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We Share 10 Skills Every HR Manager Should Have in Their Toolbox

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So, you’ve taken on the mantle of an HR manager? Congratulations! You’re now the unsung hero of the workplace, the go-to person for everything from hiring the perfect candidate to resolving office drama—seriously, who keeps taking my sandwiches?!

It’s a job that requires the agility of an acrobat, the wisdom of an ITV Chaser, and the patience of a George R. R. Martin fan. But don’t worry—with the right skills in your toolkit, you can navigate these situations with ease.

Consider this Thankbox article your ultimate HR cheat sheet. We’re diving into the ten essential skills every HR manager needs to survive and thrive! Ready to become a leader who can handle any situation with a smile? Let’s get started!

What are the HR manager’s duties?

Before we tackle skills, what does an HR manager actually do? You might start your day interviewing a promising applicant, shift to improving employee retention rates, and top it off with drafting a new company policy on remote work.

You’re also going to manage training programmes, ensure labour laws and compliance, tackle benefits and payroll, come up with engaging icebreaker questions, and plan team-building activities (yes, even those awkward “trust falls” we all love).

Happy females wearing glasses

In short, if it involves people, paperwork, or policies, there’s a good chance it’s on your to-do list. And let’s not forget, your main job is to keep the HR department running smoothly—and to keep a cool head when difficult situations arise.

Star icon Supercharge Your HR Toolkit With Thankbox

Unlock the full potential of your HR skills with Thankbox! Celebrate your team’s milestones and encourage a culture of appreciation and inclusivity. Start now and see how easy it is to make every employee feel super valued.

What top 10 skills do HR leaders need?

1. Talk the talk

Let’s kick things off with the bedrock of all skills—communication. For HR managers, stellar communication skills are non-negotiable. Whether onboarding a new staff member or emailing the CEO about the latest recruitment drive, your words need to pack a punch.

Verbal communication is all about clarity, whereas written communication is like putting together a perfect puzzle. Your words should be engaging, professional, and typo-free. Check out our article on building rapport with your colleagues to gain more insights.

2. HR referee

Ah, the fine art of playing referee. Conflict resolution is where you really earn your stripes as an HR manager. 

Mediation techniques are your trusty toolkit here. Do you have two team members at each other’s throats over the thermostat? It’s time to step in and cool things down, figuratively and literally. Active listening is another secret weapon. Sometimes, people just want to be heard. 

3. Organisational acumen

Paper with graphs and charts

As an HR professional, you’re the go-between for employees, department heads, and CEOs while juggling multiple tasks requiring contributions from different people. It’s no wonder why organisational skills are a must!

To stay on top of everything, leverage time management and organisational tools like project management software (Trello, Asana), document management systems (Google Drive, Dropbox), and calendar apps (Google Calendar, Outlook). The goal is to retrieve documents quickly and safely.

4. Confidentiality

Speaking of safety, HR teams handle sensitive information like employee records, partner contracts, and employee disputes daily. Managing this data with discretion and sensitivity goes a long way in building trust and maintaining reliability.

As an HR professional, you must make your coworkers feel secure in sharing complaints or disagreements without fear of repercussions. This encourages a positive company culture and establishes trust in your organisation.

Star icon Supercharge Your HR Toolkit With Thankbox

Unlock the full potential of your HR skills with Thankbox! Celebrate your team’s milestones and encourage a culture of appreciation and inclusivity. Start now and see how easy it is to make every employee feel super valued.

5. Middle ground maestro

When it comes to salary negotiations, you need to strike a balance between budget constraints and employee satisfaction. Conflict negotiations are all about finding that perfect middle ground where everyone feels like they’ve won.


Here are some other negotiation situations:

  • An employee requests flexible work arrangements or remote work options.

  • A new hire tries to negotiate a higher starting salary.

  • An employee seeks career development opportunities that are not immediately available.

  • An employee disputes a disciplinary action or performance review.

6. Technological savvy

Being technology-literate is a given today. HR managers must be IT proficient in HR software, digital records, and staying up-to-date with the latest tech trends. It’s all about working smarter, not harder. 

Think of yourself as a tech wizard, using your skills to streamline processes, create a happier workplace, and improve efficiency.

7. Legal knowledge

Navigating the legal landscape of HR is like tiptoeing through a minefield. One wrong step, and everything can blow up. Having a solid grounding in employment law, regulations, and compliance keeps the company safe and sound.

Multiethnic businesswomen discussing payments

Compliance guarantees that you’re following the letter and spirit of the law. From understanding labour rights to keeping up with the latest legislation, your legal knowledge keeps the organisation from legal pitfalls.

8. Practise diversity and inclusion

In 2024, promoting diversity and inclusion is a key focus for HR managers. Actively encouraging a diverse workforce and creating an inclusive culture where every employee feels valued and can thrive is essential. 

HR managers must be adept at implementing diversity and inclusion programmes, training sessions, and policies that meet legal requirements and mirror the global marketplace. 

Want to make your diversity and inclusion efforts truly shine? Look no further than Thankbox

Our online group greeting cards allow you and your team to contribute personalised messages, GIFs, photos, and videos, making celebrations like birthdays and work anniversaries meaningful, inclusive, and unique.

Thankbox work anniversary sample page

Setting up a Thankbox is quick and easy—we’re talking minutes! Simply invite your team with a single link. Then send it or schedule it when you’re ready. Recipients can reply, download, and even share it! It’s a gift that lasts forever. We also offer digital gift cards and flower delivery to make it extra special.

9. Recruitment expertise

As an HR manager, you must identify and attract top talent to fill positions across the board. How do you do this? Follow these three examples—craft compelling job descriptions, use various recruitment channels, and conduct thorough interviews.

Your goal is to find winning candidates who exhibit the necessary skills and perfectly fit into your company culture. By refining your recruitment strategies and staying up-to-date with industry trends—you’ll build a workforce that drives the company forward.

10. Leadership

Leadership isn’t just about being the boss—it’s inspiring and guiding your team. As an HR manager, you’re a role model. Your leadership skills help push a positive work environment while motivating employees to do their best.

Cheerful women handing a report

Supercharge your HR toolkit with Thankbox!

There you have it—by honing these abilities, you’ll keep your HR department running smoothly in a productive workplace where everyone thrives. Ready to take on any challenge with confidence and a smile? You can do it with these ten skills!

Whether it’s celebrating team milestones, recognising individual achievements, or encouraging a culture of inclusivity, Thankbox is your go-to tool. It’s quick, easy, and guaranteed to make every employee feel super appreciated. 

Create a Thankbox today and transform your workplace!

Images: Cover | Happy females wearing glasses | Paper with graphs and charts | Agreement | Multiethnic businesswomen discussing payments | Cheerful women handing a report

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