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Assessing Human Resource Skills

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Assessing the skills of HR professionals involves assessing their skills in the areas of confidentiality, critical listening, mediation and persuasion. This can be done through exercises that simulate real-world scenarios. These assessments are important to ensure they are able to handle sensitive information, respond to employee complaints, and persuade others.

Use this HR Skills Assessment Template to evaluate HR applicants in interviews. You can adapt these exercises to suit your company's needs and fill your open positions.

What is the job of a human resources manager?

HR managers must perform a delicate balancing act by considering the interests of employees, managers, the CEO and the company as a whole. HR representatives are responsible for administrative tasks and can oversee various aspects of human resources work. They are often the point of contact when employees have questions about benefits, policies and procedures. You may assist in or develop performance management systems, learning and development programs and induction plans. They also respond to employee complaints.

Skills HR representatives need

Good human resources officers are aware of the complexity of this task: they are holistic-thinking people with excellent people skills and the ability to set priorities. For most human resources positions, applicants must have a college degree. Here are some of the skills of successful HR managers. These skills are also crucial for most HR positions:

  • Confidentiality: Careful handling of sensitive employee information.
  • Critical listening: recognizing what people say, but also what they don't say.
  • Mediation: Gracefully calming a room or person.
  • Convince: rallying employees behind an idea or initiative.

How to evaluate hiring managers

The following exercises will help you assess hiring managers' skills in your interviews.

1.Assessment of confidentiality skills

Exercise: The Chief Operations Officer sends you a message through our web-based workplace messaging application requesting salary information for an employee in their finance department. How would you handle this request?

What to look for: This question tests the candidate's awareness of the confidentiality of sensitive information such as salary. Even if the Head of Finance is authorized to know the salary information of an employee in his department, the applicant should not share this information through a web-based application. An appropriate response would be, "I have the information, but can I stop by your office for confidentiality and privacy reasons?"

Red Flags: A firm "no" or passing the information on to the manager shows that the candidate may not be able to properly assess the sensitivity of handling certain employee information - a skill that is important for any HR role.

2.Assessment of critical listening skills

Exercise: In this scenario, you are our company's human resources manager, and Employee A is a fictional character who has arranged a meeting with you after learning that her colleague, Employee B, has just been promoted in the same role. Employee A hasn't received a promotion, but he's been pushing for it for some time. How would you react to that?

Employee A: I was very upset when I found out that Employee B was promoted. I've been in this position for a long time. I worked overtime. I know that employee B is a friend of the manager. I have been asking for a promotion for the last three months but was told there was no budget for it. Why wasn't I considered for this?

What to look for: Good candidates recognize that the employee feels underappreciated. You listen patiently to the employee and offer objective input. You offer to look into the matter - with the employee's consent. But more importantly, they steer the conversation toward professional development. You might ask, "What skills would you like to learn to advance your career?" Or: “Where would you like to develop further in your role and how can I support you in this?”

Red Flags: A candidate who dismisses the employee's concerns or is dismissive or critical in any way (e.g., "You are not worthy of this promotion because you lack X skill set") shows that they may not have the skills Ability to listen critically or be diplomatic to help employees.

3.Assessment of mediation skills

Exercise: Here is a scenario. An employee comes into your office complaining about a major change that he didn't know about - he was assigned to a different manager without his knowledge. He demanded an explanation, but his former boss told him to "talk to HR." And now he stormed into your office and insulted you. How should you react to this?

What to look for: What happened here was a glitch or lack of communication - which is the cause of most employee complaints that HR deals with. Good candidates for the position of HR manager will try to get to the bottom of the cause of the incident. You might suggest arranging a meeting in a private room between the employee, the former manager, and the new manager to discuss the change.

Red Flags: HR often has to deal with ugly conflicts that managers don't want to deal with. For this reason, employees in this role must have thick skin. They also have to take responsibility for the problems. Any kind of distraction or blame directed at the manager, the manager's boss, or the CEO is a red flag. Callous statements such as “Your salary won’t change” are also a warning signal.

4.Assessment of persuasion skills

Exercise: You work in a startup company that is growing rapidly. Many of the employees who have never been managers are promoted to team leaders or heads of large departments. In your 1:1 conversations with these managers and their employees, you notice a number of management-related conflicts that crop up again and again (e.g., inconsistent management, favoritism, gender discrimination). You want to convince your CEO to invest in people management training. How would you do that?

What to look for: Candidates who understand that they need to use data to make the case for management training will stand out. These candidates also understand that not every manager is born with people management skills. You could make the case for management training by listing the number of conflicts that arise and their impact on employee retention.

Red Flags: Human Resources Manager applicants who are too emotional in their argument for management training may forget to support their arguments with data. Look for people who know how to persuade others with fact-based arguments.

Frequently asked Questions

What is an HR risk assessment?

  • HR risk management focuses on analyzing the risks that an organization's employees pose to the company. HR risk management addresses risks related to inadequate leadership, employee behavior, or risks related to the process HR uses when hiring and firing employees.

What is an internal assessment in HR?

  • Internal assessment is the process of identifying and evaluating a company's current employees for the purpose of reassignment, training, promotion, or termination.

What is the main purpose of employee appraisals?

  • Employee appraisal is a performance appraisal or evaluation that is used to assess the performance and productivity of employees. These tests assess personality, aptitude and abilities. Employee appraisals are typically conducted to review compensation, improve performance, promote, terminate, etc.

Evaluating HR professionals' skills through tailored exercises offers valuable insights into their ability to navigate complex workplace scenarios. By focusing on confidentiality, critical listening, mediation, and persuasion, employers can identify candidates equipped to excel in HR roles. Leverage IceHrm to streamline assessments and enhance your hiring decisions.

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