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7 Keys to setting yourself apart as a HR Professional

hr best practices hr certification hr leadership hr management Sep 25, 2023

Throughout the lifecycle of your employment, you will play a pivotal role in representing company culture and maintaining that culture to candidates, vendors, stakeholders and of course employees. Whether in a large organization as a Chief Human Resources Officer or a smaller organization as a HR Department of One, Controller or Office Manager to handle HR duties, key competencies must be addressed. 

What a HR Leader Should “Look” Like

HR is a profession.  Like any key member of the team, you should have a well-rounded background that provides diverse experience in many aspects of Human Resources.  Ensure that you walk in the door every day with the specific traits that supplement the others on the leadership team and make a connection with employees.  Compliance is a critical component of Human Resources, and identifying key metrics that drive business success is key.

Key attributes that CEO’s are looking for in their HR leaders include:

  1. ProfessionalDemonstrate that you are not in HR because you like people. You are in HR because it’s a critical component of the business requiring you to understand all aspects of business operations.
  2. CommunicativeIn HR, we have to communicate with the CEO, Board and team members that may speak English as a second language, or not at all.
  3. DecisiveMake decisions. They won’t always be right, but have a plan B and move on. Know where your authority lies and go right up to that line.
  4. ResponsiveGet back to people. Even if it’s a simple “sorry don’t have time this week” it lets people know you care. Set expectations in your organization for appropriate response time and stick to it.
  5. Business SavvyYou may be the best HR person ever, but if you don’t know the business you better like paperwork! Understand all the departments, what their goals are and where they have pain points. Be sure you know the finances and metrics that drive the business.
  6. Facilitator – Consensus building is a key component in all organizations. Be that person that can help a manager speak with a difficult employee, or covey the messaging from leadership to your staff. Facilitating is all about bringing people together, it’s not about you.
  7. Problem SolverSay yes and figure it out later is a well known quote by Tina Fey. But I like to suggest you also consider – say “Yes, but” be the one to help people figure things out, but don’t let everything land on your desk!

These seven characteristics and skill sets will set you apart as a HR professional leader from a paper-pushing administrator. The idea that the HR Leader also knows the basics of COBRA, FMLA, FLSA is almost given today! 

Considering one of the many levels of HR certification will differentiate you as someone that have made a substantial commitment to their career and is an expert.

Your HR department is the face of your business. Professional, communicative, decisive, responsive, business savvy, facilitator and problem solver—these should be the major adjectives used to describe your HR team!

Thanks for reading!

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