Human resources, a key element in any organisation, has a far more significant role to play today apart from conducting interviews, explaining benefits, training employees, and managing relationships.
The function has gradually evolved from its behind-the-scenes role and is actively involved in shaping an organisation’s policies and objectives.
Covid-19 has made remote working a part of the work culture, which makes the job of an HR professional more challenging
Pathways to a career in HR
Leadership: Leadership and Mentoring skills are essential for a career in the field. Over the past five decades, an HR professional’s role has expanded from ‘labour management’ to one that is more sensitive and is aimed at aligning individual goals with that of the organisation.
Communication: This role requires daily interaction with the teams, clients, employees, and communication is a critical part of the profession. Excellent written and spoken communication skills are a prerequisite to avoid miscommunication and minimise errors. Furthermore, being a good listener and an empathetic communicator can be an easy way for the teams to reach out to HR in uncomfortable situations.
Critical thinking: In times when fake news is rising and effective communication is a dire need, HRs must think critically and evaluate information effectively to make the right decision. Critical thinking along with the urge to know more can not only help one dig deeper, but also to have a fair understanding of current affairs.
Tech-savvy: Today, most businesses are increasingly adopting digital technology and the field HR management is no different. HR professionals with strong digital skillset will adjust better to the modern workplace. Having a solid knowledge of big data, robotic process automation, AI, blockchain, and computer programming will help when you are hiring or evaluating the performance in these roles.
Confidentiality: HR teams have access to confidential information such as compensation, contracts, budgets, offer letters, and information about the company. They also discuss significant matters with the employees and the teams. A reasonable and sensible HR will have to handle sensitive information and maintain professionalism towards confidentiality/non-disclosure.
Adaptability: HR functionaries must be adaptable as they have to deal with unpredictable challenges, like an employee who quits without informing his immediate supervisor or manager. HRs are increasingly seen as the business partners of an organisation, they should know when it is time to revisit or revise the company policies.
In the aftermath of the pandemic, the HR department is also tasked with making some important and firm decisions, along with ensuring adequate enablement, engagement of teams, and managing concerns and apprehensions of their employees.
(Geeta L is the Co-founder & COO of a HR solutions company)