Essential HR Executive Skills in 2022

Looking for the top HR executive skills to become a better HR professional? We’ve got some skills you can master to get noticed by your employer and excel in your career as an HR executive.

An HR executive is a role with high responsibility. You cannot become one if you don’t have the required skills or potential to be a responsible human resources executive.

An HR executive is responsible for looking after all the ongoing processes in an HR department. They manage and direct the HR employees inside an organization. As the role is executive thus, they are the seniors of the HR department. They sometimes also take the charge of whole HR community when needed.

An hr executive must have enough capability with extensive HR knowledge and good team management skills.

In this guide, we will provide a brief on some of the HR skills you must possess to become a professional HR executive.

1. Organizational Skills

Organizational skills are defined as the skills that allow you to put more focus and energy towards your tasks with greater strength and determination. On top of that, these skills lead to efficient tasking, which means that achieving the desired outcome becomes easier with this skill.

As a professional HR executive, you must have a sound grip on how to handle the tasks with a greater focus, thus this skill allows you to speed up the process, and achieve the desired goals in a shorter time frame. Here are some organizational tasks specifically required in an HR executive’s role:

  • Payroll duties involve looking after the timely implementation of employees’ salaries and organizing their records.
  • Organizing the employee benefits is another task that involves planning the compensation an employer provides to the employees.
  • Managing employee records falls under the general HR practices for an HR executive. It is a crucial skill for senior management, that involves looking after the employee records such as experience letters, personal information, employee’s legal history, and other business needs.
  • Progress report planning and writing is a key skill that involves reporting the work progress to your HR manager, so they know how the work is progressing and whether all the employees are performing equally or not.

Top 8 Strengths for an HR Executive

Good time management and neat work are necessary HR executive duties. If an HR department delays work, the whole organization lacks, thus it is fundamental for you to develop good maintenance skills to become a successful HR executive.

2. Mentoring Skills

As the role is executive, thus it is obvious that an HR executive will have juniors working in their team. It is a fundamental responsibility of an HR executive to mentor junior employees:

  • On-boarding employees need mentoring. Although they will have their team leads for mentoring needs related to work, mentoring from the human resources executives is also necessary.
  • Creating a supportive climate for qualified candidates is necessary for two-way communication.
  • Encouraging the HR staff and freshers is necessary to develop their trust in the organization.
  • Sharing personal experiences with the freshers boosts their confidence and results in two-way communication.
  • Guiding the new employees about the company and their human resources policies is one of the most crucial skills of HR professionals.
  • Demonstrating good listening skills is mandatory for HR executives. You must teach the employees about the organization’s rules and must make them feel good about their job responsibility and also about the company.
  • Providing constructive feedback and advice to employees is also necessary to make them improve themselves.

In addition to that, sometimes new employees encounter certain queries regarding finance and billing, so in such cases, they are referred to a human resource executive to collect answers to their queries.

All these responsibilities demand a sound knowledge about organizational policies, and HR rules, so you can mentor the new human resources and the organization’s employees.

3. Interpersonal Skills

Apart from professionalism, HR professionals must exhibit interpersonal skills so they can feel empathy for other employees.

Interpersonal skills allow to connect and engage with the employees. In addition to that, these skills also help HR executives to understand the employee’s situations and needs.

Hence, having good interpersonal skills bring out effective communication and productive results. As an HR executive, you embed these three interpersonal skills in your nature:

  1. Verbal/non-verbal communication skills. Verbal skills mean spoken skills, while non-verbal refer to written communication.
  2. Listening skills. It is the ability to efficiently understand others’ perspectives. This is a crucial skill for corporate culture.
  3. Motion Control. Motion control skill allows one to professionally carry out the communication without resulting in employee frustration.

These skills are mandatory but are not limited to just these. Such skills make a person more friendly and thus, junior employees usually appreciate and praise a senior with a friendly nature.

Without these HR skills, the role becomes dry, and dry-working brings out impedance and enhances the cultural differences. To avoid such work impedance and to enhance employee relations of an HR team with empathy, an HR executive must exhibit good interpersonal skills.

