HR Competencies. How to Develop Skills in the HR Industry?
Many recent studies (including the McKinsey study) show that social skills are among the most important competencies of the future. The development of technology and the automation of routine tasks make the relationships between people the key element, leading to effective cooperation in teams and the company’s development. At the same time, in order to keep up with the changing reality, it is necessary to develop technical competencies and learn new technologies that facilitate and accelerate many processes in the company.
Both soft and technical competencies become necessary if we want to maintain an advantage in the labor market. We ourselves often expect them from our candidates, even those representing the most demanding industries — from the recruiter’s point of view. However, we cannot require them only from job applicants. Continuous development is, above all, the domain of HR specialists.
What are the most important competencies for a recruiter/HR specialist and how to develop them? Find out in the article.
The new role of the recruiter
Nowadays, when it is more and more difficult to find candidates meeting the expectations of the employer, the role of the recruiter is changing significantly. It no longer consists only of the appropriate selection of applications and verifying the competencies of candidates. It is extremely important to stay in constant contact with candidates, maintain good relations with them, build the company’s image as a friendly employer, as well as, in a way, sell a job offer and encourage candidates to apply to us.
The following aspects become key in the role of a recruiter:
- taking care of the efficient flow of information,
- providing constructive feedback,
- building trust.
The Human to Human (H2H) approach is the cornerstone of the HR specialist’s work. It focuses on interpersonal relations, mutual respect and a partnership approach to both candidates and representatives of other departments of the company. The human being is placed in the center of attention because the modern candidate wants to feel the interest and care of the potential employer.
Currently, an HR specialist performs many different functions in the company: recruiter, expert, marketer, seller, consultant and coach. It requires a consistent broadening of one’s knowledge, often going beyond the framework of the commonly understood profession of a recruiter.
Thanks to this, it is impossible to get bored in this job. However, a lot of energy has to be devoted to the continuous development of competencies. It is worth focusing on learning those skills that will contribute to the greatest improvement in our work.
Key HR competencies
What features should an ideal HR specialist have? In addition to finding the best talents, a good recruiter should also demonstrate the ability to convince them to work in the company. Sales skills, persuasion and negotiation will be especially useful here.
The second important aspect is communicativeness and active listening. It is the candidate who should be at the center of attention, and the recruiter, apart from asking the right questions, must carefully listen to and analyze the interviewee’s answers.
Listening to and showing interest in the candidate will also help establish a relationship with them, which is a key aspect of interviewing. The ability to build relationships and maintain contact is the key to success in the profession of an HR representative. Therefore, it is worth taking the time to develop a personal brand and create a network of contacts, both on and off social media.
The work of a recruiter is often associated with online and offline availability. Competencies such as flexibility and openness are important here. There may be occasions when a candidate comes to us with an important question outside of working hours or needs urgent assistance.
You also need to be willing to develop and follow industry trends. Working in HR requires continuous improvement of skills and update of knowledge.
The specifics of an IT recruiter’s work
The basis of a recruiter’s work is knowledge of the industry and a thorough analysis of the job he wants to fill in. This is especially important in IT recruitment, which requires a much deeper understanding of the specificity of work than in other areas.
The very creation of a job advertisement requires a lot of commitment on the part of the HR person. IT candidates pay a lot of attention to what working in the company looks like and what values it represents. The detailed flow of information begins with the proper preparation of a job advertisement containing a detailed description of the required competencies and a precise definition of the languages and environments for the position. IT recruiters should therefore develop their technical skills to better understand the needs of candidates and conduct valuable recruitment interviews with them.
What exactly does a recruiter’s work in an IT recruitment agency look like? We covered it in a separate article.
Several possible directions of development in HR
Following a lot of analysis and research, AIHR specialists have defined four key HR skills needed to operate effectively in 2025. According to AIHR, the competencies of the future include technical efficiency, the ability to work with data, business thinking and empathetic work with people. Depending on your role in the organization, it is worth deciding which of the following paths is most appropriate for each of us.
Ability to work based on data
The ability to work in a data-driven, or evidence-based approach, means reading, applying, creating and communicating data as valuable information in order to influence decision-making.
This path is often chosen by HR managers, HR business partners, HR analysts and recruiters working in data-driven organizations.
It develops critical thinking skills, data visualization, knowledge of tools, as well as the ability to analyze and present data.
If you decide to choose this path of developing your skills, you can take advantage of training courses such as:
- Excel for intermediate and advanced learners,
- Introduction to HR analytics,
- Training in selection tools,
- Data visualization training,
- Training in creating and conducting research.
Business thinking, also known as business sense, is the ability to translate the organization’s goal, mission and business context into a strategy and to select HR activities that will best serve the interests of the organization.
This path is often chosen by HR managers, HR business partners, recruiters working closely with Hiring Managers, and HR professionals working in organizations with a strong business profile.
It develops work optimization skills, understanding of economic and business mechanisms, effective budget management and cooperation with business.
When deciding on this path of developing your skills, it is worth going beyond the boundaries of your own department, getting a broader picture of the company’s operations, reserving time for talks with Hiring Managers and investing in such training as:
- Lean management in recruitment,
- Agile in HR and Employer Branding,
- Service Design,
- Design Thinking.
Technical efficiency, or digital intelligence, is the possibility of using technology to increase work efficiency.
This path of development is often chosen by IT recruiters, people working with many HR tools and employees of HR departments who see the need to develop skills in the field of new technologies.
Thanks to this, they can develop knowledge of technology, as well as knowledge of tools, tool efficiency and the ability to find solutions using technology.
For example, we can take advantage of training in the field of:
- Introduction to programming,
- IT courses aimed at HR specialists,
- Trainings on talent sourcing,
- Training on the use of specific HR tools,
- Training on the use of recruitment management systems, such as ATS.
Empathetic work with people
The researchers explain empathetic work with people as the ability to build a strong internal culture, communicate skilfully, bring out the best in people and act as a trusted master of employees.
Although often underestimated, it is a competence that should be developed regardless of the greatest interests of the recruiter. Especially if there is a competency gap here, it is worth considering training in the field of:
- Positive psychology,
- Emotional Intelligence.
Take advantage of the knowledge of our experienced recruiters and contact us if you want to talk about the challenges in recruiting IT specialists.