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The Skills HR Needs to Effectively Serve Its Customers

Most HR professionals are adept at managing the administrative part of the job, but aren’t as accomplished at strategic thinking or dealing withcustomers.

May 20, 2002
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Most HR professionals are adept at managing the administrative part of thejob, but aren’t as accomplished at strategic thinking or dealing withcustomers. Alan Wolfson, an advisor with the worldwide Hay Group, saysconsultants must develop the following skills:

  • Business Knowledge: Knows the industry, the customers’ businesses, andhis or her own business.

  • Energy Level: Ability to do a lot of work over sustained periods of time.Has broad intellectual interests. Never stops learning.

  • Analytical Skill: Ability to handle and accurately interpret largeamounts of data. Can separate symptoms from causes and understand the largerpicture.

  • Pragmatic Vision: Leads by facilitation. Helps articulate and refinecustomer’s vision/strategic direction. Goes beyond solving individual problemsto accomplish purposes.

  • Adaptability: Thinks quickly. Operates effectively in atmosphere ofuncertainty and change. Stays calm under pressure.

  • Political Astuteness: Aware of internal power dynamics in the customerenvironment. Deals effectively with hidden agendas. Understands the informal aswell as the formal organizational structure.

  • Communication Skills: Intelligent listener. Astute questioner. Able toreframe problems as opportunities. Speaks and writes with clarity for multipleaudiences.

  • Interpersonal Competence: Understands and can effectively deal withemotions and feelings. Is polite and tactful. Can build a team. Knows how toconstructively disagree without creating hostility.

  • Bottom-Line Orientation: Seeks incremental profit improvement for thecustomer. Sells financial value of products, services, and systems. Financiallycompetent with regard to his/her consulting business.

  • Integrity: Generates trust by being trustworthy. Never violatesconfidentiality. Is responsible and reliable. Admits when he/she is wrong ordoesn’t know the answer.

Workforce, June 2002, p. 48 -- Subscribe Now!

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