“Human Resources isn’t a thing we do. It’s the thing that runs our business.”
~ Steve Wynn, Wynn Las Vegas
Client Suzanna Asks: We are building our HR department. We want to make it the star in our company—really there for every need. What professional qualifications should we look for as we augment our human resources section?
Coach Joel Answers: There are several things to look at as you hire HR employees. Of course you want them to be a good fit for you and your company. You have a hard-charging company and so every employee you hire needs to be fully committed.
For your human resources department, you need additional skills.
Still, this is theory only. Most human resources departments also look for those who have interned and gotten hands-on training.
When you hire summer interns, you get a great look at their professional qualifications. More than that, you see the less visible. How do they interact with your current team? Is their personality a fit for your office? Do their ethics and integrity match what you are looking for?
3. People skills.
Perhaps more than any other organization in your company, the human resources department interacts with people. A key component of any professional qualification includes skills in interacting with others.
How do they interact with people of different cultures, races, or abilities? Are they able to diffuse frustrations? Can they listen and be that intermediary between worker and company?
When you hire, you’ll be filling specific functions. You want to make sure your payroll person knows how to do payrolls. Your insurance person needs to understand policies, premiums and options.
Your compliance person must understand federal and state laws as well as all the rules and ordinances your company must follow.
You may want to give tests to your prospective hires to make sure their skill level matches your needs. This would be a follow-up to the certification or training they’ve received. Did they understand and process all the skill sets in their training? Your company tests will guarantee it.
5. Technical expertise.
Suzanna, your company is focused in IT. The new hires coming through your HR need to have very technical skills. While your HR professionals don’t need to know those skills, they need to speak some “geek.”
In the same way, a hospital HR needs to understand medical jargon. Or an engineering HR needs to know acronyms and skills to be able to assess qualifications.
So you’ll need to discuss with your company managers how much technical expertise they’d like your HR department to have. As you advertise and interview. As you set up mentorships and work on succession planning. How qualified do your people need to be on the technical side?
Suzanne, you are right on target to seek outstanding professionals in your human resources department. This will add value to your company. Be sure to consult with other leaders and managers to really understand how you can best serve them.
Then you will be in a better position to hire people based on their professional qualifications or to train them in-house.
Call to Action:
When you’re ready to improve your human resources department and raise your professional level, contact Joel. He will assist with training, motivation, and clarity of communication.