They must be business-savvy and they must have integrity, but what is the single most important part of being a HR professional?
The CIPD conducted a survey to find out what their members consider the most important characteristic of a HR professional, and the results are in.
The most important aspect of being an HR professional
According to the CIPD, the most important aspect of being an HR professional is being an expert on people. This won with a landslide vote, with 41% of the participants classing it as the most important aspect. This makes sense; after all, HR professionals deal with people every day and it is vital that they understand how people work and think so that they can provide effective advice and support.
This result is fairly different to last year’s results, however, with ‘body of knowledge and skills’ – the closest option to this year’s winner – coming in fifth. This may be because last year’s option seems more static and did not leave room for the HR professional to improve their skills, whereas this year’s option encourages HR professionals to work on their people skills to enable them to progress and improve.
How can you improve the people skills of HR professionals? The CIPD is currently creating a new professional standards framework that HR professionals can use to help improve their confidence, ability and credibility. The framework is defined by a set of core principles that highlight what the HR profession stands for.
The runner-up was ‘business-savvy’, which achieved 33% of the votes. HR professionals must know how to maximise a business’s efficiency so that the day-to-day activities will run smoothly.
Other runners-up included being ‘accountable to their peers’ and ‘acting for society’s good’, which received a similar number of votes. This makes sense, as it is important for HR professionals to have values that go beyond simply earning money for their firms and themselves. They must also value the company’s employees and their needs if they want to be effective at their job.
While being an expert on people is the most important aspect, the ideal HR professional will work on all the different aspects so that they can help both the business and the employees equally.
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