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How to Hire a Skilled HR Manager

How to Hire a Skilled HR Manager

December 29, 2023

In the ever-evolving landscape of business, the role of Human Resources (HR) has become increasingly important for success. A good HR manager can be the glue that holds an organisation together, fostering a positive work culture, managing talent, and ensuring compliance with labour laws. 

Hiring the right HR manager is a strategic investment in the success and growth of your company. As a smaller company, you might outsource your HR requirements to an agency or even automate it using an app. Hiring a HR manager is a move towards growth and expansion, so it should be viewed in a positive light.

In this guide, we will explore the steps you will need to take to hire a skilled HR manager.

Define your needs

Before embarking on the hiring process, it’s essential to clearly define your organisation’s needs and expectations. Consider the size of your company, the industry you operate in, and any specific challenges you face. 

Outline the key responsibilities and competencies required for the HR manager role, such as employee relations, talent acquisition, performance management, and legal compliance.

How to Hire a Skilled HR Manager CMD Recruitment

Write a detailed job description 

A well-crafted job description is the first step in attracting qualified candidates. Clearly outline the responsibilities, qualifications, and skills required for the HR manager position. It’s a common misconception that a broad job description will attract more interest, but candidates typically prefer if the role is clearly defined.

Emphasise the company culture, values, and any unique aspects that make your organisation an appealing workplace. Be transparent about the expectations and growth opportunities within the role.

Look for relevant experience 

When reviewing CVs, prioritise candidates with a proven track record in HR management. Look for candidates with relevant experience in areas such as employee relations, talent development, and compliance. 

You don’t have to hire a Human Resources graduate, you could also look for candidates with a degree in economics, business management, psychology, finance or HR.

How to Hire a Skilled HR Manager CMD Recruitment

Consider the soft skill

Technical skills are important, but soft skills are equally crucial for success in HR. Look for candidates with excellent communication, interpersonal, and conflict resolution skills. A skilled HR manager should be approachable, empathetic, and capable of building positive relationships across all levels of the organisation.

During the interview process, asking situational interview questions will help you to determine if the candidates have the soft skills required to succeed in the role. Situational questions ask the candidate to share how they believe they should respond in situations based on their training and experience. 

Consider the cultural fit

Consider the cultural dynamics of your organisation and seek a candidate whose values align with those of your company. A good cultural fit ensures that the HR manager can effectively integrate into the organisation, understand its unique challenges, and contribute to a positive work environment.

Cultural fit is usually assessed during the job interview, or during a meeting with members of the wider team. Asking for input for members of the existing team will often help to determine the final choice. Your team will be working closely with the HR manager, so it makes sense that they have a say in the selection.

How to Hire a Skilled HR Manager CMD Recruitment

Make use of behavioural questions

In the interview process, use behavioural questions to assess how candidates have handled situations in the past. This approach provides insights into their problem-solving abilities, decision-making processes, and interpersonal skills. 

Ask candidates to share specific examples of how they have managed conflicts, implemented successful HR initiatives, or contributed to positive organisational change. 

Ask for references 

Don’t underestimate the importance of reference checks. Contact previous employers, colleagues, or direct reports to gain a deeper understanding of the candidate’s performance, work ethic, and interpersonal skills. 

This step helps validate the information provided during the interview process. This step is often completed during the final stages of the decision making process. You might also complete assessment tests to determine if the candidate really has the skills required for the role.

Assessment tests or role playing can be very useful in the hiring process. These tests can evaluate a candidate’s problem-solving abilities, decision-making skills, and knowledge of HR best practices.

Closing thoughts

Hiring a skilled HR manager requires a thoughtful and strategic approach. By clearly defining your needs, crafting an appealing job description, assessing both technical and soft skills, and ensuring a cultural fit, you increase the likelihood of finding the right candidate. Remember that an effective HR manager not only manages human resources but becomes a catalyst for positive change and growth within your organisation. They need to be proactive in their approach to their role and have their finger firmly on the pulse of new developments in the sector.

While many HR managers might fear AI and automation, this is clearly the future, so look for candidates that are willing to embrace the benefits that it can offer.

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