GUIDE 2024

20 Key HR Project Manager Skills 2024

Do you know the essential HR project manager skills? Read to learn about their skills.

Project management, from initiation and planning to executing, controlling, and closing a project, is a tough job. HR project managers are responsible for planning HR projects, assembling teams, and managing time and cost. In addition to using robust project management tools to keep everything organized, HR project managers have a range of project management skills useful to get the job done. So, what are those project management skills?

In this post, we explore the main skills every HR project manager should have, both hard and soft skills.

HR Project Manager Hard Skills

In project management, hard skills are of great importance as they are project management techniques allowing project managers to perform their job. Also called technical skills, here are the ten important project management hard skills:

Project Management Methodologies Knowledge

As an HR project manager, you must know about different project management methodologies that exist. A project management methodology consists of a set of processes used to complete large tasks. These can help structure, standardize, and manage techniques for the execution of tasks. There is no need to have expertise in all of them since they are industry-specific and need certification. You should know the project management knowledge areas and project management process groups.

Human Resource Management

People with the right skills in your project team serve as the core of your project’s success. Human resource management involves keeping your team happy and productive and ensuring there is a backup of resources every time. But, productivity and budget will have an impact if there are many people working on one project. HR project managers are also responsible for training their team members in project management approaches that appear as the best fit for their project.

Project Planning and Scheduling

Project planning is an important project management skill as the project plan serves as the foundation of the project management cycle. It involves project schedules, resources, and costs. This skill to master is planning to the extent that you are always ahead and know what comes next. The project scheduling process is also crucial while writing the project plan. An HR project manager uses a schedule to organize tasks, teams, and time to complete a project. Project scheduling involves scheduling deadlines and deliverables, as well as resource and risk management.

Risk Management

Risk management is a major part of any project management approach, human resources in particular. Project managers identify potential risks during a project lifecycle that may have a negative impact on the project. They must have the ability to create an effective backup plan with efficient reporting, and the response process is an important aspect of project management within organizations. Before project execution, it is important to create a risk management plan to identify, assess, and control risk. Project managers must have the experience and ability to pinpoint anything going wrong and implement a risk mitigation strategy.

Task Management

By tasks, we mean little jobs that make up the execution stage of project management. We need to create, organize, assign to team members, and track these tasks to make sure they meet the project constraints. This is possible with task management. Project management software helps you with handling tasks and fostering collaboration among your project team. Forming lists, using text editors, and building spreadsheets are all forms of task management. Great task management can increase productivity, control errors, and keep everyone updated, so it is up to the HR project manager to use the best task management approach for the situation.

Time Management

Time is such an irreplaceable resource, and as an HR project manager, you will need to develop processes that ensure project completion on time. Project managers must have the ability to create a project timeline and maintain those deadlines throughout the project lifecycle. You must have a good grip on how much you spend on particular activities to increase productivity and effectiveness. 

Time management also involves setting priorities, which is important in project management and scheduling. Project supervision and time management skills play a vital part, and the trick is to start the right processes and introduce appropriate systems to provide the best results for the project.

Team Management

Teamwork is among the important HR skills that are important. Working together helps spark innovation, grow specialized skills, improve productivity, and take worthwhile risks. As an HR project manager, you must work with your coworkers to delegate responsibilities, handle conflicts, assess performances, and guide team members to help them improve their skills. Also, project managers must make sure that everything runs in a smooth manner inside the team. They also need to coordinate team members to ensure the completion of work on time and within budget.

Cost Management

Cost management is an important skill for human resources project managers since accurate cost estimation is the basic component for the successful completion of projects. The main goal of cost management is to control and monitor the cost with the right accounting during the lifecycle and the use of resources in a cost-effective way. It also helps with checking on project costs and ensures the project net spend doesn’t increase the allocated budget at any time.

Tool Mastering

A project manager can do limited work with their own two hands. Therefore, it is important for them to have a toolkit of application backing them up. Project management tools are available for every task, work style, team structure, and department need. These tools are useful in relieving an administrative workload burden. From shared online calendars to visual resource planning applications, HR project managers must know how to use these applications. 

Technical Skills

The number of technical skills human resources project managers has can elevate them from an average to a professional at speed. Having basic design skills or the ability to read or develop code at all are valuable hard skills as they are tangible. For a project manager, it is important to have at least two unique and intersecting skills. This way, you stand out as a niche expert that people who need your skills can’t do without.

