Human resource (HR) professionals today have a vast spectrum of challenges in an ever-changing workplace. The information age holds much promise, but there are a lot of moving parts to consider. This is as true in Canadian workplace environments as anywhere else.

The general duties of an HR specialist include recruitment, screening, onboarding, training, orientation, employer/employee relations, payroll, benefits, policies, and conflict resolution. There are special skills that accentuate the basic job description of the HR specialist. We will address five of the most important recommendations from HR professionals.

Business professionals standing in a row 

1. Provide extraordinary opportunities

One of the primary objectives for every HR specialist is to recruit new talent. Finding creative and attractive ways to promote available positions is the first course of action when seeking new staff members. 

You must begin by knowing the company structure and all benefits to prospects. Crafting a robust benefits package is an aggressive maneuver to attract prospects to your company.

2. Focus on retention

Lowering the turnover rate at a company should be at the forefront of an HR department’s agenda. If you have a higher than desired rate of 10 % or higher of people consistently leaving the organization shortly after they are hired, this is a signal that there is something wrong with the internal workings of the company.

Leadership at the company needs to understand how a high turnover rate lowers the morale of the remaining staff. They must be realistic about the nature in which talent is hired and treated. If there are routinely unkept promises to workers, those workers will be disenchanted. 

Find out from staff the issues they face and find out if others complain about the same or similar issues. On the executive level, find out what senior staff is willing to do to satisfy the workers.

group of young workers in a meeting

3. Build trust

Trust is the bedrock of any strong relationship. As an HR specialist, your job is to gain everyone’s trust. This means that both your employer and company employees will know that you have their best interests at heart.

Practicing the art of diplomacy is the skill that HR professionals use to create win-win situations. Trust is built in these environments by earning a reputation for being the kind of person to stand by your word. 

Since you represent the employees, it is your duty to operate on their behalf in case of any discrepancies. Dually, the HR representative is also working to make sure any remedies lie within the budget allotted for similar incidents.

4. Keep lines of communication open

Communication is the key to understanding. An HR representative spends a lot of time just listening to issues, grievances, and conflicts among employees. Great communicators are often excellent listeners. The more you listen to others, the better you can address their concerns. 

It is critical that you let all employees know that your door is always open to them. They should know that there is no problem too small to bring to you. You would be surprised how many people feel like their situations are not important enough to bring to HR.

5. Be a problem solver

There are countless situations that will bring an employee to your office with an issue. Every claim made to the HR department is to be taken seriously. Give yourself ample time to prepare a clear proposal about the subject matter and company policies as they relate to the instance.

Let’s say, for example, that you have an injured employee inquiring about a workers’ compensation claim. You should listen to the employee’s issue fully before offering any advice. After hearing what the employee has to say, you will need to explain the company policy regarding claims for workers’ compensation. Your ultimate duty as an HR specialist is to make sure that both the employer and employee are satisfied with the outcome. Structure the solution as a win-win situation. 

Man in suit and tie giving thumbs up

Conclusion

As a human resource specialist, you are primarily in charge of the employee experience with the company. In an age where there is access to so much information, workers have become increasingly savvy and self-educated, this means that they will have expectations and requirements based on what they have researched. If they are unrealistic about an outcome, manage their expectations by introducing the likely and realistic resolution. 

From the recruitment process to the termination of an employee, the HR representative is a valuable asset to every operation. Seek ways to operate with maximum diplomacy, and work as an advocate for the members of the staff that are  an honest representation of matters that concern one or more members of the workforce. 

Susan Ranford is an expert on career coaching, business advice, and workplace rights. She has written for New York Jobs, IAmWire, and ZipJob. In her blogging and writing, she seeks to shed light on issues related to employment, business, and finance to help others understand different industries and find the right job fit for them – Strategics360.com. 

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