Upskilling in Human Resource Management: Be a More Effective HRM Manager with These 100 Essential Skills

A lot more than just the hiring and firing department, this article looks at 100 of the skills required for HR managers to bring the Human Resource Management team to the top of its game

Looking at Human Resource Management (HRM) in today’s organisations, it’s the function that focuses on the longer-term resourcing, retention, compliance, direction and engagement of people within an organisation to ensure successful operation – ultimately, it’s one big balancing act that needs a strong team with the right skill set to support it.

What skills are required for HR manager?

The HR management remit has evolved greatly over the last 20 years and with the amount of skills required to perform such a demanding role, it’s good to get an idea of how to enhance the competence and capabilities of yourself or your HRM team, bringing the HRM function up to speed in this fast-paced environment.

I’m sure the skills for Human Resource Management will forever be changing, but here we shall explore a list of 100 skills we believe encompass the Human Resource Management role in some of today’s HR departments, alongside including links for self-development:

#1: Administration

Highly important but quite often disregarded, HRM wouldn’t function without administrative procedures in place.  Administration is the ‘backbone of an organization’ as quoted in this Linkedin article by Pankaj Mishra.

#2: Applicant Screening

Applicants should be screened against the job description and person spec for the vacancy, to ensure you have the right fit for the role.  Some good tips on how to complete this process can be found here.

#3: Applicant Tracking Systems

Part of the recruitment process, the ATS is a system that tracks and follows the stages of a recruitment application in one easily accessible electronic database.

#4: Analysis

Collecting and analysing data then turning the findings into an understandable format is a skill used in many aspects of the HRM role.  Why not improve your analysis skills using an online course such as this?

#5: Attention to Detail

Save time and energy on getting things right the first time – Steps on how to improve your attention to detail skills can be found here.  Don’t forget to proof read!

#6: Benefits

Attract and retain employees alongside boosting engagement with a great remuneration package.  CIPD provide some useful examples and an implementation factsheet on their website for you to see what benefits could run in-line with your business.

#7: Candidate Search

There are many ways to search for the right candidates, from advertising to word of mouth and job fayres organised by HRM.  Totaljobs recruitment has some ideas that can help you decide what’s best for your organisation.

#8: Candidate Sourcing

Read these 6 tips to building an active candidate sourcing strategy in this informative article.

#9: Change Management

Advice on how to manage and support change management effectively and understand potential issues that can arise is good to know in today’s society where change is a constant occurrence within organisations.

#10: Character Judgement

Listen to the well-known saying and don’t judge a book by its cover!  Maybe following some proven methods could help you assess a person’s character when looking at recruiting the right person.

#11: Coaching

Being an effective coach can influence Line-Managers to become more self-sufficient – check out some of these handy tips.

#12: Collaboration

HRM needs to collaborate with others to accomplish objectives and achieve results.  Whether you collaborate with different departments or systems, it’s beneficial for employee satisfaction and in-turn the organisation.

#13: Communication

Communication is key and in just 1 day you can improve your communicative skills with a simple online course.

#14: Company Policies and Procedures

Are your policies and procedures up to date?  HRM are responsible for ensuring compliance and implementation throughout the business so it is worth keeping up to date with legislation.

#15: Comparable Worth

If you are unsure what comparable worth is and how it relates to your organisation, this article explains what it is in layman’s terms.

#16:  Compensation

The bottom line is, most employees work for money so it’s good to ensure you’re offering a fair market package to attract and retain employees.

#17: Compliance

Having compliant up to date policies and procedures in place can save you time and money in the long run.  ACAS offer some guidance and downloadable templates which cover the minimum compliance that needs to be adhered to.

#18: Confidentiality

With the amount of confidential information that HRM are privy to, it’s advisable to have a confidentiality agreement in place to cover the organisations best interests.

#19: Conflict Resolution

This skill is necessary to improve relationships and resolve issues preferably in an informal manner.

#20: Creating Good Working Relationships

Creating good working relationships is beneficial for emoloyee engagement and commitment to a company.  This article looks at how you can implement strong, positive relationships within the workplace.

#21: Customer Service

Adopt the philosophy that customer service is a HR profession.  This blog explains why customer service is so important, as many HRM departments strive to improve their negative reputation.

#22: Data Analysis

A look at how to maximise the effectiveness of the data HRM spend so much time collating.

#23: DBS Checks

Formerly known as a CRB, these background checks are required to protect vulnerable adults or children and the process can be managed online through various Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) providers.  Further details are on the UK Government website.

#24: Development

Development is one of the main employee satisfaction strategies which is often neglected.  Victor Lipman, a contributor for Forbes, looks at why development is ignored and how developing yourself and your employees makes good business sense.

#25: Decision Making

An interesting case study presentation on how HRM can influence decision making in an organisation.

#26: Empathy

An important trait to have as a HRM professional when dealing with people from all walks of life is empathy and this article gives examples of how to empathise in the right way.

