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Key Traits of HRM Professionals

Posted by Jenna Baskin on 17/05/2021
Jenna Baskin
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 Key Traits of HRM

Managing employee experience, recruiting the best of the best in the industry, and processing payroll barely scratches the surface of what it means to be an HRM professional. Human resource management is not for everyone. It takes a unique set of skills to be successful in this aspect of the industry.

When we think of a human resource professional, a few things come to mind.

We think about the various characteristics they must possess. They will play a key role in ensuring their success but, more importantly, the success of a company since they are the ones who recruit for the company.

Certain professional traits and personal qualities make HRM professionals apply themselves in any landscape that requires their expertise.

While there are basic requirements to taking up a position in HR, there are also standard indicators that all HR professionals at the top of their field possess.

Here are the key traits of successful HRM professionals:

Table of Contents

  1. Effective Communication Skills
  2. Conflict Management Skills
  3. Ethics
  4. Accountability
  5. Self-Discipline
  6. Organizational Skills
  7. Maintaining Employee Loyalty
  8. Impartiality
  9. Empathy
  10. Creative Problem Solving
  11. In Conclusion

Effective Communication Skills

Being an effective communicator is key to being successful in any people-facing role. It's more critical for Human resource professionals than anyone else in the organization to be capable communicators. Regardless of the industry, the HRM serves as the central nexus of communication between different people.

Words have an impact on everyone around us. Therefore, your choice of words becomes particularly important when you're an HRM professional. It could mean communicating the employer's expectations clearly and letting potential candidates know why they might or might not be cut out for a particular role.

Key Traits of HRM  (1)

Conflict Management Skills

As professional as people try to be in the workplace, conflict is inevitable. We can work out some of these disputes, but others tend to get blown out of proportion for many reasons.

Critical thinking is a brand of conflict management that HRM professionals are expected to demonstrate during workplace conflicts. It starts with gathering all the details of the issue, identifying the root cause of the problem, and then coming up with solutions.

To reiterate, workplace conflict is unavoidable and may even be expected. It takes the right conflict management abilities to shift people's perspectives and keep the work environment running smoothly.



Since human resources are the department that deals directly with the employees, they must deal with various ethical challenges. HRM professionals are expected to be beyond reproach when it comes to ethics. Since they are trusted with confidential documents and employee information, employers need the reassurance that this information stays safe.

It is the responsibility of the HR department to set the ethical standards of the workplace and encourage ethical practices within their department and the workplace as a whole.



Key Traits of HRM  (2)Like any other department, the HR department also has a certain margin of error. Mistakes can be unintentional, but it is still important to hold people accountable for their actions. Instilling a sense of responsibility among the workforce is another key feature of HRM.

HRM professionals should be able to take responsibility for situations that fell out of their control. They are also responsible for ensuring that these situations don't affect the success of the organization.



Working in human resources means that sometimes your job goes beyond the 9-5 boundary. Sometimes tasks will get completed, and sometimes they will be moved on to the next day. HRM professionals are often faced with unforeseen issues requiring an immediate attention, which entails leaving their current tasks to deal with something else.

As a result, daily tasks have to be put on hold. Fostering self-discipline aids in time management, and they are both necessary traits that help with workload management. Knowing how to manage your time for tasks is essential for corporate survival. HRM professionals work on tight deadlines that require them to work nearly 16 hours a day. Self-discipline and time management also ensures that you don't burn out.


Organizational Skills

Working as an HRM professional means having dozens of tasks handed to you daily. In addition to that, you have to deal with official records and confidential data – and with that comes piles of paperwork. Having efficient organization skills is an excellent way to stay on top of tasks.

HRM professionals who possess strong organizational skills can plan, prioritize and achieve their goals while simultaneously saving time and money for the organization they work for.


Maintaining Employee Loyalty

Loyalty is what encourages employees to perform at their best. And loyal employees ensure the sustainability of the business. As HRM professionals, the first step to maintaining employee loyalty is understanding what it means.

Employee loyalty denotes a set of emotions that allows your staff to feel devoted to their workplace.

Key Traits of HRM  (5)

Offering fair compensation is another way to make your employees feel valued. You can also provide them with more opportunities to grow within the company and give them more control over their role. Empower rather than delegate, and your employees will want to stick around longer.



HR professionals should always aim to be neutral whenever addressing situations or conflicts. In human resources, ethical decision-making to resolve disputes is challenged by human resource management's inherent nature. However, in the employer's best interest, HRM professionals should remain impartial under any circumstances.

Being impartial has its challenges. Good HRM professionals are expected to make employees feel listened to and valued to encourage them to take their concerns to the HR department.
Different companies have different ways HRM is integrated into the team, so the level of impartiality can be subjective to the situation at hand.



Empathy is the ability to understand someone's thoughts by putting yourself in their shoes. It allows people to build social connections and respond positively to the needs of other people. Empathy is generally considered one of the critical features of HRM. Showing empathy in the workplace demonstrates respect for employees and shows them that you care about their feelings.

Key Traits of HRM  (4)Empathetic HRM professionals make everyone feel like they belong on the team. This boosts their enthusiasm and productivity towards the job. This is also achieved through mutual understanding.

Adopting a more empathetic attitude within your organization is easier said than done. It requires taking the time to invest yourself into the work lives of your co-workers to get a better understanding of what they're going through. HRM professionals should also balance their empathy with their capacity to evaluate a situation in a well-advised manner.


Creative Problem Solving

HRM professionals must act as investigators when it comes to problem-solving. Getting to the root of a problem and gather information about it are also key features in HRM. Practical problem solving is all about using logic to make sense of a situation.

Being in HR, you should anticipate potential problems actively and proactively make an effort to mitigate the effects of those problems on the company.

Problem-solving is also an umbrella term for various other skills that HRM professionals should adopt. This includes innovative and creative thinking, analytical skills, resilience, influence, and teamwork skills. Of course, problem-solving is also a key component of good leadership in the workplace.


In Conclusion

There's never a dull moment when working in HR. It is one of the few departments that is included in every facet of the employee lifecycle. Keeping up with all the responsibilities that the job affords requires individuals with a specific skill set.

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Although these ten traits are not necessarily all-inclusive characteristics of an HRM professional, they form a core of essential HR fundamentals that employers look out for when hiring for their organization. So, if you're looking to develop your skills in HR, you can start with these ten fundamentals.

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By Jenna Baskin

Jenna Baskin is the CEO of MCI and has over 11 years’ experience in the training and education space. She was responsible for the creation of the MCI's online consumer division, the MCI Institute, and the transition of the organisation into the digital learning landscape. This includes platform partnerships across North America, unique content development, and the introduction of virtual reality learning methodologies.