Essential HR Specialist Skills 2024

Looking to know about HR specialist skills? Here are all those skills you need to become an expert HR specialist.

Human resource specialists are HR professionals with specializations in HR skills. They contribute meaningful insights to the human resources field as they oversee the administrative duties that range from recruiting to onboarding, planning environment-healthy strategies to implementing them, and much more.

This article covers a detailed guide on crucial HR specialist competencies and skills that you can look up to increase your knowledge and master them to excel in your career.

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What are Essential HR Specialist Skills?

Here are the fundamental skills you need to become an HR specialist:

1. Management Skills

HR specialists must exhibit good human resources management skills as they are responsible to perform a majority of HR tasks that they have to accomplish over a certain period. Human resource management skills are also crucial to ensure productivity in the HR workspace and the growth of the human resource department. Here are insights into what HR management skills a human resources specialist must exhibit:

Project Management

As human resources specialists are responsible for tasks like managing job applicants, managing HR employees, and ensuring on-time completion of tasks, they must hold good project management skills.

Steps to become an HR Specialist

Project management is defined as the implementation of a certain process through a specialist’s skills so one can manage to acquire the objectives. This skill is mandatory for HR specialists so they can handle and manage all assigned projects like an expert in the field.

Time Management

HR specialists often deal with multiple projects at a time. Also, a human resource department is a backbone of an organization, they must carry out all projects, processes, and campaigns on time to ensure smooth business continuity. Thus, human resources specialists must exhibit good time management and priority skills so they know which projects to complete first, and which ones to delay based on the objectives and final goals.

2. Technical Skills

As an HR specialist’s role is technical, they must exhibit technical HR skills and competencies. Technical HR skills include performance management, employee relations, and dealing with HR strategies. Here are insights into what technical skills an HR specialist must exhibit:

Technical Aptitude

Technical aptitude means familiarity with the technical processes and having a sound grip on HR disciplines. Although it is not mentioned in the job descriptions, technical aptitude is one of the most basic and mandatory requirements for an HR specialist’s job. An HR specialist must understand how all human resources processes and operations take place, and how their specialization can benefit those human resources functions. Having good technical aptitude makes a person more tech-savvy, hence they can think with more of a technical strategical mindset.

Performance Management

Performance management is defined as the ability to analyze the performance of teams and drive results along with strategies to improve performance according to human resource requirements and business goals. HR specialists are responsible for conducting and analyzing performance reviews, thus they must hold strong employee performance management skills.

Employee Relations

HR specialists are responsible for enhancing employee and labor relations. They work on enhancing the organization’s employee relations and building better workspaces. Better and healthier workspaces increase productivity.

Moreover, HR specialists must know to develop revolutionary strategies that benefit the human resource department and business in the long run and also comply with employment laws.

If you’re looking to specialize in HR skills, then don’t forget to check our top-rated HR certification courses to excel in your career:

Human Resources Certifications

3. Recruitment Skills

HR recruitment is the most fundamental responsibility of the HR department. HR specialists must possess skills to screen job applications, interview candidates, and onboard new employees after selection. Here are insights into HR recruitment skills and knowledge you must possess as a human resource specialist:


Job application screening demands keen eyes so you don’t miss out on any talented candidate who can be a perfect fit for your needs. Applicant screening is a fundamental duty of HR specialists, hence they must hold excellent screening and recruitment knowledge to filter out the right talent.


After the job applications are screened, filtered candidates are called out for interviews. HR specialists conduct interviews to test the candidate’s skills, knowledge, and technical expertise. The skill is important for them to screen the candidates and see if they exhibit the right aptitude as per the organization’s needs.


Human resources specialists onboard the employees, and manage their documents for record purposes. Onboarding demands a sound knowledge of how employees’ onboarding, legal practices in the onboarding process, and looking after HR technical processes associated with the onboarding process.

4. Digital Skills

HR specialists must hold a grip on technical HR tools so they can bring even better results to the department. Here are insights into a few digital tools an HR specialist must know:


HRIS stands for human resources information system. All digital organizations use an HRIS tool to store their human resources information in a single system. HR specialists operate HRIS systems and analyze the employee data to contribute towards enhancing the productivity of the department. Therefore, they must hold sound knowledge of HR information systems to fulfill their responsibilities.

HR Payrolling System

Payrolling systems are digital systems, tools, and software that hold financial employee records such as salaries, bonuses, and increments for the employees of the organization. The HR department is responsible to handle all payroll duties, HR specialists must know how to handle these systems to do payroll on time and record employees’ financial and salary data.

Applicant Tracking Systems

The applicant tracking systems track the employee’s progress, leaves and absences, performances, job applications, employment status, and the progress of a recruitment process. All HR specialists must know how these tracking systems work, and how to analyze data from these tracking systems for their personal use.

5. Customer Service Skills

HR specialist positions demand excellent customer service skills. Good customer skills not just include handling business customers, but also include conflict resolution and ensuring a healthy, safe and satisfactory work environment.

An HR specialist work on the resolution of conflicts and distortion between employees. Good customer skills allow them to resolve these issues with legal compliance. A business never sells for free and customers have to pay to get what they want. The same is the case with HR specialists. For example, if employees do not agree with their pay, HR specialists work in a way to satisfy employee needs and then make them fulfill their duties keeping in view the organization’s goals and budget limits.HR Specialist Responsibilities

In general, an HR specialist holds a bachelor’s degree in human resources or business administration. The role demands a good understanding of customer service areas like employee benefits packages, labor legislation, and their compliance with state and federal laws.

6. Communication Skills

It is mandatory for human resource specialists too to depict excellent communication skills. Good communication skills lead to effective discussions with HR teammates and thus better targeting of departmental and business goals. Here are details on communication competencies an HR specialist must exhibit to carry out their tasks:

Verbal Communication

Verbal communication means interacting and discussing with employees face-to-face. Live business meetings are a form of verbal communication.  HR Specialist role is a collaborative role, and they often communicate with HR managers, hiring managers and directors, business partners, and customers for effective tasking and fulfilling their duties. Hence, they must hold excellent verbal skills to drive effective discussions to fulfill their job responsibilities and target business objectives.

Written Communication

Written communications mean interacting and discussing with HR teams and other employees through digital means such as email, messages, letters, and memos. As an HR specialist’s role is highly collaborative, they must hold excellent written communication skills to fulfill their duties.


Above we have provided the list of skills an HR specialist must exhibit to perform in a productive way. Continue upskilling your knowledge to stay up-to-date with advanced HR skills to comply with industry standards.

If you are new to Human Resources and are looking to break into an HR role, 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 specialist resume, and create a successful job search strategy.

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.