You can learn to professionally master these skills with our top-rated HR certifications:

Human Resources Certifications

4. Technical Skills

HR professionals must have good technical and soft skills as these are the high-priority skills required for an HR executive’s role.

An HR executive must be tech-savvy since the majority of HR departments of big tech organizations rely on tech tools such as management software for carrying out their tasks.

You must have a solid understanding of:

  • Software proficiency is a mandatory technical skill for an HR leader, HR generalist, and in fact the whole HR staff.
  • Data Analysis allows a better understanding of the industry trends, labor statistics and enhances decision-making skills. Detailed analysis of employee work progress through tech tools allows you to analyze cost-saving metrics.
  • Project management tools are important for job postings, data entry, and managing company events. This soft skill benefits the entire company.
  • Talent acquisition software proficiency helps the department heads effectively in choosing the right candidates for the interview process. It also allows to maintain the company culture and maintain legal competency at the same time.
  • Talent management software proficiency is an extremely important requirement to become an HR executive. This skill aids the hiring process. In addition to that, this skill in HR staff resume boosts their HR career.
  • Applicant Tracking Systems proficiency allows the automation of employee and HR activities. Such automation systems generate a positive impression on the company’s reputation.

In financial aspects, technology serves a huge impact. As these tools allow the digitization and automation of tasks, thus you must exhibit good technical skills to become an HR executive.

5. Counseling Skills

It is completely normal in an organization when employees get exhausted from work issues. As a human resource executive, you must exhibit good counseling skills to boost the morale of employees and encourage them to rock their job responsibilities.

Do you know that some organizations require you to be a certified conflict resolution expert to secure the HR executive’s seat? Some organizations prefer candidates who have great:

  • Anger management skills
  • Employee frustration handling skills 
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Conflict handling skills

Thus, to increase your chances of selection as an HR executive, and to get noticed by the recruiters, you must possess good counseling skills.

HR Executive Responsibilities

Such human resource skills enhance your problem-solving capabilities, and also brings out effective communication with the employees. With good counseling skills, employees will open more about their issues and work frustrations that lead to a nicer work environment.

Hence, the HR executives can communicate with the human resources manager regarding the employee benefits packages for conflict management.

Apart from handling the resolutions, this skill is mandatory and helps fulfill your other work responsibilities.

6. Adaptive Skills

HR professionals must exhibit adaptability in their work lives. Adaptability is a skill that allows a person to learn more knowledge and skills based on evolving circumstances. If an organization does not evolve with time, then the organization may become outdated in some time. Thus, continuous upskilling is necessary for a business. Also:

  • Continuous upskilling and evolving with time are adaptive skills. Henceforth, all the executive and HR manager roles must have the ability to rapidly learn and master new market trends, HR skills and to implement the gained knowledge into their work.
  • Implementing the market trends into business life is crucial to staying competitive in the market.

HR managers and employers hire candidates with good adaptability skills. So, we recommend you include this skill in your resume, as this skill is crucial for your work efficiency and growth.

7. Communication Skills

As HR executives are themselves the communication channels between the employers and stakeholders, thus HR professionals must have diverse and great communication skills.

As communication is a two-way process, HR professionals must learn these factors:

  • Top-Down Dissemination of information/Vertical Streams. These streams enable an HR manager and HR executives to communicate with the senior and junior roles. Conversing with human resources board members is a vertical communication stream that is crucial for an HR executive’s role.
  • External Communication means effective communication with the people outside of the organization like potential employees, investors, and product users.
  • Bottom-up communication flow falls under the vertical stream of communication, which means regulating the junior’s queries to business executives and HR managers.

To understand the context of these HR skills, you must know that the way you will present before the chief executive officer as an HR executive will be a lot different than how a junior employee will present before the CEO.

As a human resources worker, you must know how to connect well with others, and how to engage and compel the human resources managers with your perceptions. Thus, good verbal and non-verbal communication skills are a mandatory requirement to become an HR executive.

