Previously we spoke about whether choosing an independent HR consulting for HR professionals, who are planning to go freelance in their career. Although HR consultants will be one of the most demanded specialists in 2018- 2020, the career does have its own downsides. Today most HR professionals are choosing the freelance way due to serious corporate inconsistencies.
In the blog, we had listed factors to consider for evaluation before launching yourself in the freelance business. If you have gone through the post already, it means you do have the interest and passion to pursue freelance HR career. However, you should know that Human Resource Professionals are one of a kind and their process of interview is also funny.
Let’s Turn the Tables…
Just think of it, you will be interviewing with an HR Manager, for a role where he/she is already an expert. Basically, you will be interviewing for a role that interviews others. That’s why, apart from having a strong will and passion, HR consultants should possess certain skill sets that make them special.
Usually, HR professionals assess candidates against a list of technical and non-technical skill sets and personal characteristics required for the job. However, today we will turn the table and list key skills (general), HR professionals must have to strengthen their freelance career.
Our list of skills is totally based on personal associations with hundreds of HR professionals from the past. But we have also included opinions of managers and CEOs of top brands and corporates across the world.
Okay, so here we go:
7 Reliable Human Resource Management Skills when trying to make a Fortune
1. Organization to an Orderly Level
The organization is not about arranging everything in the correct order and stacking everything neatly. It is much more than that. HR professionals usually in a daily deal with hundreds of resumes, staffing documents, and other recruitment-related files. To process all of those, remember them, file them and document them for future reference, you should know time management skills, organizing and documenting skills and personal efficiency.
These three are the keys to HR effectiveness. HR professionals’ everyday work is to deal with people and their career, their compensation and their termination, and their recognition. So, you have to be prompt and proactive in your services and responses.
2. Multitasking Super Hero Style
Like the Indian deities with many hands, an HR professional, on a typical day, has to deal with employee’s payroll issue at one minute, a leave sanction the next and a competitive recruitment strategy for a tough job an hour after that. And on top of it, you have to also determine social media activities, networking, engagement, wages and a whole lot of other things.
You need to be able to manage all without losing your mind. Company’s priorities change; while you hire an employee for Manager A you have to simultaneously help Manager B to fire an employee. You have to learn to handle all (that’s why organization skills are a must).
3. Negotiating Opinions (of yours and others)
In any business or career, you will generally face two or more opposing views about everything. But in HR field, the number of opinions reaches hundreds. Negotiation is a persistent grey area in this business. You have to find a middle ground for every tough situation and argument. Negotiation will typically take place between two parties (the hiring company and the candidate) and their sub-parties (managers, staff, parents, colleagues, etc.). You have to ensure, by using diplomacy and play on words that both parties end up satisfied and pleased with the outcome.
4. Dealing with the Greys and Blues
As a freelance HR consultant, one of the toughest parts of your job would be facing the ‘Grey areas’. Grey areas are more prominent in independent consultancy than in full-time HR management jobs. You have to answer questions that have words like: ‘discrimination’, ‘harassment’, ‘leave approval’, ‘limitation’ and ‘accommodations’. At times you will not have answers to these questions, being the external (but immediate) point of contact. You have to, in such cases, take actions with incomplete and best available information. You have to also know the right time to seek help from attorneys, company managers, and other experts.
5. Communicate like Google
Communication skills should probably rank number one for an effective HR career. Since you will not be permanently staffed in one company, you have to constantly be in touch and communicate with everyone, via all possible means. You have to communicate things up to the top-level management, over to the managers, employees, potential candidates, consultants, and other stakeholders.
You have to do it in writing, in meetings, through presentations, and most of the time, over phone calls. Your communication with others should be polite, convincing, caring and believable. Another form of communication that is getting highly popular amongst freelance HR professionals is Social Media Networking.
6. Dealing with Inconsistent Change in Management
You won’t be warned about a company’s work culture and organizational structure in advance. You will only understand the chaos once you get inside of it. Today most companies are in a constant state of flux; there are no proper task forces or matrices, no proper hierarchy and no discipline in job descriptions. You may freak out with these super imbalances. Sometimes, you may have to deal with 2 – 3 generations of families working as employees.
These constant changes will keep you on your toes but you have to slowly learn to ace in change management.
7. Managing Conflict like a Calm Cow
HR professionals have to be as calm as the cow standing in the middle of a busy road. Have you noticed one such? It doesn’t care about the heavy traffic at all, yet reach the other side of the road safely. You ought to know to be in the Human Resource field that everyone cannot get along with everyone else.
So, as a freelance HR, you will be at the receiving end of lots of complaints and arguments. However, you have to find ways to ensure that people working in the company at least work civilly towards the benefits of the company. (1)
You can also read our post related to starting your career in Freelance HR Recruitment. If you liked the article and have any further questions, please free to leave a message in the comments below.