successfully implemented, HR professionals must manage several tasks and people among many different departments. Their acute attention to detail and strategic planning methodologies are essential every step of the way.
Change Management Experience: Highly effective HR professionals who are successful at change management are respected and trusted by the people within the company. Their ability to garner the support from the entire team heavily impacts success. Whether it be a simple change to the way customer complaints are handled, or a major change to organizational policy or strategy, it is vital there is minimal disruption so projects succeed rather than stall and fail.
Subject-Matter Expertise in HR Systems
HR professionals are taking the leap into the digital age as well. In some companies, new hires are required to have experience in Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) to effectively analyze and manage data from daily HR functions. Top HR talent will have experience in these three HRIS categories:
Core HR: These focus on the three fundamental functions of human resources management: payroll, benefits administration, and personnel tracking.
Strategic HR: These applications combine applicant tracking and recruiting, performance review and learning management functionality.
Workforce Administration HR: These tools schedule and monitor the workforce for organizations where employees are completing shift work.
The bottom-line is HR professionals today must be agile and utilize their FULL skillsets because the business world is constantly evolving, and their exceptional soft skills are the baseline for achieving this success. They must be passionate to understand the limitless capabilities of a diverse workforce and to innovate new ways to recruit global talent. HR professionals in today's world are knowledge seekers about strategic business operations. The more entrenched in company initiatives, the more critical they become to developing an efficient workforce, higher employee retention rates, and a positive company culture, which all lead to attracting top talent and producing the best product/services.
Evette Baker is the President for Sparks Group and is a proven leader in the staffing and recruiting industry. She possesses extensive expertise in building and leading high performance teams.