Essential HR Intern Skills 2024

Are you looking for HR intern skills? We are here to inform you about the most in-demand HR intern skills.

An HR internship is one of the most sought-after and entry-level positions. The HR department teaches interns about recruitment, administrative support, people management, and all the ongoing responsibilities within the HR department.

To excel at this job, you must understand recruitment patterns, job postings, labor laws, and how to satisfy employees. 

If you’re interested in learning via video, then watch below. Otherwise, skip ahead.

What are Fundamental HR Intern Skills?

This article is a guide on the skills you must exhibit to become an HR intern:

1. Communication Skills

Soft skills such as communication are perhaps the most in-demand skills employers ask for in an HR intern.

While hard skills such as technical knowledge hold importance, soft skills remain just as important for human resources. This is because the HR department is a bridge between all departments. They represent the employee and the employer.

An HR intern must exhibit excellent communication skills and learn how to navigate between different stakeholders and communicate verbally as well as in written form, which is why employers require an intern to exhibit excellent written communication skills.

Communication is not limited to speaking. Instead, it includes listening and empathizing as well. It is the ability to understand others’ perspectives. This skill in fact is crucial for any business culture. 

Employee Relations

Successful businesses thrive through their human resources department, as a secure employee-employer relationship supports those connections. 

Identifying and resolving employee concerns creates a more satisfying work environment for employees and employers alike. 

This is a broad area in the HR field—everything from company policies, labor laws, labor legislation, career development, and managing employee benefits packages relate to it. But, it comes down to your ability to manage conflict and is an advocate for both your employer and its employees.


The human resources department requires attention to even the smallest details. HR interns have duties such as checking employees’ personnel files, looking after job boards, filing HR documents, looking into HR policies, and creating job alerts. These duties require precision and focus. 

HR Intern Responsibilities

HR professionals are diligent, focused, and empathetic individuals, and HR interns must follow in their footsteps by becoming more in tune with the little details present in the workforce.


Mentoring skills help when it comes to individual or group sessions, as it helps spread information and train employees. This becomes handy in training and development situations, onboarding, re-integration, conflict resolution, and assisting frontline managers with people issues.

The human resources team is an asset during team-building activities and mentorship, which is why an HR intern must adopt this necessary skill.

2. Digital Skills

As the workforce relies more on digital skills, the human resources department must understand how to handle social media platforms, data analytics, setting up online courses, conducting background checks, data entry, and managing company databases.

Social Media Platforms Management

Social media platforms are the place where an HR manager can post internship programs, check job descriptions, gather potential employees’ resumes, find market salary information, and find qualified candidates. 

Platforms such as LinkedIn and job portals have an abundance of talented candidates for various job roles. Hence, HR intern responsibilities include figuring out how to use the platforms in the most efficient way possible. 

Customer Service

Human resources interns need management and leadership abilities to perform their duties. But customer service skills play a massive contribution in resolving workplace issues. Therefore, everyone from an HR professional to an HR generalist or intern must know how to cater to customer service. 

Human resources management now focuses on finding interns with: 

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

3. Human Resource Management Expertise

HRM knowledge and expertise are essential HR skills. Previous work experience or background in human resource management, organizational psychology, and industrial management is beneficial for candidates looking to pursue their careers in HR. In addition, HRM knowledge helps understand recruitment, selection, absence procedures, and data reporting.

An HR intern must know how a recruitment process, the screening, and selection process works, and how HR administrators handle employee records. They can learn this by observing their human resources managers, specialists, and administrators. 

Human Resource Information System (HRIS)

HRIS include specialized tools which help HR organizations run their day-to-day work. These tools simplify the tasks such as onboarding, offboarding, payroll, and managing employee records. 

The payroll system helps the human resources team to process payroll data. This makes the workload lighter for the HR team. An HR intern must hold basic knowledge of HRIS to fulfill the HR intern’s requirements. 

Microsoft Office Applications

Technical skills are mandatory for an HR internship. For example, an intern with Microsoft office proficiency contributes a lot to an HR team. 

General Requirements to Become an HR Intern

Applications such as Excel, Word, and PowerPoint help in sorting, managing, and upkeeping data. These applications can help in organizing company events, updating employee absence records, gathering market salary information, updating new employee contact information of the HR staff, and updating internal databases.

