Starting a career as a Human Resources Specialist is not as simple as it sounds. The work can be demanding because it requires you to be multitalented. Sometimes you’ll be communicating with people. Other times you’ll be organizing multiple projects and making sure documents and resources needed arrive at the project teams you’re helping.

Nowadays, you’ll also need to learn highly technical skills such as email marketing and conflict management just to be competitive in your chosen career.

Human resource manager brainstorming with coworker

With so many skills needed which ones should you learn and prioritize? We’ve come up with 11 essential skills you’ll need in 2019 to be a highly competitive HR Specialist and climb the corporate ladder a lot faster.

People Skills

Let’s start with the people skills or what others refer to as “soft skills”. It’s not as soft as it sounds because these are the essential skills that any talented HR Specialist has mastered through years of practice. It’s not a joke when others say that you’ll need this to survive handling staff from different positions such as CEOs, employees, managers and project leaders.

These are the 11 most important skills that will be what most companies will be looking for in their HR Specialists this year.

1. Self-assessment and Introspection

Companies are looking for team players that are willing to learn and develop. This is a skill that we expect will remain relevant through the years. Nothing beats being able to assess yourself and continue to improve over time. It really is a skill that everyone needs to develop because it helps them identify their mistakes and make better decisions.

As part of the Human Resources, setting the example of being self-aware might help you build a better impression and get you a promotion in the near future.

2. Time Management

Managing personal deadlines and coordinating different activities is a soft skill that is a must-have for any HR Specialist. Work can be excessively taxing when several deadlines are lined up, but all it takes is time management and coordination with different departments to ensure deliverables arrive on time.

3. Active Listening

Aside from people that learn on the job, companies also love people who listen actively. Active listening isn’t the same as listening per se. It requires having a level of conversation that is productive and meaningful not only for the listener but also for the speaker.

We have to admit that everybody loves useful and constructive feedback. A lot of employees vent out their concerns to HR Specialists, and they really appreciate when they feel that they’re being listened to. Of course, addressing the concern is another thing but at the very least it’s good to be heard.

HR manager listening to CEO

4. Public Relations

Public relations, even at the office level, are also now being expected from those in human resources. Open communication and trustworthiness are among the skills needed for human resources to be able to coordinate different departments.

Companies are looking for those that can build rapport with other employees. This establishes better coordination which is yet one of the many tasks expected from the human resource department.

5. Professionalism

Ethics is both a skill and a trait that companies look for in every employee. However, it’s more relevant for those in human resources since they are the role models of professionalism. Handling a lot of confidential issues at work requires having the respect and trust of others, and professionalism helps build that image.

6. Technical Skills

Another trend in 2019 is that people skills are now expected to be coupled with technical skills. HR Specialists no longer only manage people but they also manage projects through coordination. This has led to technical skills to be relevant in climbing up the corporate ladder.

Whether you’re starting a career in human resource or a seasoned veteran, these skills are going to be helpful in managing tasks as part of human resources.

HR team member working on computer

7. Email Automation

A big chunk of the work of those in the human resource department involves communicating and sending a lot of emails to different departments. The task alone eats a lot of time and requires a lot of effort. That’s why email automation has been one of the many technical skills needed in order to survive the daily grind.

Emails can be personalized for each department with email lists of everyone involved so you’re sure that no one gets left behind on the news. Not only does email automation save time, but it also saves effort in adding and checking several email addresses.

8. Conflict Management

Diversity is another trend in workplaces that need to be monitored and managed. These cultural differences often lead into unintended conflict which needs to be resolved immediately. That’s why conflict management is a technical skill that needs to be mastered.

Human resources are at the frontline when dealing with such issues. The skill of conflict management is important in arbitrating between two or more conflicting parties to ensure that the problem doesn’t go out of hand.

9. Records Management

Handling records has been a skill that is a must-have for any HR Specialist, but its value remains important even after digital copies have become the norm. Information is stored and retrieved by the human resource department, so it’s no wonder that human resources still need to have the skill of records management.

Accountants using a payroll system

10. Payroll Systems Handling

What’s equally important to classified records and documents? For a lot of employees, that would be the payroll. Human resources are unfortunately tasked with maintaining peace and order by making sure everyone gets paid on payday.

Computations for leaves, absences, and bonuses need to be learned since human resources have often been tasked to assist or perform these duties.

11. Documentation and Reporting

Last but not the least; documentation is the next big thing when it comes to technical skills for 2019. As a specialist in human resource management, it is now important to be able to know and record the different activities of the company.

Filling gaps in the records helps in the decision-making process which the human resource management also participates in. We are expecting that soon this skill will be in demand as it adds high value to the company for little resources spent.

HRD staff meeting with employee

Conclusion: Overall Trends

Both people skills and technical skills remain important for any Human Resource Specialist. What has changed in the modern workplace is the high demand for multiple skills from those in human resource. Multitasking can now include highly technical skills, and it pays to be able to perform these duties.