Essential HR Intern Skills 2022

Are you looking for highly regarded HR skills to land a great internship? We are here to inform you about the most demanded skills to assist you with your search.

A human resources internship is a highly sought and entry-level position. The HR department teaches interns about recruitment, administrative support, people management, and all the ongoing responsibilities within the HR department.

If you think you are interested in understanding recruitment patterns, job postings, labor laws, and keeping employees satisfied, you are at the right place.

This article is a guide on what are the skills you must have to complete the hr intern requirements:

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 a lot of importance, soft skills remain just as important for human resources. This is mainly because the HR department is a bridge between all departments. They represent the employee and the employer.

An HR intern needs to have 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 have excellent content skills.

Communication is not limited to speaking. Instead, it includes listening and empathizing as well. It is the ability to efficiently understand others’ perspectives. This is a crucial skill for any business culture. When an hr intern displays such skills, there is a sure shot of them transitioning into a full-time job.

Employee relations

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

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

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


The human resources department needs to be comprehensive and attentive to details. Therefore, HR interns need to look after multiple information of the department, which includes checking employee personnel files, looking after job boards, filing HR documents, looking into HR policies, and creating job alerts. Such multi-tasking requires precision and focus. 

HR Intern Responsibilities

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


One of the critical HR skills is being a great mentor. Human resources interns need to understand how to be credible and trustworthy advisors to diverse stakeholders. To be an effective leader, you need to be able to effectively advise employees and managers on personnel issues.

Mentoring skills are consistently helpful when it comes to individual or group sessions, as it helps to 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 proves to be an asset during team building activities and mentorship, which is why an HR intern needs to adopt this necessary skill.

2. Digital Skills

The entire world is going towards the digitalization of their work. Similarly, the human resources department needs to be well-versed in handling social media platforms, data analytics, online courses, background checks, data entry, and company databases digitally.

Social media platforms management

Social media platforms are the only 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 job candidates for any role, for example, an hr intern job. Hence, HR intern responsibilities include being tech-savvy and figuring out how to utilize the platforms in the most efficient way possible. 

Customer service

Human resources interns need plenty of management and leadership ability to do their jobs. But customer service skills play a massive contribution in resolving workplace issues. 

HR managers spend lots of time in conflict situations and need to learn how to resolve these matters instead of just being people pleasers. So, everyone from an hr professional to an hr generalist or intern needs to 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. 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 employee records are established. They can learn this by observing their human resources manager. However, educational background plays a huge part in assisting them.

Human resource information system (HRIS)

HRIS include specialized tools which help HR organizations run smoothly for their day-to-day work. While some might vary, most of them assist in helping out by bringing forth electronic processes to limit the paper trail.

The payroll system helps the human resources team to process payroll data electronically. This makes the workload lighter for HR professionals. This is why an hr intern job consists of learning about data analysis, project management tools, and other various software proficiencies.

Microsoft Office applications

Technical skills are a must for any internship, whether it be human resources or accounting. For example, an intern with Microsoft office proficiency will only contribute positively 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

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

HR interns with strong HR reporting skills are not only able to understand and interpret data, but they are also able to effectively 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. 

Administrative duties in the role of a human resource include tasks like the entries of employee’s 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 are readily available on YouTube and various other resources available on the internet. However, the responsibility of learning is with the HR intern.

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

Human Resources Certifications


Employee turnover is expensive, and a robust onboarding process can help reduce it. Suppose you are proactive and have emotional intelligence. In that case, you can avoid the gaps during onboarding by timely identifying the issues beforehand and making suitable measures to reduce tension from such situations.

Onboarding is the process that allows new recruits to adjust to the social and performance aspects of their new job quickly and smoothly. 

Companies are looking to recruit HR interns who can bring new employees on board to increase the chances of them settling down happily and successfully 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 what everyone in the team will be interested in, deciding on a cost budget analysis, deciding on a venue, and executing a seamless event.


Another frequently mentioned HR skill involves selection and recruitment. 

Sifting for qualified candidates, selecting the best ones, and determining if there’s a match between the candidate and the culture of the company as well as the manager is an important task in HR. 

A huge part of recruitment is interviewing candidates. Therefore, one of the competencies of an HR manager is ensuring 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 need to understand the entire procedure of recruitment, starting from the application process to screening, interview, assessment, background checks, decision making, and lastly, presenting the job contract. 

An hr intern needs to 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 need to be aware 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.

Using an inaccurate communication style can result in your message not being perceived as necessary or offend people from less straightforward cultures, which can affect the overall retention and reputation of a workplace. All of these responsibilities fall under the human resources department.

5. Strategy and Execution

HR interns need to adopt a strategic mindset. 

Even if you are starting out, HR strategy creation is among your responsibilities, and you need to be able to 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 to make more impact within your organization and strengthen HR’s role in the company. 

Teamwork and collaboration

Teamwork is an imperative skill for a human resources department. As an HR intern, you’re expected to 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 needs to be collaborative and become a team member who believes in creating a cohesive work environment.

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

Performance Management

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

Performance management tasks fall under the umbrella of setting expectations, monitoring performance, developing capacities to perform, and lastly, performance rating. 

Performance management relies heavily on strong communication and interpersonal abilities and can help with long-term employee retention.

An hr intern can learn such a skill by being adaptable, open, tolerant, and versatile.


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 might have what it takes to thrive as an hr intern.

Furthermore, keep updating and refreshing your skillset as it might become outdated with time. So, 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.