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What Skills are Needed for Human Resources Employment?

By Carol Francois
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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Human resources employment is available in large companies, government, and employment agencies. People who work in this field should have interpersonal skills, communication skills, and know how to use computer systems. All three are required for the different types of jobs available in human resources (HR). Educational requirements vary between the different HR jobs, and special certification is required for payroll accountants, human resources specialists, and pension plan administrators.

Interpersonal skills refer to the ability to work and relate well with others. In human resources employment, the driving force behind all tasks is the need to provide service to others. This skill is very important and forms the backbone of everything that is done in human resources.

Conflict management, coaching, and counseling are all skills that fall under the "interpersonal" umbrella. All these can be learned through specialized, focused courses on each specific area. Interpersonal skills, sometimes called soft skills, can be improved and enhanced throughout a lifetime and improve a person's relationships both in and out of the work environment.

For specialized roles in human resources, additional educational requirements may exist. Roles in compensation management typically require post-secondary education in statistics or math, for example. Management roles usually require a degree or diploma in business or management.

Communication is a core skill set for all the positions in human resources and includes both written and verbal skills. Business writing is a separate ability, and it can be learned through online courses or coaching. Many people who work in HR improve their career options simply by improving their communication skills.

Almost all human resources employment opportunities are heavily reliant on computer skills. This industry has been transformed from a paper-based functional area to one that has imbedded computer programs into all tasks. The vast majority of companies now use fully computerized systems that combine all HR functions into one complex, modular based system. Computer analysis, data entry, and troubleshooting skills are all required to perform even entry-level positions in human resources.

People who are interested in working in HR should investigate the different human resources systems available to learn more about how they work, what is required to use and support them, and their impact. These individuals should also look into advanced certification in computer applications and data analysis. Although a person may not have experience on the specific system that is used by a potential employer, the ability to learn new technical skills is essential.

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Discussion Comments
By anon324461 — On Mar 11, 2013

I was just wondering what type of skills or basically what I need to get a job in the center link?

By latte31 — On Aug 18, 2010

Comfyshoes- People seeking human resource manager employment usually have done several roles within the human resource umbrella.

These people have at least five years experience in the human resources field and may even have a professional certification for human resources.

The salary for a human resource manager really depends on the size of the company and the experience level. A human resource manager of a midsize company can receive a salary range of $60-$75,000 a year. Larger companies often pay more.

Those seeking employment in human resources have to be able to display a polite demeanor and have to be able to keep confidential information confidential.

By comfyshoes — On Aug 18, 2010

BrickBack- I used to be a recruiter so I can so relate to the college visits.

I wanted to tell you that a benefits administrator provides orientations every year regarding the employee benefits.

This job requires that the benefit administrator be an expert regarding all of the benefits available to the employees. Benefits are sometimes very confusing to employees especially when it comes to health care benefits like an HSA, a PPO, and a HMO.

The benefits administrator would make sure that everyone received their new benefits package and understand the changes if any that had taken place.

This person will also explain benefits to all new hires as well.

By BrickBack — On Aug 18, 2010

Many people that go into human resources careers often specialize in a particular area.

Some people seeking human resource jobs often go into recruiting, or a benefits administration. Recruiting often entails placing ads on the web and in newspaper in order to gather interest for open positions that the company has.

Sometimes a recruiter will go off site and recruit at college campuses. These recruiters talk to potential candidate at colleges and schedule them for interviews. After the interview, a recruiter may decide to hire the candidate for the position.

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