HR Project Manager Soft Skills

Soft skills are those that people develop in a natural way. However, you can improve some of these through practice. Following are the ten main project management soft skills:

Communication Skills

According to a paper from the Project Management Institute, project managers spend 90% of their time communicating. This puts good communication, both verbal and nonverbal, essential for the success of projects. You must communicate clear instructions and descriptions across digital channels with great effectiveness. It allows you to establish business objectives, create plans, negotiate, and implement strategies. 

Plus, open and clear communication builds a bridge between teams, stakeholders, clients, and contractors. It keeps all people on the same page and well-informed. Also, frequent communication with clients can help when deciding on project budgets, future steps, and potential risks. You must know the communication strategies and improve on current communication modes by keeping yourself updated about recent technologies.


To make sure your projects and initiatives are a success, it is important to have many other skills than just organizational knowledge and HR skills. Having the ability to manage conflicting ideas and priorities across stakeholder groups and navigating this difficulty will help you avoid potential project issues and get the information and support required for a successful project. Effective HR project managers also respect their teammates’ time, so it is important to have the ability to read the body language of people in the room to ensure that you are staying on course.


It is important for effective project managers to know about all the work that their teams do. Having knowledge about the platforms and systems your teams use and the possibilities and limitations of those helps you make intelligent conversations with teams, clients, stakeholders, and vendors. Research skills give the ability to find an answer to a question or solution to a problem. Also, these skills allow the project manager to fill any gaps in knowledge that may allow them to finish multiple projects in an efficient manner.

Leadership Skills

Strong leadership skills are essential for project managers. A human resources project manager working as a leader will lead and manage teams, which involves setting the vision, motivating the team, and making the lives of team members better by coaching them. Using these skills, project managers can oversee and coordinate tasks while providing a vision and a roadmap for success. Leadership covers a number of aspects, such as providing the HR team with the resources they need to achieve the goals and taking complete responsibility for their team, and delivering within budget and time.

Organizational Skills

Organizational skills involve bringing order to chaos, sorting everything out, and staying on top of everything. This skill is important to allow project managers to work in an organized and efficient way. Project managers must have excellent organizational skills to ensure all HR processes run in a smooth manner and in line with common objectives. This includes the ability to multitask, as well as prioritizing tasks, categorizing projects, and documenting everything for easy access and future reference.

Interpersonal Skills

Self-confidence, relationship management, and collaboration skills are part of interpersonal skills. All these skills allow the team to work together and complete the project in a productive and efficient manner. Self-confidence improves the confidence of a team as a whole, increasing morale and allowing for better performance. Relationship management skills are also important since they enable human resources project managers to develop and promote connections with team members and clients.


HR project managers are a coach in a way that they must bring out the best in their team and product. Coaching helps with focusing on a person’s individual requirements and talents, drawing out their potential. This involves offering positive feedback, identifying room for growth, considering concerns, and allowing mistakes. 

Project managers can develop coaching skills on the job or during external coaching training. Coaching skills help project managers when it comes to one-on-one or group sessions to circulate information or train others. It is helpful in training and development situations, in addition to onboarding, re-integration, conflict resolution, and assisting frontline managers with people’s problems.

Negotiation Skills

When it comes to project management, negotiation is an essential skill for conflict resolution and stakeholder management. For instance, you get demands from stakeholders that can have an effect on the project scope. You need to give them pushback but in a tactful manner so that all project stakeholders feel they are getting what they want. It is important for a human resources project manager to negotiate with third-party vendors, clients, and other stakeholders. They must also employ negotiation skills when working with their team also to bring everyone in line with strategic objectives.

Critical Thinking

The critical intellect is in direct correlation with appropriate and responsible decision-making. So, a project manager must act with attention to detail and assess all the project details to streamline business processes and set the intended actions for the given project. It is imperative that project managers promote inclusiveness in decision-making. 

Also, critical thinking is an essential skill for those in leadership and managerial positions since it impacts their ability in terms of intellect and team management. When you lead a team, you need to give team members a strong sense of unity and belonging, which is possible if you have distinguishable critical thinking skills.


Creativity is the base of great problem-solving abilities. Human resources project managers must contain these capabilities as it becomes important for future success. Having a strong creative intellect, you can deal with project complexities in an impressive manner. Also, you will have to overcome team management challenges apart from project complications. This shows why companies prioritize project management candidates that show creative intellect.


Now, you have a concise overview of the 20 most important HR project management skills. It is important for you to improve your skills to stay at the top of your performance. This will equip you to lead your company’s HR department and company to excellence.

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.