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Successful Human Resources (HR) professionals are business strategists, coaches and mentors who have exceptional people skills and a passion for working with others.

As workforces continue to evolve, businesses are increasingly looking for innovative professionals who can align HR plans with strategic objectives to gain a competitive advantage. From strategic thinking to communication, and business intelligence, we’ve collated the top five essential skills HR professionals need to succeed.

Top skills employers look for in HR professionals

  1. Ability to align HR activities with organisational strategic objectives
  2. A high level of emotional intelligence
  3. Strong written and verbal communication skills
  4. Business intelligence to make informed, data-led decisions
  5. Research skills to stay on top of changing laws and regulations in the industry

Get Your HR Management Career Guide

Discover the essential skills HR managers need to succeed, career opportunities, and industry trends in your free 20-page career guide.

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HR Management Jobs

There are diverse opportunities across all sectors in medium-to-large companies including banks, retail, construction to not-for-profits and government departments. That’s why HR job descriptions are quite varied based on where you work. Many organisations also choose to outsource their HR processes, making recruitment consultancies another source of employment.

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Human resources adviser

Human resources advisers recruit, train and develop staff; approve job descriptions and advertisements; advise on employment law and organisational policies and procedures; negotiate salaries, contracts, working conditions or redundancy packages.

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Recruitment consultant

Recruitment consultants work on behalf of companies to source candidates for job vacancies; analyse and understand job specifications; conduct keyword searches on internal recruitment databases, assess CVs online using various job websites, or actively 'headhunt' senior professionals through independent research.

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Industrial relations consultant

Industrial relations consultants provide advice and support on a range of employment and industrial relations issues including legislative interpretation, dispute resolution, policy development, union relationships and enterprise agreement matters.

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Workforce planning adviser

Workforce planning advisers provide strategic advice on workforce issues including staffing plans and staffing budgets, work schedules, recruitment, job fulfilment and employee training programs; collect and analyse data to assess future needs and improve business operations.

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Work health and safety (WHS) consultant

Work health and safety consultants support the development of WHS policies and programs; advise and instruct on various safety-related topics; conduct risk assessment and enforce preventative measures; review existing policies and update according to legislation; organise WHS training.

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Human resources manager

Human resources managers plan, administer and review activities concerned with staff selection, training and development, conditions of employment and other staffing issues within an organisation.

Discover what HR is all about

If you’re looking for a new career in HR, our 100% online HR Management degree is a great place to start. This degree will give you the knowledge and skills that employers are looking for while giving you the flexibility to continue working while you study.

Want to upskill in your current role?

Many people who work in HR don’t always start in HR. They often come from other departments or units within their organisation and apply their knowledge of the business to lead a team. You could be working as a business, finance, marketing, or line operations manager – or within any other department within your organisation.

Whatever your goals may be, studying online is a great option for people looking to upskill or launch their new career. Our 100% online Bachelor of Business (Human Resource Management) will equip you with the skills that employers are looking for, and will help you put your best foot forward in this growing industry.

Study HR 100% online

Learn how to strategically align human capital with business objectives. Focus on core HR areas including recruitment, learning and development, workforce planning, work health and safety, employee performance management and motivation.

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samantha wilkinson

Industry insight

My advice for HR professionals is to invest in your own development - whether that be through studying, reading, attending presentations or being great at asking questions!

Samantha WIlkinson
Principal Consultant
Samantha Wilkinson HR Consulting

UniSA offers a range of other online degrees that can be studied off campus. Some on-campus study may be required.

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