The importance of leadership skills for HR professionals

Leadership skills are among the most important to develop for HR professionals aspiring to move to the role of HR leaders in their organizations.

For a HR professional, progress in the dynamic world of business implies learning new skills that aid in development. These skills are often present within the person and need some development, or can be taught as well.

Among these, a key skill is leadership. The journey from the position of a beginner to an HR leader is something hard to accomplish without leadership qualities and skills:

· Selecting and developing employees requires analytical skills

· Team management and workplace challenges need skills in communication and managing conflicts

What do strong leaders in HR do?

A strong talent leader does the following:

· Empowers self-organizational abilities of others: Boosts proactivity and productivity of others by giving them the requisite authority, in turn boosting commitment and satisfaction

· Boost belonging and connection: Creating connections with people through friendly dispositions and kind actions

· Welcoming new thinking and fostering organizational learning: Boosting own effectiveness by encouraging the team to try new things and make mistakes, a mindset that leaders themselves must possess too

What are the key competencies of leaders in HR?

To be a respected and successful leader in a global talent management or HR team, certain competencies are essential in an HR professional. These are explained below:

· Communication: Communicating clear expectations helps to create a safe and trusting work environment, with employees feeling secure as they know what to expect. They can then call on higher mental capacities for ambition, creativity, engagement, and innovation.

· Working with diverse teams: A leader in a global talent management team needs to be good at working with people from diverse backgrounds across the world. The leader must put in place proper communication lines, leveraging technology and putting norms in place.

· Emotional intelligence: This helps in resolving difficult situations such as conflicts and poor job fits. It in turn boosts the likelihood of a longer stay with the company.

· Empathy: The HR leader must be able and willing to understand employees, which can require personal empathy beyond what a workplace might typically require. This helps in assisting employees in crisis situations and giving them the space to deal with such matters, which could make them better performers and team members, and boost their retention.

· Ethics: High ethical standards are demonstrative of a fair outlook. These have been ranked in an HBR study as the top effective leadership quality.

Which leadership skills are most useful for an HR career?

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists a few important qualities for HR managers to possess. The following are big contributors to leadership success:

· Decision-making: Given how such decisions have a wide-ranging impact, weighing the strengths and weaknesses of different options is a key skill for a talent leader.

· Multitasking and prioritization: HR leadership handles several projects at one time, requiring the ability to manage more than one project at one time and to prioritize accordingly.

· Interpersonal skills: An important asset in a HR career, these help the leader to create and maintain positive working relationships with other members of the workforce.

· Coordination: Aside from overseeing the work of his/her own team, the leader needs to coordinate work with other members of company leadership.

· Speaking skills: These are important to communicate with the workforce members, as they are intrinsic to giving presentations, directions to staff members, and communicating with the leadership.

How can an HR professional pick the skills to become an HR leader?

Basic academic qualifications — a bachelor’s or master’s degree in HR or related subjects — are a good start. Internships and other assignments bring useful experience of applying theoretical concepts to practical, on-the-job situations.

Certifications are an increasingly popular and respected way of getting the latest skills and know how and moving toward leadership roles in HR and talent management. Several respected institutions offer great certifications in this domain, such as the Talent Management Institute (TMI) that has the Senior Talent Management Practitioner (STMP) and the Global Talent Management Leader (GTML) certifications. These are excellent tools to improve prospects and abilities to take on leadership roles in HR and boost leadership skills.

Human Resource Professional. Passionate about Human Resources. Writing has always been a passion with strong interest in talent management & HR Industry.