#27: Employee Benefits

Up to date details on how to pay tax on employee benefits, such as Company Cars, can be found on the UK Government website.

#28: Employee Engagement

Take a look at these ideas on how to make work more exciting!

#29: Employee Handbooks

A great communication tool in any Company, there are many examples of employee handbooks online, but this article provides links to 6 of the most inspiring handbooks to help you, well… get inspired!

#30: Employee Relations

The ability to manage employee relations and conflict is still a key issue for HRM to deal with.  CIPD shares their viewpoint on the relationship between employees and employers.

#31: Employee Rights

Want to know everything about what rights employees and workers have within your organisation?  Citizens Advice offers a thorough guide to ensure the company is not liable to litigation.

#32: Employee Sourcing

Five tips for employee sourcing, using recruiting strategy basics.

#33: Employment Law

Try and keep ahead of the game when it comes to employment law by researching what proposed changes could take place.  This will allow time to set up a plan of action should any major developments be in the pipeline.

#34: Employer Rights

Keep yourself protected by having the right policies and procedures in place.  This guide gives you information on both employer and employee rights.

#35: Equal Opportunities

To comply with The Equality Act, all workers and job applicants need to be given the same opportunities regardless of whether they fall under the 9 protected characteristics categories.

#36: Evaluations

With many evaluation methods available, try and use one which is suitable for both employer and employee to get the most out of the process.

#37: Fair Labour Standards

A federal statute of the United States, the FLS focuses on fair working hours and fair pay.  Further information on all of the amendments that have taken place can be found here.

#38: Fairness

CIPD provides an informative podcast on fairness in the workplace, mainly how to drive and implement fairness to everyone at work.

#39: Federal Employment Laws

Constant changes of employment legislation can be a real headache.  There are some useful guides such as this one by findUSlaw which can keep you up to date on any federal employment law changes that may take place.

#40: Health and Benefit Plans

An inexpensive way of rewarding and engaging staff to boost employee productivity, there are a range of health benefit packages available which are beneficial for employee and employer.

#41:  Health & Safety Regulations

From fire safety to whether your office room temperature is comfortable,  HRM should conduct regular risk assessments and have strategic plans in place to ensure staff are safe and happy at work.

#42: Hiring

This informative blog on Udemy looks at the hiring process.  There are a multitude of courses on offer to help ensure HRM have the right skillset and tools in place to hire new employees effectively.

#43: Humour

You absolutely need to have a sense of humour to cope with some of the situations that arise in HRM!  Take a look at some funny HR interview situations in this article – how would you deal with some of those situations?

#44: Imagination

Being able to think outside the box is sometimes necessary when a tricky issue arises in the workplace – some great advice can be found within this online article by Matthew Swyers.

#45: Integrity

Honesty and trust are fundamental values that employees seek in their employers.  Examples of integrity in the workplace can be found here and show the benefits of having a HRM department that is open and transparent with staff.

#46: Interpersonal

In HRM, you have to deal with a number of different people and personalities so having strong interpersonal skills has a positive impact on these relationships.  Not sure how your interpersonal skills rank?  You can take a free self-assessment via to see how you score!

#47: Interviewing

Having the right interview techniques in place will save a lot of time and costs later along the line.

#48: Job Descriptions

Making sure job descriptions are detail orientated can help filter out the applications that just don’t match what you are looking for in a candidate.  Some simple templates can be found online and are easy to tweak to your needs.

#49: Job Postings

Want to know how to write an effective job post?  Look no further – Monster has some great advice to take on board when placing your next recruitment advert.

#50: Judgement

Having the ability to remain impartial, consider solutions and arrive at an ethical judgement are necessary skills for members of the Human Resource Management team.  People Management discusses this capability further.

#51: Labour Laws

Free downloadable guides covering different areas of British labour laws are available here.

#52: Labour Relations

Learn the secrets of management in a unionised environment by taking up a course.

#53: Labour Specialisation

Being able to work on projects that match your abilities should boost production and employee satisfaction.  Have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of labour specialisation in this article.

#54: Leadership

A collaborative effort between HRM and senior management.

#55: Local Laws

In the US especially, each state has their own laws that affect the HRM function.

#56: Listening

The importance of effective listening is highly important for those in the HRM remit.

#57: Management

Personal management, time management, people management – the list goes on…

#58: Motivation

Whether it is motivating yourself or others, take a look at these training tools that help with improving motivation.

#59: Microsoft Office

Make the most out of the Microsoft Office suite with some additional training.

#60: Negotiation

Lynda covers the negotiation cycle for HRM and teaches the skills needed to get what you want.

#61: Networking

Build your contacts and confidence with these networking tactics.

#62: New Hire Paperwork

There are a range of templates available through ACAS to ensure all of your new hire paperwork is up to date and compliant with the law.

#63: On-boarding

An employee’s first impressions of a company have a significant impact on all kinds of factors such as morale, engagement and satisfaction.  A comprehensive, effective induction process at the beginning of the on-boarding process is a great way to get things off to a good start.

