9 Desirable Personality Traits of a Good HR Manager

When looking for a new job, a few of the things you may consider about yourself are your past work experiences as well as your qualifications. Of course, it goes without saying that these things are very important, but it’s also a good idea to understand what kind of personality traits might be best suited to the role you’re interested in.

If you’re thinking of becoming a HR manager, there are a few personality traits that might make you a perfect candidate for this kind of role and bring you great success in the industry. Let’s look at some of these traits in detail.

1. Organised

If working for HR, you need to be highly organised in all aspects. You may find that you love keeping things tidy, organised, in order, and completed in a timely manner. To become a great HR manager you’ll need to be able to have strong time management skills, efficiency, and the ability to organise those around you. If you cannot manage your own affairs, you may have issues controlling and organising those of other people. Because you’re in charge of people’s lives and careers, saying “I’ll see when I can get to that” just won’t cut it.

2. Multi-tasker

When working in HR, if you’re not dealing with one issue you’re dealing with another. You may be asked about personal leave one second and spend the next dealing with someone’s personal issues that are stopping them from coming into work. On top of this, you may be dealing with social media, retention, wages, etc. With so much going on at all times, it’s important to be able to be a multi-tasker and take on a couple of things at once and stay ahead of the game.

3. Can deal with grey areas

When working in HR, you may come across some grey areas. Was that colleague subjected to harassment? How long can you let someone take leave for due to their personal circumstances? There may be instances where it’s hard to determine an outcome as it may fall into a grey area. Being able to deal with these kinds of situations and understanding how to seek advice from others is imperative to being able to deal with these issues successfully.

4. Great negotiator

As well as dealing with grey areas, you also need to be able to negotiate well. Negotiating with workers and colleagues in situations will help you to find a middle ground, especially when there are two opposing employees involved. The end result is the acceptance of a situation, all thanks to your great negotiation skills!

5. Good communicator

Working in HR management means you’ll be the go-to person for quite a range of situations. In order to keep the cogs of the company turning, you need to be able to communicate well with those who approach you, as well as those who need to be kept in the loop with particular situations. Being able to communicate well means that everyone will have a better understanding of what is happening, with who, and when. All forms of communication are essential, so being good with face-to-face, email, phone, and social media communication is all going to benefit your role.

6. Enjoy challenges

Challenges are aplenty when working in HR management. It’s important to be enjoy being challenged and to have the know-how to be able to deal with them and think outside of the box to come up with a resolution. With a desire for harmony and everything to be ‘in order’ and working efficiently, it’s good to be able to enjoy the little hiccups that may crop up during your work week and enjoy looking for solutions.

7. Have empathy

When you’re working with lots of people from many different walks of life and with different career goals, it’s important to understand that you’re one of the keys to their success (or downfall). Showing empathy to others, and genuinely caring about how people can work better for themselves and the company, is an important aspect in being a great HR manager. Of course, you have the company’s ideals in mind all the time, but you’re also thinking about your workers and employees and their needs and roles within the company. Showing empathy means that you’ll be able to look out for your employees better, and have a better understanding of their needs.

8. Be cooperative

There will be many instances where you may be asked to do something that goes against what you may have already setup or planned. Being stubborn in this position isn’t going to help, nor will it aid those around you. Being able to be flexible – but not too flexible – will ensure that everyone is kept happy. As well as negotiating well, you’ll also need to be able to be cooperative in situations that may call for it.

9. Discrete

There may be times where the company will request that you follow through with some tasks in confidence that may be discussed with employees later on. You may also be given information about employees that need to stay within the company. This kind of information isn’t something you’d go and discuss with your partner at home or your friends at the pub. Being able to be discrete and not disclose information to others who aren’t involved is very important in ensuring the privacy of employees and the company.

There are lots of personality traits of the ideal HR manager. With many things happening all in a day’s work, it’s important to feel like you can work on your toes, be able to focus on two things at once, all while keeping confidentiality between parties. Although it may seem like there’s a lot to take in when becoming a HR manager, it’s also a very rewarding role that will enable you to feel valued and able to help others within their roles and their own careers.

To find out more about becoming a HR Manager, check out the courses available at ICI today.

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Gladys Mae


Gladys Mae serves as the General Manager and Head of Student Services at the International Career Institute. Gladys holds a degree in Mass Communication - Broadcast Media from the University of San Jose-Recoletos. She joined ICI in 2010 and has over the past 12 years been instrumental in providing leadership and guidance to staff and students alike. Prior to joining ICI Gladys led a multifaceted career with key roles in the banking and business process outsourcing industries.