Qualifications for Successful HR Managers

Human Resource (HR) Managers play multiple roles in corporations. In addition to recruiting employees, an HR manager may manage benefits, enforce policies, create a positive working culture, organize corporate events and training programs, improve staff engagement, analyze salaries and address employee questions and concerns. During the pandemic, enterprises relied on HR departments to create new remote work policies and provide guidance and support to employees facing challenges resulting from the COVID-19.

Charged with multiple responsibilities, an HR Manager must possess a range of skills, some inherent such as integrity but many acquired through education and experience. Gaining a degree in human resource management is the first step to acquiring the qualifications to become an HR Manager.

Traits of an HR Manager

More than a people person, an HR Manager must have organizational, communication, and leadership abilities to successfully perform the diverse tasks of the job. ManagerSkills.org cites the following as qualities of a successful HR Manager.

  • Communication Skills: HR management interacts with different employees on a daily basis. As such, they must clearly communicate in both verbal and nonverbal formats. Communication skills are important in various aspects of the HR role from hiring new employees, explaining policies, practices and programs and responding to grievances, suggestions, and issues from staff.
  • Negotiation Skills: Sometimes, HR managers may need to intervene in matters between co-workers, or managers and staff. While emphatic to a situation, HR managers must take an objective, professional stance to help parties reach a compromise or solution.
  • Leadership Skills: Serving at the forefront of a business, HR managers need leadership abilities to guide and motivate employees in meeting corporate goals or initiating change. During the pandemic, HR often led the initiative for remote work policies, working with department managers in its implementation.
  • Organizational Skills: With so much going on, HR managers must know how to prioritize and circle back to different tasks to complete them on time. To do so, HR management must take a systematic approach to keep organized and maintain efficiency in handling different functions.
  • Multi-Tasking: Organizational skills often go hand-in-hand with the ability to multi-task and have the flexibility to work on changing priorities.
  • Presentation Skills: HR managers often conduct training for new employees, present new ideas to management, relay important messages to staff and explain benefit packages. To convey information takes presentation skills that involve creating good content and delivering an accurate message to the audience.
  • Integrity: As HR managers deal with sensitive and private information, they must have the integrity to maintain confidentiality on matters. For example, if an HR manager knows a certain department is downsizing, they must have the discretion not to discuss the matter with anyone even if it means laying off good employees. At the same time, honesty is important in dealing with different matters involving employees.

Educational and Training Requirements

Pursuing an HR management role requires a combination of education and experience. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most positions require a bachelor’s degree in human resources management or an advanced degree. Educational institutions including Rowan University and Rowan College of South Jersey offer traditional and online associate and bachelor’s degrees in HR Management. Coupling a degree with an internship or on-the-job experience puts candidates in a better hiring position for these jobs. Many new graduates may serve as HR assistants or specialists to gain experience and start on their career path.

In addition to obtaining a degree, those pursuing careers in human resources should consider membership in a professional organization that provides networking and educational opportunities. Earning certifications can also advance HR qualifications. Two notable ones include:

  • The SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP): This widely-recognized credential can be earned by those holding a bachelor’s degree in the HR field and having at least a year of experience. A more advanced credential is available to those earning a master’s and having at least three years of experience. The certification is ideal for those in operational roles regarding employee relations, policymaking, and administrative tasks.
  • The Professional of Human Resources (PHR): Offered by the HR Certification Institute, the PHR requires candidates to have a bachelor’s degree and three years of experience or a master’s and one year of experience. The exam covers employee and labor relations, business administration, recruitment, and employee training.logo for rcsj

Build on an Associate Degree

Pursuing an HR Manager position takes an investment in time and education. To ensure this is the right career path, many individuals start with an associate degree to become familiar with the field and determine if it is a good fit. Rowan College of South Jersey offers an Associate in Science in a Human Resource Management program online and onsite at its Cumberland and Gloucester campuses. The curriculum provides a foundation in human resources that many graduates can use to pursue entry-level positions or quickly attain a four-year bachelor’s degree. Some courses that work on building necessary traits and skillsets of an HR Manager include:

  • Oral Communications
  • General Psychology
  • Personal & Professional Branding
  • Human Resource Management
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Organizational Development
  • Introduction to Computers

Professional careers in human resources start with an undergraduate degree. Rowan University, in partnership with Rowan College of South Jersey, offers an online Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management program that provides the foundation to pursue a human resources career at businesses of varying scope throughout the nation. Costing a fraction of the investment for a traditional degree, this unique online program awards students an associate degree after completing four semesters of classes and an undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree at the completion of the program. With many courses offered in an accelerated seven-week format, students can enjoy the flexibility to take fewer courses at one time, while staying on track to completion.

For information on Rowan University’s online Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resource Management and other programs, visit Human Resource Management Degree | Rowan Partnerships Online  or apply now at Apply Now | Rowan Partnerships Online.

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