8. Administrative Skills

In an HR executive’s role, administrative tasks are a common yet major job responsibility. Administrative duties in the role of a human resource include tasks like the entries of employee’s absence, job history, leaves, paid leaves, and the in-and-out flow of workers, and financial records. Other administrative skills are:

  • Entries of employee’s presence and absence is an administrative task that is generally automated but still, a manual cross-check for entries is necessary.
  • Job history record maintenance falls under the administrative tasks
  • Making Entries for paid/non-paid leaves is a fundamental administrative task to maintain employee work records.
  • In-out flow of workers is another admin task, which an HR executive is responsible to look after.
  • Finance record maintenance through the gathered data for paid/non-paid leaves and absences is an administrative duty that an HR executive is responsible for.

Thus, you must have good administration skills to secure a human resources executive’s role in an organization.

Mastering these HR skills is not difficult at all if you are a good learner. You can make simple research on Google or Youtube to learn these skills professionally.

9. Human Resources Management Skills

You must have good human resources management skills. Although this is the very main and mandatory skill in a human resources executive’s role, this still needs clarification.

If you have a background in human resources or management, then you will already have these skills.

You can also learn these skills with a course in:

  • Business management
  • Organizational psychology
  • Industrial management
  • Human resource management

To be more specific, you must know how a recruitment process works, how the screening and selection process works, and the employee records are established. Thus, human resources skills are mandatory for you to secure a human resources executive’s role.

10. Proactive Skills

Although proactivity falls under the trait’s category, still it is something that can be developed with time. Thus, we can count it as a skill.

Proactivity is the ability to spot issues and problems beforehand and take measures to deal with them.

In an HR executive’s role, you are the main bridge of communication and connection between the employees, and the stakeholders. Thus, if you are proactive and have emotional intelligence, you can avoid the communication gaps by timely identifying the issues beforehand, and making suitable measures to escalate from such situations.

In addition to that, big tech companies these days prefer a proactive human resources executive to a reactive HR executive. Thus, to master this skill, you must learn the ways to implement the market trends and avoid any conflict or issue beforehand by proposing an appropriate solution.

11. Analytical Skills

You must be analytical and data-driven for this executive role. In the last few years, the human resources skills for analytics and data-driven work have been lately more in demand. Thus. organizations prefer those candidates for this role who are data-driven and more analytical. Furthermore:

  • Analyzing the HR analytics dashboard through HR software allows understanding of HRM metrics.
  • Analyzing the cost of employee benefits is crucial for financial records.
  • Researching the data analytics for employee performance, retention, and engagement is a mandatory responsibility for an HR executive.

Along with good analytical skills, a sound knowledge of Google Spreadsheets and Excel is also beneficial.

12. Cross-Cultural skills

For multi-national companies, HR executives are expected to have cross-cultural skills. This means that an HR executive must have employee’s and employer’s cultural awareness, and must be sensitive towards their customs.

Thus, a sound knowledge of employees’ cultures and intercultural differences is mandatory for a justified work environment. You must learn cross-cultural skills before applying to an HR executive’s job.

According to Glassdoor, the average HR executive salary is $81k per year. The salary is no doubt appealing, but you must exhibit emotional intelligence and strong speaking skills to secure a seat as an HR executive in a human resources department.

Take Away

Above you get a brief overview of the 12 most important HR skills as an HR executive. You must learn these skills to properly carry out your job responsibilities.

In addition to that, do not let these skills become stagnant as most will outdate likely with time. Thus, to keep your performance at the top, make sure to continuously upskill your HR knowledge and HRM competencies. Only this way, you can guard your organization and lead it to excellence.


If you are new to Human Resources and are looking to break into an HR Executive position, we recommend taking our HR Certification Courses, where you will learn how to build your skillset in human resources, build your human resources network, craft an excellent HR resume, and create a successful job search strategy that lands you a sought-after HR Executive job.


Josh Fechter
Josh Fechter is the founder of HR.University. He's a certified HR professional and has managed global teams across 5 different continents including their benefits and payroll. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.