#64: Oral Communication

This guide teaches some basic oral communication etiquette techniques.

#65: Orientation

A more in-depth look at the on-boarding process – this slide show looks at different orientation methods that can be used by HRM.

#66: Organisational Culture

HRM play a vital role in the culture of an organisation by implementing policies and procedures that can have a positive or negative impact on attracting and retaining employees.

#67: Payroll

HRM must collaborate harmoniously with Payroll to get employees remuneration correct.  This can be difficult at times but with the right systems in place the two departments can work well together.  This article explores how HRM and Payroll share functions for the organisations success.

#68: Policies and Procedures

With HRM managing the policy and procedure process by drafting and implementing, there are a variety of skills needed to make this task run efficiently.  Udemy has further tips on how to write your own policies and procedures in this blog.

#69: Performance Management

5 skills all HR Managers need for implementing performance management in this useful article.

#70: Placement Management

Organising placements for students are managed by HRM and compliance in employment law and health and safety need to be considered alongside an orientation of the company on their first day.

#71: Pre-employment Screening

With a range of pre-employment screening options available, skills needed include attention to detail, inquisitive nature and data collection just to name a few.

#72: Problem Solving

There are numerous problems to solve in Human Resource Management and these courses are available to help you through the challenging workplace situations.

#73: Presentation

Take a look at this very in-depth article, explaining various ways to improve your presentation skills by Alan Chapman.

#74:  Quantitative and Qualitative

Use both of these skills for work performance to develop resolutions and increase efficiency.

#75: Recruiting

15 qualities a great recruiter must have!

#76: Reference Giving

With more and more damage claims arising, HRM should have a reference policy in place and these basic guidelines outline everything you need to know to get it right.

#77: Reporting

Develop your HR reporting skills using these handy pointers.

#78: Scheduling

Scheduling important dates is a skill that falls under the organisational category and with many employment law changes taking place regularly; it’s good to set up some scheduling reminders so you don’t miss anything.

#79: Screening

Use these fact-finding methods to filter applications before they reach the proper interview stage.

#80: Selecting

Udemy provide short courses to improve selection skills in recruitment.

#81: Self-Confidence

Having confidence in yourself will give others confidence in you.  Complete this tick box exercise to see where you could improve your self-confidence.

#82: Social Media

Learn how to integrate social media with the HRM function using these 7 marketing ideas.

#83: Social Recruiting

This online discussion looks at how to make use of information found on social networks for recruitment purposes.

#84: Speaking

Public speaking is one of the top phobias for professionals and HRM are consistently using this skill for training, presentations and meetings as part of the day-to-day job.  Some tips on public speaking can be read here.

#85: Staff Development

Monster provides some tips on how to develop a mutually beneficial personal development plan.

#86: State Laws

hr360 is a useful resource to know what different state laws exist.

#87: Statutory Compliance

Compliance skills are needed throughout many areas of the HRM remit, even as far as how long HR records should be retained.

#88: Statistics

Learn how to apply basic statistical functions using Excel by enrolling onto a course.

#89:  Talent Acquisition

Quickly becoming a unique HR profession, find out more about talent acquisition in this article.

#90: Talent Management Systems

With many talent management systems available, HRM need to develop skills based on the system they choose, to get the most out of the potential benefits.

#91: Talent Planning

CIPD have a useful factsheet on all areas of talent planning.

#92: Technical

Many technical skills are needed for Human Resource Management.  Alison Doyle has put together an exhaustive list of technical skills that can be applied to many positions, inclusive of HRM.

#93: Team Building

There are many resources available to help improve team building activities, which can help form stronger working relationships.

#94: Teamwork

With so much happening in HRM on a daily basis, it is important to be able to work well within a team.  Lynda have a ‘leading and working in teams’ course which could be beneficial for development.

#95: Technical Recruiting

You don’t have to be an expert in the vacancies you are recruiting for, but it looks good if you know the main aspects of the role.  This article by Recruiter has some advice for recruiting technical roles.

#96: HR Manager Training

Having the ability to train others incorporates many other skills such as building course content, delivering training, public speaking, technical skills and much more.  Train the trainer courses can ensure HRM have all the skills to be great teachers!

#97: Troubleshooting

Most aspects of the HRM role is about troubleshooting, so why not get creative in how you solve these workplace issues?

#98: Verbal Communication

This blog looks at examples of when we need to use verbal communication skills in the workplace.

#99: Wages and Salary

With changes to the National Minimum Wage on a near annual basis or salary increases and bonus payments for reward, HRM need to authorise the changes before they are issued to payroll.  Keep up to date with what statutory changes are happening and when, by checking out the UK Government website.

#100: Writing Communication

Refresh your business writing communication skills by taking on further development courses such as this one from Revolution Learning.


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Written By

Robyn South

Robyn is a HR professional with over 7 years experience in generalist and complex employee relations matters. A newly established Virtual HR Assistant offering a range of HR services online, who loves to travel and part of the content management team at CakeHR.