Essential VP of HR Skills 2024

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A VP of HR looks after the human resources department and manages the work overflows.

The vice president of human resources works with the company’s HR director and other departments’ VPs for employee retention and developing effective organizational infrastructure. They look after the ongoing HR operations in an HR department and report the results to CEOs, business investors, and HR executives.

This article provides insights into the essential skills and sub-skills required for a VP of the HR department.

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Fundamental VP of HR Skills

Here are the fundamental skills needed for the role:

1. Organizational Skills

A VP of HR must exhibit exceptional organizational skills. Organizational skills involve the on-time completion of operations inside an organization with good human resources management skills.

As a company’s human resources department is under the control of a vice president of HR, they ensure the performance of operations in a prompt manner. Organizational skills are classified into these below-mentioned skills for a VP of human resources:

  • Time Management. Time management is one of the most crucial achievements, which results in the on-time completion of departmental objectives and thus business goals. A VP of HR ensures and looks after the recruitment operations, onboarding operations, HR expenses, operations, and employee payroll at the targeted time. Thus, time management is a fundamental organizational skill a vice president of HR must exhibit.
  • Calendar Management. Calendar management is the list of goals one department focuses on in a specific month. On-time completion of these goals results in good calendar/timetable management. Thus, a VP of HR navigates how a process performs over time and presents specific strategies to complete the tasks in the targeted period for seamless calendar management of goals.
  • Record Management. Record management is a business administration record-storing process that a VP of HR is responsible to supervise. A VP of human resources ensures the on-time completion of receipts maintenance of employee records, talent management, and disposal of records when the need arises.

HR department stores this precious record of employees for the organization in a targeted time. Thus, record management is another crucial organizational skill a vice president of HR must exhibit.

2. Analytical Skills

A VP of HR must hold command over a data-driven approach to managing employees, dealing with work performance management, tackling risks, and talent acquisition for effective business development.

VP of HR ResponsibilitiesHere are a few analytical skills a vice president of human resources must exhibit:

  • Business Development. A VP of HR contributes to business and employee development by hiring employees and training them as per business customs. Organizational development results when the VP builds company culture and values in an employee. In addition to that, a vice president of HR maintains good employee relations for effective organizational development.
  • Employee Performance Review. Employee performance management is a skill a VP of HR must exhibit to evaluate the employee’s performance management, and offer feedback. With good analytical skills, they evaluate one’s weaknesses and strengths, analyze the performance and business metrics and generate a report to present to a chief human resources officer, HR executive, and stakeholders. A VP of human resources, being the most skillful and experienced person, evaluates the productivity of the HR team and other employees to analyze how well a department is performing.
  • Risk Management. An experienced vice president of HR analyzes the risks employees can pose to the organization. On top of that, HR VPs must anticipate the incoming hurdles and risks, and this is possible if a VP carries good analytical and anticipation skills. In addition to that, they anticipate risks with a strategic approach. Risks arise through improper employee management, so good organizational skills are prerequisites for good analytical skills to analyze the business metrics for the development of effective strategic planning.

3. Problem-Solving Skills

An HR department is prone to risks and problems as managing the whole employee record is among their duties. Issues arise sometimes with the record or with the employee’s sentiments. So, the VP of HR must exhibit problem-solving skills to tackle any issue that arises in an HR department. Here are a few problem-solving skills you must exhibit as an HR VP:

  • Conflict Resolution. An HR VP sometimes acts as a mediator for conflict resolution between the employer and employee to ensure that the employer does not violate the employee’s rights. Even though such situations are unproductive, and affect the work environment, in real work life, such conflicts arise from time to time. Thus, these are an HR VP’s elementary human resources responsibilities to serve as a mediator for conflict resolution and thus avoid problems in the workspace.
  • Employee Frustration. Employee frustration is a productivity-killing situation that arises due to poor workload management, and problems in the team and environment. It is necessary to avoid employee frustration because otherwise it leads to the downfall and affects productivity. Thus, when a vice president of HR analyzes and recognizes such issues that disturb the environment, it is their duty to come up with a solution such as a recreational activity, tour, equal employment opportunity, and offering employee benefits programs, to avoid frustration.
  • Talent Acquisition Strategies. Hiring the right talent is a challenging task for a human resources manager. In talent recruitment campaigns, an HR VP comes up with brilliant ideas and strategies to overcome the challenges of workforce planning. Thus, an HR VP must have good problem-solving skills to avoid such problematic scenarios that hinder the work’s progress.

