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Top 5 Qualities of a Successful HR Director

21st May 2014
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The Human Resources Department plays a vital role in any workplace setting. Its people are valued by both the CEOs and the general workforce as the liaisons between the two worlds. When an employee feels wronged by the company, HR steps in to help facilitate a successful solution that leaves everyone with a positive feeling. Directors and managers also rely on HR to implement benefits and provide their employees with all the information necessary to manage time-off, healthcare and other benefits the company provides.

Clearly, the HR director cannot be just anyone as there are a lot of roles to juggle. You want to leave your HR department in the most capable hands possible.

So how do you know what that person looks like? Read on to discover the top five qualities that a possible HR director candidate should exhibit.

1. Motivation

Perhaps the most important quality of any HR director is motivation. Because the HR department has its hands in all aspects of the company, they need a leader who is motivated to take on new tasks and find solutions to problems. He or she should inspire other HR employees to be equally as motivated in their daily tasks.

Your director shouldn’t need to be asked or told what to do. He or she should go after challenges and be creative in problem solving.

A rare quality in an HR director is one who is motivated to ask a question or do extra research. Laws change, and it is up to the HR director to make sure the company meets the latest standards in terms of health, safety and other labour laws. If it means doing some added research or reaching out to labour offices for help, a good HR director should be willing to do so.

2. Leadership

In addition to being motivated, a good HR director is a natural leader, one who can take charge in any situation and utilize the best parts of the team to achieve success. An HR director can successfully delegate tasks and be able to rely on other HR employees to carry out assignments and be responsible for themselves.

Remember, HR will help employees handle disputes with each other and the company. They will look to the HR director for guidance on how to proceed and settle any problems, and they must be able to trust the leadership capabilities of the director.

Furthermore, an HR director must be able to lead other sectors of the company. When implementing new policies, it is up to the director to make sure that other managers in production, marketing and other offices in the company understand what the end goal is and how to get there.

3. Organization

Your ideal HR director candidate must be able to remain extremely well-organized as HR usually has a full plate of tasks day in and day out. Regardless of what kind of technology your company has, whether you use Macs or PCs or even file cabinets, your director should know where each piece of information is stored.

Computer organization is essential in it of itself. All documents and employee files should be neatly stored and arranged. When an employee needs a time-off form or requires more information about healthcare benefits, the HR director should know exactly where to look and be able to help them employee in a timely fashion.

One of HR’s main goals is to keep the business compliant with all labour, wage and health and safety laws, which means the director must have intimate knowledge of these laws and be able to keep the company running up to code.

4. Communication

The HR department works with a plethora of people both in and out of the company. It is up to the director to handle all business contacts that come through the department.

For his or her direct employees, the director should be able to set up tasks and goals, explain them thoroughly, make sure each team member understands and be able to answer any questions that arise as the task begins. This means the director’s oral and written communication skills must be outstanding because not only will he or she speak with team members, but also with managers of other departments.

Essentially, it is the director’s responsibility to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

In addition, the HR director should be welcoming and helpful to new hires and prospective employees. These are the people who will be contacting HR the most as they get settled and request more information. A careless HR director is not going to set a good example for its newly-hired employees, and one who does not return emails or phone calls from interested employees is not going to encourage them to want to work for the company.

5. Professionalism

A great HR director should be able to maintain a high quality of professionalism whatever the situation may be. After all, HR is essentially the judiciary branch of the company. If anyone needs to be professional, it’s HR.

This also includes following the company’s policies to the letter. If there is a designated smoking area, the HR director should only be smoking there and nowhere else. He or she must be available, which means being on time for work and having a consistent schedule. The HR employees the director will be monitoring should also be following the company dress code and setting an example for the other employees.

The bottom line is that your HR director and his or her employees are the face of the company. When other businesses or potential employees reach out to your company, they will probably have to go through HR at some point. If your HR director is disorganized, late, unable to return phone calls or cannot successfully delegate tasks, your company as a whole will suffer and your employees will not respect or have any faith in the department.

Make sure your prospective HR director candidate displays all five of these qualities before you extend any offers or you may regret it later.

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