Being a good judge of character and managing people effectively are of the utmost importance when a person wants to pursue a career in HR. However, these skills are not sufficient in themselves; rather, they are the minimum requirement. In fact, being truly successful in any HR-related professional capacity is keenly linked to having a set of other skills, outlined below:

1. Mathematics

HR professionals need to have a good grasp of maths and statistics since understanding, interpreting and creating reports is part and parcel of the job. More importantly, fulfilling a more strategic role requires the ability to speak numbers. Otherwise, the C-Suite will not listen.

2. Compartmentalization

The ability to draw a clear divide between work and the rest of one’s life is key to succeed in any job, but more so in HR. This is because an HR manager’s work never stops; there will always be drama to resolve, professional training to schedule and policies to finetune.

3. Empathy

Strictly speaking, HR executives are not counsellors; yet, they often have to wear that hat when employees encounter issues and need advice. Thus, HR professionals with empathy and compassion are real assets as they can usually spare the organisation from unnecessary drama, even legal trouble.

4. Understanding Employment Legislature

Again, HR managers are not expected to have a degree in law but there are cases they may have to handle in which legal knowledge is essential to make decisions that will not compromise the organization.

5. Multi-tasking

In most organizations, HR professionals are responsible for a whole array of tasks, so being able to juggle multiple -sometimes conflicting- duties at the same time is paramount to success in the role.

6. Solid Knowledge of Health Coverage Plans

Usually, insurance companies are responsible for choosing the best plan for each employee. However, HR should also be in the know about how each of the plans available works for each employee as they are the ones who will, ultimately, choose the plans for the whole company.

7. Hiring and Recruiting

These functions entail so much more than simply finding the right people. In many ways, recruitment is a PR and marketing function in that HR is the first contact candidates have with the organisation and needs to be the best possible one.

8. People Management

An HR manager without people management skills is doomed to fail. Not only do they have to manage and coach employees, they also have to do the same with other executive officers as well as act as their trusted partner.

9. Confidentiality

Although, not legally bound to withhold certain information, HR managers often handle need-to-know information and should be able to do so shrewdly and discreetly.

10. Firing

Terminating an employee does not only involve letting them know of the company’s decision. In fact, a more important part of firing is informing fired employees with kindness and fairness. Successful HR officers understand and practise this.