4. Interpersonal Skills

VPS must establish a good working environment and effective employee engagement in an organization. They acquire these targets with good interpersonal skills. Being seniors, it is their responsibility to develop good employee relations with empathy and exceptional communication skills. Here are a few core interpersonal skills a VP of human resources must exhibit for employee satisfaction:

  • Empathy. When it comes to HR executives’ roles like vice president of HR, empathy means going above and beyond the interactions with the employees. In such situations, empathy means empowering the employees by fostering the relationships and interactions between the team lead, employer, and employees. Thus, good employee and labor relations come from the empathetic behavior of a VP of HR.
  • Communication. Good verbal and non-verbal communication skills yield a better work environment and good employee and labor relations. Thus, a VP of human resources must communicate with the employees and HR management teams for effective tasking and to ensure productive outcomes.
  • Negotiation. Negotiation skills lead to good employee relations. Negotiation skills from the perspective of the vice president of HR mean addressing the conflict between the employees and HR managers. Elaborating further, employees believe HR managers must advocate for workers and employees, while human resources managers believe they must present their point of view and not advocate for any employee. Thus, a VP of HR must exhibit good negotiation skills and should drive collective bargaining agreements to satisfy both parties.

Hence, a VP of HR with good interpersonal skills carves a pavement for effective teamwork, good labor relations, and thus a better working environment.

Learn more about VP of HR skills and master them with our advanced HR certifications:

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5. Leadership Skills

Leadership skills are mandatory for a vice president’s role in an entire HR department. Good leadership skills are fundamental for a VP of HR since they lead the whole HR department. Leadership skills build the power of authority, which is again necessary to control the employee and workflow. Here are some specific strategic leadership skills a VP of HR must exhibit:

  • Oversight. Oversight means looking after the employees to see how perform their duties. For the VP of HR, oversight is a skill as well as a general duty to ensure the smoothness of work and HR operations. With oversight skills, HR VPs regulate the employee’s behavior toward their duties. A VP of HR must ensure that employees work to complete their tasks.
  • Supervising. The goals for VP of HR post include supervising the employees who work under their supervision. They guard and teach them the tactics and brief them about the business strategies. However, they supervise with a voice of authority which is achieved with good leadership skills.
  • Helping. Apart from maintaining the power of authority, the VP of human resources helps the employees where they struggle. In addition to that, helping results in outcomes according to expectations, thus a VP of HR must exhibit the potential to serve as a leader as well as an employee helper.

Good leadership skills maintain business authority and voice, and at the same time develop a productive work environment.

6. Technical Skills

For a VP of HR, it is fundamental to develop good technical skills, such as awareness of how HR operations, operational effectiveness, and recruitment processes take place. HR is not all about recruitment, but payrolling, policy development, financial reporting, and onboarding/offboarding relevant technical duties.

Although a VP of HR is not the actual practitioner like a general HR assistant who works for talent acquisition. Instead, they develop the projects, optimize the laws, and develop the company policies for talent acquisition. As a VP of HR, you must have a sound knowledge of:

  • HR Laws. A VP of HR must exhibit a good grip on federal and state laws and recruitment rules so they can address them to their workers. Based on experience, the VP of HR develops HR laws based on talent acquisition and employee work circumstances with the help of the HR president. Hence, the VP of human resources must have good technical skills in human resources employment law development.
  • Policy Development. Policy development is a technical task and a must-have skill for a VP of HR. As the HR VP is the person most prone to know the issues and problems that arise in HR or in the organization, it is their duty to design policies based on these issues to avoid them in the future. So, a sound knowledge of policy development, legal regulations, and law enforcement is also a crucial skill a VP of HR must exhibit.

7. Digital Skills

The VP of human resources is a senior HR executive role, so they must exhibit excellent digital skills. Digital skills involved in a VP of HR’s role means leveraging cloud technologies, using virtual recruitment tools, familiarity with human resource management systems, information, talent management systems, and HR job description template creation tools. Here’s an insight into the digital skills required for a VP of human resources:

  • HRM System. A VP of HR must exhibit proficiency in using HRM software and integration tools for talent acquisition. A VP of human resources must have a sound understanding of how a human resources management system works. This way, the calendar, task, and time management becomes achievable for employees through the use of the right HRM system tools. An HRM software includes a collaborative feature, multiple workers work together in real-time on this software, thus a VP of HR oversees how a process takes place, and how well a strategic direction performs.
  • HRIS. HRIS stands for the human resource information system. This digital system allows the integration of custom human resources applications and tools, for record management and talent acquisition. This information system also includes features that enable all workers to view the business goals behind their day-to-day duties. So, the VP of human resources must hold excellent command over digital information management tools to oversee the ongoing work and ensure the effective working of the human resources department.

Thus, good technical skills are a fundamental requirement to become a VP of human resources, so make sure you develop a sound grip on digital and technical skills.

HR executives, VPs, and HR professionals must hold knowledge of HR job description template creation tools, as these tools ease the HR functions, and at the same time enhance business growth.


The above article provides a detailed insight into the skills of a VP of human resources. If you want to progress in your career to target higher roles, start practicing these skills today to enhance your knowledge about HR functions and secure the VP of HR job.

Once you master these skills, start hunting for the right VP of HR role depending on your experience. If you are already a VP of HR, work on upskilling your knowledge to aim for a president role.

If you are new to human resources and are looking to break into a VP of HR 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 VP of HR resume, and create a successful job search strategy that lands you a sought-after VP of HR 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.