Last week I wrote a post about crappy HR. It could have been construed as a rant. I didn’t write it to rant but I could see where someone might get that impression. Fast forward to later that day, post publication when I got this Tweet:
Stuart brings up a good point. One that hit home with me because I realized I have spent more than one or two of my previous blog posts complaining about HR, which is not what I intend to do (on a regular basis) on this blog.
Having spent a bit of time in HR I try to turn my observations of HR into insight that we can use to better our organizations and ourselves professionally. That sounds pretty lofty, slightly idealistic and perhaps naïve; But I aim high in life and haven’t been beaten down yet so I think that’s a great goal.
With that in mind, this week I am focusing on some of the best people in HR I have had the pleasure of working with. I can’t name all of them so instead, I’m focusing on the best character traits that make HR pros successful and effective. All together I narrowed it down to ten, I’m talking about five today and will wrap up with the top five on Thursday!
Numbers 10 through six are….
10. Relentless- people have a way of avoiding HR; you can’t be intimidated about contacting and re-contacting people as well as following up. If you don’t have this skill, stuff falls by the way side, there isn’t much in HR that can safely fall by the wayside: “sorry I didn’t get around to closing out that complaint, it was hard to schedule a meeting with the department manager” – that doesn’t quite cut it.
9. Salesmanship (saleswomanship) – it’s not just recruiting that can be compared to sales. Think about it, we are always selling in HR: new benefits plans, compensation/bonus plans/new policies/getting rid of old policies/etc;
8. Thick Skin – A thick skin is pretty essential in HR, after all we are the ones telling a manager why their brilliant pay scheme won’t work or why they can’t hire their mistress. It’s (usually) not personal but when you tell people “no” they can take it out on the wrong person…that’s you HR. And that’s why it’s important to have a thick skin…
7. Reasonable – This is important because the perception that HR is not reasonable is rampant. You know the reputation we have…policy police, fun-killers, angel of death, factories of sadness….so it’s vital to show how reasonable you are. The best HR pros know they make no friends by being the policy police.
6. On-the-spot -Decision Makings – this goes hand in hand with #7, at some point you will be forced to draw upon your experience to make quick decisions in very murky circumstances. The best HR pros can quickly and reasonably make the necessary decisions and all with composure and confidence. It’s a tough skill but invaluable to being an effective HR pro, you can’t always hold a meeting and get back with someone “tomorrow.”
Well, that’s the start of my list; what do you think so far? What have I missed ? What do you think I should include (Thursday’s post isn’t written yet)?
Stop by again on Thursday to hear the top five traits!