Reporting Skills

HR intern role requires good reporting skills. These skills include creating, reading, and interpreting HR reports using data from different HRIS. 

HR interns with strong HR reporting skills can not just understand and interpret data, but they can also report on critical metrics, advise managers and employees, create improved policies, and make better decisions overall.

4. Administrative Skills

HR interns are supposed to provide administrative support as a significant part of their responsibility. 

Their objectives include managing tasks like the entries of employee absence, job history, leaves, paid leaves, the flow of workers, and financial records.

Administrative skills include performance evaluation, reviewing resumes, posting jobs, gathering employee information, new hire orientations, and figuring out employee benefit programs. Such skills have an in-depth explanation on YouTube and resources available on the internet. However, the responsibility of learning is with the HR intern. You can explore more and master these skills with our top-rated HR certifications. Check them out here:

Human Resources Certifications


Onboarding is the process that allows new recruits to adjust to the social and performance aspects of their new job in a quick and smooth way.

Employee turnover is expensive, and a robust onboarding process can help reduce it. A proactive and emotionally intelligent HR professional can avoid the gaps during onboarding by identifying the issues beforehand and making suitable measures to reduce tension from such situations. 

Companies prefer candidates who can bring talented employees on board to increase the chances of them settling down into their new jobs in the long run.

Scheduling Interviews and Company Events

A significant part of the HR department is scheduling interviews, figuring out company events, and planning destressing activities for the departments. 

Planning company events is a stressful task as it involves figuring out the interests of teams, deciding on a cost budget analysis, deciding on a venue, and executing a seamless event.


Another fundamental HR skill is selection and recruitment. Hunting for qualified candidates, selecting the best ones, and determining if there’s a match between the candidate and the culture of the company are important tasks in HR. 

Recruitment involves interviewing candidates. One of the main competencies of an HR intern is ensuring and learning that the recruitment and selection process is fair. Moreover, many companies also have internal targets for diversity across the workforce.

Recruitment targets involve having a diverse workforce with suitable gender, ethnic and racial ratios. Therefore, HR interns must understand the entire procedure of recruitment, starting from the application process to screening, interview, assessment, background checks, decision-making, and, presenting the job contract. 

An HR intern must understand cultural awareness and sensitivity for better recruitment policies for larger multinational companies. In addition, when you’re in touch with managers and employees in different countries, you become of intercultural differences. For example, some cultures have more frequent bonuses and promotions than others. Such cultural differences impacts how you try to hire, retain, and promote people.

5. Strategy and Execution

HR interns must exhibit a strategic mindset. Even if you are starting out, HR strategy creation is among your responsibilities, so you can understand the intent and translate that into an implementable execution plan. 

The ability to interpret a strategic plan, as well as create a strategy that supports the overarching organizational strategy, helps make more impact within your organization and strengthen HR’s role in the company. 

Teamwork and Collaboration

Teamwork is an imperative skill for the whole HR team. As an HR intern, you work together with others in human resources, as well as with all the heads within the company. Working together and aligning HR activities benefits both the organization and HR.

HR managers are focused on creating the best workplace possible, which is why an HR intern must carry collaborative skills to help in creating a cohesive work environment.

HR intern job includes knowing what they don’t know and which departments they are not aware of and working to collaborate and break the barrier. 

Performance Management

Performance management refers to how a company involves its employees in improving effectiveness toward accomplishing company goals.

Performance management tasks involve setting expectations, monitoring performance, developing capacities to perform, and performance rating. It relies on strong communication and interpersonal abilities and can help with long-term employee retention. HR interns are encouraged to master employee performance management skills to become better HR professionals.  


Here are the five major categories that you need as an HR intern. First, you must make a checklist to assess if you have what it takes to go further into the HR department.

There is a lot more to human resources job skills than being good with people. However, if you could see yourself getting into some of these aptitudes, you can have what it takes to thrive as an HR intern.

Furthermore, keep updating and refreshing your skillset as it might become outdated with time. Make sure to keep growing and upskill your HR knowledge and HRM competencies. Updating your skills will give you an edge over other HR candidates and keep you competitive within the job market.

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

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.