The Top Four Skills to Look for in an All-Star HR Generalist

HR generalists are often the unsung heroes of an organization. These talented and versatile professionals know how to work with people to cultivate the best in people, drive business and achieve organizational objectives. They create an employee-centric culture and provide a central point of service for all functions within the HR department. 

HR generalists are more than just central to your HR department; they serve as conflict resolvers and team players, always striving to facilitate positive employee relations while building company culture. 

The HR generalist must have a wide range of skills to connect with and influence people from all walks of life and foster strong relationships in a diverse workforce. 

What are the top four soft skills needed to become a successful HR generalist? According to a recent SHRM survey, they are:  

1. Interpersonal Skills 

Talent Acquisition professionals work with all company stakeholders, so they must have exceptional interpersonal communication skills. An ability to listen to truly understand what stakeholders are saying is key. They should also be able to ask questions and provide feedback in a clear and respectful manner, as well as demonstrate empathy. 

Interpersonal skills are critical not just for maintaining balanced relationships with all stakeholders, but they’re also highly useful in reading nonverbal communication cues and helping people understand how and why stressful workplace situations are important to resolve. 

These are just some of the skills you can’t teach that make HR generalists so central to bringing your team together, resolving conflicts and removing barriers to productivity.  

Essentially, your HR generalist should be someone who can connect with others and generally appreciates the full range of personalities that show up in the workplace.  

2. Collaboration Skills 

As a key decision maker in HR, the generalist must be a team player. They have to connect with all levels of the organization, including peers and leadership. The ability to work across departments is also essential, and they need to understand how their role within the organization supports the key goals set by management.  

Collaboration helps the HR generalist build relationships within the organization, which is crucial to creating a strong team that can achieve organizational objectives. 

3. Conflict Management Skills 

The HR generalist must have effective conflict management skills to help team members resolve disagreements. They’re responsible for creating a culture of trust, honesty, safety and teamwork while also establishing and executing a strategic plan that drives business goals.  

The best HR generalists use their interpersonal skills—empathizing, listening, validating, and redirecting when necessary—to manage workplace conflict across departments. And a good foundation for diversity, equity and inclusion is critical to understanding different viewpoints, inviting people to bring their full selves to the workplace, and improving relationships across the board.  

Why is conflict management so important? Because workplace disputes are often the most disruptive force for any business. It creates tension and inhibits productivity. And the ability to identify conflicts quickly and resolve them effectively through communication, acknowledgement and compromise is the most efficient strategy for getting the business back on track. 

4. Strategic and Planning Skills 

This is one of the most important skillsets for an HR generalist. The ability to think strategically and plan for change is essential for your business. Organizations can quickly change, and it’s the responsibility of your HR generalist to stay on top of industry trends, changes in the marketplace, and the organization’s evolving needs. 

Creating a plan that implements your organizational goals while also working in tandem with all other departments to support these goals is no simple task. But an HR generalist with a strategic planning mindset can efficiently align all your company initiatives to achieve organizational goals. 

Work with Vector Technical to Find the Best HR Generalist for Your Business 

Whether you’re looking to hire an HR generalist or a candidate who has experience in the HR field, Vector Technical Recruiting is here to help. Vector works with a wide range of clients throughout the United States, so contact us today to find an HR generalist who can move your people and your business forward. 

About Vector Technical Recruiting 

The best candidates are just a call away. We match top talent with top technology employers in Northeastern Ohio, including the city of Cincinnati and Lake, Ashtabula and Geauga counties.