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How to build a great HR team

9th Oct 2012
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 Building the right HR team requires a set of individuals who have demonstrable capabilities within the field of HR but who will also fit the department and company ethos and who will complement the rest of the team. The size and scope of the HR department has risen in recent years, with extra pressure on them to strategise and help save costs, so successful HR professionals need to be business-savvy and have multiple skills.

An HR department will need to employ a range of skills from all parts of the business and so team members will need to have a degree of proficiency in skills that are attributable to sales, finance, PR and marketing. In addition to that they will need an understanding of employment law and other regulations. HR is quite a unique area of a business in that it requires someone who is both good at sales and great with communication, but who also has a strong head for figures and is supremely organised.

This need not mean that they require experience of different business roles but that they have the willingness and ability to adapt to different situations and wear different guises. Communication in HR is paramount and so they will need to be confident. Often, HR personnel are the frontline to a business; the first to speak to potential new recruits. It's essential therefore that they are able to give the right impression and are able to 'sell' the company well. Additionally, they will be required to communicate internally, often at all levels, and also have the confidence to get involved with sensitive tasks such as disciplinaries and complaints.

Much of the HR department's role is in saving the business money and in streamlining and as such those with a good head for figures are likely to make a good contribution to the team. Although there is software that reveals how much things such as recruitment costs, it's necessary to be able to interpret and analyse these figures well. It's also imperative to understand the business' finances in order to help with strategy.

HR professionals must also be comfortable with emerging technologies and in dealing with technology and software on a daily basis. Often the HR department is the most innovative one, because it needs to stay abreast of trends that will help to keep the business competitive. As a result team members should be adaptable themselves and ready to embrace changes and new direction. They will be expected to communicate with potential recruits in a meaningful way online, for example, and should be comfortable with this.

HR professionals also need to be marketers; they are the ones often charged with increasing and spreading employer brand. It's no longer enough to sit and wait for candidates to come through the door via a recruitment agency but raising awareness of your brand is essential in attracting new business.

A good team will be underpinned by good software. With so many types of tasks it's essential to have team members who are organised but this will need to be supported with the right software. There are many HR software packages that will include all manner of modules that will help to make the day to day running of the department easier.

Written by James Sheehan, on behalf of SnowdropKCS.


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