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3 Top Traits of Effective HR Managers

Unfortunately, when most people think of their HR department, they think of layoffs, discipline and firing.

However, human resources is in many ways the backbone of an organization. For the department – and the company as a whole – to run efficiently, HR managers must exhibit the following traits.

People Skills

A good HR manager will be a bit of an ambivert. They’ll have the outgoing nature of an extroverted individual, and the listening skills and empathy of an introvert.

This will allow them to observe situations from a variety of perspectives, understand how certain individuals feel about the circumstances and make clear to all parties involved why things must be done a certain way.

In doing so, HR managers bring people together in ways that likely wouldn’t happen without such mediation.


HR managers also need to have focus and be determined to reach the goals they’ve set, both for themselves and for their company.

This is another reason HR often gets dragged through the mud. They understand what must be done, and will accept nothing less than the very best from their employees.

As mentioned, HR managers are (or should be) empathetic to their employees’ needs; but if an employee isn’t living up to expectations – and doesn’t have a valid excuse for their shortcomings – it’s the HR department’s responsibility to determine whether said employee is the right fit for the position they’re in.


Going along with that last point, human resource managers are the go-to people when decisions regarding employees need be made.

Earlier, we alluded to the fact that HR managers need to approach situations objectively. This will help them see all sides of a situation or trouble spot, allowing them to weigh the pros and cons of making a certain decision and be sure the decision they make will result in the best possible outcome.

Of course, this is a bit trickier than it sounds. As real-world situations are rarely ever black and white, HR managers also have to wade through murky waters and grey areas. In such cases, determining the best course of action will likely require stepping on a few toes, but an effective HR manager will be able to navigate these circumstances with ease, guiding the company forward while ensuring the entire team remains on board.

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