Recruitment specialist in HR, Sales and Operations

The Most Important Qualities of a HR Professional

It should be no surprise that HR has evolved. Modern day HR practice is very different to what it was 10 years ago. No longer is the corporate people management function about ‘Personnel’. It is now viewed as People Management and Human Resources Management.

In the modern marketplace, there’s lots of specialisation in roles, which is quite a recent development. This ability to specialise is far more available to HR professionals than ever before. This is especially evident in larger companies.

Key characteristics

HR can be a challenging place to work. You’ll need to be resilient, level headed and pragmatic, especially when delivering change with staff. Employers want commercially minded HR people, who are value driven and people oriented. Above all you’ll need to be great at relationship building and a highly developed influencer.

Who’s high on the list when hiring?


A hiring client is normally looking for people whose experience is broadly similar to their own environment. Candidates who work in a similar HR structure, with a similar HR ideology are often high on the short-list.

This is not to say that you’re now stuck in your current industry. You can move across to new sectors or industries by demonstrating that there are broad synergies with the people issues, types of employees and the HR structures that are in place in your target sector. Be mindful of this when job searching. Optimise your search, seeking out industries where your skills are broadly transferable. This will enable you to get better responses, and to secure bigger pay rises.

Value added


Businesses rarely view HR as a critical function that helps the bottom line, most view it as a cost. Employers are usually very keen for HR people to be able to demonstrate their value by identifying where they made a difference regarding return on investment. Old-world ‘personnel’ ideologies can often struggle here. Recruiters look for a commercial awareness, or the ability to influence a business at a strategic level. This is particularly important for posts that may lead to Boardroom positions.

Tangible differences


There’s a tangible difference in people who have invested in their own education and who have gained professional qualifications. If you have an HR degree, you’re already a step ahead. More than half of employers now insist on full CIPD qualifications. Carefully manage your career so that your self-development activities prepare you for the future.

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