6 Qualities that Make a Good Human Resources Professional


Human resource management is an integral part of any well run business according to The Balance,  amongst other sources. Having a dedicated HR department helps bring out the best in employees and substantially raises workplace efficiency. It also allows managers as well as senior executives the space to focus on other business functions.

Businesses that have strong HR departments enjoy lower liability and considerably more streamlined business practices, starting with hiring protocols, on-boarding, training, safety training, all the way through termination.

How important is it?

Human Resources should ideally be the hub of any well-run organization.

A recent article in Forbes emphasizes this point  particularly well,  stating that companies and businesses are finally realizing the true value of dedicated HR professionals. They also elaborate on current organizational needs from their HR departments and how a dedicated HR management team  adds  tremendous value to a business.

Moving Forward

As is abundantly clear, human resource management today is central to running a successful business more than ever before.  With rapidly evolving legislation which companies need to stay abreast of, to workplace issues that smart companies need to stay ahead of, it is prudent to have a department dedicated to keeping a company in compliance with regulations and making sure that its workforce is cognizant of being an inclusive,  pleasant, safe place to work for all concerned.

Bearing this in mind, what should you look for when hiring people to fill such critical roles within your company?

While there are many factors that make a good HR professional, we have focused on the six essential factors that we feel are most essential. Here they are:

Training, Education and Experience

The first thing we take into account when conducting a search for an HR professional, is how well trained and educated an HR applicant is. The presence of specific degrees, industry training and experiential credentials is always a great place to start.

The presence of applicable  experience in a similar workplace environment,  and an education in a related field  means that your HR applicant is likely adept and knowledgeable at least in theory! Next we want to look for hands- on experience. Nothing beats someone that has worked in the trenches and has had real life experience dealing with the myriad of issues that todays HR professionals deal with. Conducting behavioral based interviews and asking HR candidates to share how they would react in specific situations is a terrific barometer in gauging how someone would fit into your company’s corporate culture.

Organization & Flexibility

Given all the managing and multitasking required from an HR professional,  organizational skills are crucial. These include scheduling, time management and strict adherence to deadlines and commitment.

That being said, a degree of flexibility is also needed in order to accommodate things that might occur unexpectedly and warrant attention. Because the fact is, above all else, Human Resource professionals are in fact dealing with humans.


People Skills and Care

Being able to communicate and understand other people is another imperative skill that potential HR professionals need to possess. HR work involves among other things a lot of hearing people out. This means they need to be active listeners.

Untold issues can be averted for companies when they have a solid HR team that has an open door policy, that actively encourages their employees to come to them with concerns. Being able to address issues before they turn into bigger problems may well be one of the biggest gifts that an HR department can give to management.

It also involves communicating things that at times others might not be ready to hear. A good HR professional for this very reason requires a good understanding of people as well as how to appropriately communicate in a compassionate way.

Being able to ACTIVELY LISTEN with compassion and without judgement is a skill that hiring managers would be smart to look for when hiring for HR roles and cannot be emphasized enough.


While compassion and people skills are extremely important, HR professionals need to maintain a degree of neutrality. This is critically important as there undoubtedly will be times when an employee’s personal grievances may be damaging to the business or the function that the employee in question manages.

At times like these, HR professionals may be required to issue disciplinary notices or even handle terminations. To do this in a fair and equitable manner, true human resources professionals will show signs of favoring neither the employee nor the company but remain clearly neutral.

Basic  Legal Knowledge

Though HR professionals do not need to be officially qualified in the area of employment law, it is critically important to have a good sense of the legalities that surrounds business as well as the  professionals working there.    Staying abreast of the rapidly changing laws that are occurring in the workplace today  is essential for any human resource professional.


Communication and Team Playing

One of the key skills a competent HR professional must have is strong communication skills. These are needed both to connect with employees as well as to communicate requests and needs to executives and upper management.

HR professionals also need to see themselves as an integral part of the company and have the ability to work closely with directors and upper management to set policies and trends.


Human Resource Management is no longer a backroom function. Smart organizations empower their HR department with the tools they need to be a fully functioning department that operates as the hub of the company and is a fundamental part of all aspects of running the business.

Staffing your Human Resources department is critically important, for these professionals are what will keep your company in line with best practices, and who will initiate protocols that should ideally touch every aspect of your business.

If you’re having trouble finding the right candidates to fill your HR openings, ISC can help!

Our HR headhunting and recruitment services are geared to provide you only the most outstanding HR candidate for your organization.

Since 1999, ISC  has been providing highly skilled Human Resource professionals to our Clients for key roles across the country. We strategically target highly skilled Human Resource professionals with the  relevant skills and experience desired by our  clients, ensuring referral of only the most ideally suited candidates for interviews and placement.

Please call us today if you have openings on your Human Resources tam, that could benefit from having a solid pool of highly skilled HR professionals to choose from.

We would love to hear from you!

Carolyn McClendon is a seasoned executive recruitment professional, with over 30 years of experience in placing executives. You can reach Carolyn directly at 888-974-0086 or via email at