Organizations across the world are experiencing a positive outlook for their businesses and are looking forward to hire more professionals to suit their business goals. This demand has distinguished Human Resource professionals who can identify and hire the right candidate suited for the job requirements. The US Department of Labour has listed the Human Resource career as a rapidly growing one, experiencing a growth rate of 9% from 2016 to 2026. With this steady rise in the HR profession, many professionals are looking forward to shift their career into this field and build a steady career out of it. However, employees hiring HR managers are looking for a certain set of skills that define a good Human resource professional.

What skill sets do I need to be a successful HR professional ?

Just like every profession requires employees to have a certain set of skills, the field of Human Resources requires the same from HR professionals. Apart from the routine communication skills, information management and people skills, there are other job skills expected from HR professionals. Some of them are:

1- Organisation and Time Management-The role of an HR manager or an HR Specialist requires them to handle responsibilities related to other people's careers such as handling hiring, termination, deciding on compensation and reward systems and performance appraisals. As an HR professional, you need to be adept with managing time, planning ahead and monitoring various employee behaviours to develop consistent policies in line with the HR goals and objectives.

2- Confidentiality- HR managers are faced with a large amount of requests related to their profession and are inundated by information from each and every employee. To manage these requests and keep records of every employee's performance and engagement is of utmost importance and hence HR managers need to maintain highest level of confidentiality and discretion and exercise ethical practices at the same time.

3- Leading and Decision Making- As an HR specialist, you are required to maintain order and enforce policies as decided by top management whilst ensuring the concerns of the junior employees are addressed simultaneously. There are everyday grey situations where the HR manager is required to make decisions which are not always welcomed by every person involved, hence there is a strong need for the HR manager to strike that balance and make timely decisions which effect every party involved.

4- Education- With the ever-changing employment landscape and the rapidly evolving HR regulations, HR professionals need to maintain a strong and up-to date knowledge of HR labour laws of their country and ensure they are always equipped with the right knowledge and degree which makes them a capable HR Professional. When it comes to educational programmes, the most sought after qualification for HR graduates is a Human Resource Management degree programme. One such university providing contemporary knowledge and syllabus covering the latest trends and topics of HR is the University of Leicester, with its programme offerings such as the MSc in Human Resource Management and Training. Upon successful completion of the MSc Human Resource Management programme, HR professionals can also pursue a Doctorate in Social Sciences (HRM) from the University of Leicester to further strengthen their knowledge base and career scope in Human Resources.

Importance of the HR profession and The 'Just HR' paradox

Many organizations struggle with hiring and retaining the right staff to ensure maximum productivity. A common misconception underplays HR professionals as insignificant to the overall business strategy, as they are often referred to as 'Just HR', however, it is only by aligning HR practices to the overall business strategy, can an organization achieve its objectives for growth and development. Hiring the right HR specialist will definitely reflect the kind of workforce and organizational culture does the company want to foster to improve its productivity and business goals.

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