Essential HR Executive Skills in 2024

Looking for the top HR executive skills? Here are the fundamental skills to master and excel in your career as an HR executive.

An HR executive is a high responsibility role. They look after all the ongoing processes in an HR department. HR executives manage and direct the HR employees inside an organization. They also take the charge of whole HR community when needed.

An HR executive must exhibit capability with extensive HR knowledge and good team management skills.

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Fundamental HR Executive Skills

Here are the fundamental HR skills you must possess to become a professional HR executive:

1. Organizational Skills

Organizational skills allow you to put more focus and energy toward your tasks with greater strength and determination. These skills lead to efficient tasking, which means that achieving the desired outcome becomes easier.

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

  • Payroll duties involve looking after the implementation of employees’ salaries and organizing their records.
  • Organizing employee benefits involves planning the compensation an employer provides to the employees.
  • Managing employee records falls under the general HR practices of 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 and performance of employees is.

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 to develop good maintenance skills to become a successful HR executive.

2. Mentoring Skills

As the role is executive, they supervise juniors working in the HR department. It is also a fundamental responsibility of an HR executive to mentor junior employees:

  • Onboarding employees need mentoring. Although they 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 develops 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 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 refer to human resource executives to collect answers to their queries.

3. Interpersonal Skills

HR professionals and executives must exhibit interpersonal skills to feel empathy for other employees.

Interpersonal skills allow you to connect and engage with the employees. In addition to that, with these HR skills and competencies, HR executives understand the employee’s situations and needs in a better way.

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

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

Excellent interpersonal skills make a person friendly and, junior employees appreciate and praise a senior with a friendly nature.

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

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Human Resources Certifications

4. Technical Skills

An HR executive must exhibit technical skills since the majority of HR departments of big tech organizations rely on tools to carry out their tasks.

You must hold a grasp of these technical skills:

  • Software proficiency is one of the mandatory HR technical skills for an HR leader, HR generalist, and in fact the whole HR staff.
  • Data Analysis allows a better understanding of industry trends, and 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.
  • Talent acquisition software proficiency helps department heads in choosing the right candidates for the interview process. It also allows one to maintain company culture and maintain legal competency.
  • Talent management software proficiency aids the hiring process. This skill in HR staff resume boosts their HR career.
  • Applicant Tracking Systems proficiency allows the automation of employee and HR activities to generate a positive impression on the company’s reputation.

Global Executive Leadership CompetenciesIn 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 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.

A few organizations even look for a certified conflict resolution expert to secure the HR executive’s seat. Some organizations prefer candidates with:

  • Excellent anger management skills
  • Good 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 recruiters, you must possess good counseling skills.

HR Executive Responsibilities

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

Hence, the HR executives 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 will outdate itself. 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 exhibit the ability to learn and master new market trends, and HR skills and to implement the gained knowledge into their work.
  • Implementing 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 act as the communication channels between employers and stakeholders, thus HR professionals must exhibit 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 is a lot different than how a junior employee presents 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

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

  • Entries of employee’s presence and absence is an automated administrative task 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.
  • The in-out flow of workers is an admin task, that 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.

9. Human Resources Management Skills

You must hold 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. You can also learn these skills with a course in:

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

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 to secure a human resources executive’s role.

10. Proactive Skills

Although proactivity falls under the trait category, still you can develop these skills with practice and time. 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 communication gaps by identifying the issues beforehand and making suitable measures to escalate 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

HR executive roles and responsibilities demand excellent analytical and data-driven skills. In the last few years, human resources skills for analytics and data-driven work are 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 an understanding of HRM metrics.
  • Analyzing the cost of employee benefits is crucial for financial records.
  • Researching 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

HR executives working in multinational companies must exhibit cross-cultural skills. This means that an HR executive must have employee and employer cultural awareness, and show sensitivity to 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. You must exhibit emotional intelligence and strong speaking skills to secure a seat as an HR executive in a human resources department.


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 as an HR executive.

In addition to that, do not let these skills become stagnant as most will outdated with time. Continue upskilling your knowledge to keep your performance at the top. 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 executive 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.