5 Skills Every HR Generalist Needs

Human Resource as a term was coined in 1893 by John R Commons in his book, “Distribution of Wealth”. However, it was only in the 20th century that Human Resource became an integral part of organizations to deal with addressing employee issues such as recruitment, administration, and any disputes that arose.

Over the years, HR has evolved to encompass more duties under its aegis, such as payroll, recruitment, compliance, facility management, labor issues, technical adoption, skill, training, and more.

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Here we bring you 5 essential qualities that an HR professional needs to succeed in his field.


Communication is essential in Human Resource Management as the HR professional is the link between the business and the employee. This requires great dexterity and an ability to keep a fine balance between representing the interests of both sides. 

One has to communicate at different levels of authority and develop the ability to connect well with all kinds of people, leaving a professional and positive impression. The ability to communicate formally and informally, and in different ways – such as written, electronic and oral communication, is essential.

Administrative expert

Administrative tasks remain a major part of the HR role. These duties involve employee leaves, payroll, claims, and related issues. Though much of these tasks have been automated, administrative skills are still required to carry out the tasks effectively. A machine can carry out the routine tasks and take the drudgery out, but the actual process and what all needs to be followed in terms of compliance and regulations, good HR person can only do. It also requires the ability to implement the rules and culture of an organisation.

Recruitment and selection

Again most of the recruitment tasks can be either outsourced or automated. This takes care of the initial filtering process, but an HR professional needs to match the job profile with the right candidate. Also, sit in on the selection process. He or she is the face of a company and needs to put their best foot forward for a smooth and enervating onboarding process. 

Also, the HR department needs to be aware of the regulations that govern a fair recruiting process.

Hummer Resource Information System

It is the digitized version of the HR tasks and management. Most information regarding hiring, performance evaluation, payroll, rewards and benefits, and more come integrated into whatever HRIS tool you are using. Some are customizable also. Hence, it is essential that HR personnel be trained to navigate such systems and feed and interpret the required data sets.

Large organizations usually have standard providers like SAP (with SuccessFactors), Salesforce or Oracle. Knowledge of an HRIS is a prerequisite for most senior HR jobs and one of the top technology skills HR professionals need today. 

Unsurprisingly, HRM knowledge and expertise are also mentioned as essential HR skills. Previous work experience or educational background in Human Resource Management or Industrial and Organizational Psychology is very helpful.

Human Resource Management

HRM knowledge helps to understand recruitment, selection, absence procedures, data reporting, and other personnel processes. Along with the administrative skills, it is the practical knowledge of handling a team, responding to a crisis, and representing the cultural ethos of an organization that is needed.

An educational background in psychology or HRM often also helps develop soft skills that are helpful in communication.

Anna Verasai
Anna Versai is a Team Writer at The HR Digest; she covers topics related to Recruitment, Workplace Culture, Interview Tips, Employee Benefits, HR News and HR Leadership. She also writes for Technowize, providing her views on the Upcoming Technology, Product Reviews, and the latest apps and softwares.

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