One of the most important goals of conducting a job analysis is to determine the minimum requirements necessary for a candidate to be successful in a given job. These requirements will help recruiters determine the difference between a qualified candidate and an unqualified candidate. These minimum requirement characteristics, known as a job’s KSAOs, are the knowledge (K), skills (S), abilities (A), and other characteristics (O) necessary to be successful (Phillips, 2015). The following paper will describe three KSAOs for a Human Resources Manager, their relative importance, and the relative time spent for each.
Successful HR Managers must have the ability to effectively communicate both in writing and orally as well as have strong written and oral comprehension making this the most important KSAO for a Human Resources (HR) Manager (Career Cover Letter, 2016). HR professionals spend a lot of time communicating to multiple levels of the organization. 60% of their time is spent communicating up to the leadership team, laterally to managers, externally to clients and candidates, and down to all levels of the organization. Communication can come in the form of individual conversations, presentations, written emails, policy documentation, and through social media. Communication can be about policies and procedures, the hiring process, interviewing, workforce planning, employee relations, performance management, and coaching. While talking to managers and employees about various ideas and issues, the HR Manager must be seen as competent, trustworthy, and convincing. The ability to communicate the appropriate information and ideas is critical so that the receiver fully understands the message being relayed.
Part of the art of communication is the ability to listen. It is important to have the ability to listen to what an employee is saying, to understand the points they are trying to convey, and ask questions to gain clarity while keeping the employee at ease and engaged in the conversation. Active listening skills are critical to gaining the ability to influence the business because it builds trust between the HR function, employees, and management. When viewed as an advisor, HR will be able to provide insight to improve or enhance the work environment.
The ability to communicate effectively is necessary prior to hiring for the HR Manager role. While training can be provided to enhance someone’s skills, a base of demonstrated communication ability is required. Without this ability, the HR Manager will struggle to gain the trust necessary to have a successful relationship with the business and the employees.
Knowledge of Management and Business Principles
A second most important KSAO for a Human Resources Manager is the knowledge of the principals involved in workforce planning, spans and layers, resource allocation, leadership techniques, and organizational structure. A HR Manager must be able to coordinate people and resources effectively to enhance the success of the business and its employees. 25% of an HR Manager’s time will be dedicated to looking at the current organizational structure for opportunities of alignment and efficiency. In partnership with the leadership team, reviews of resource allocation should happen on a regular basis.
These management and business principles include the knowledge of how to drive motivation and engagement within the company. Motivated employees have higher productivity, fewer safety incidents, and lower turnover. Motivation also includes providing ways to offer development and direction for the employees in order to enhance their career experience and ability to grow within the company. Being able to identify or groom the best employees for a role, along with the appropriate organizational structure, drives stronger business results.
The knowledge of management and business principles are required prior to hiring. Similar to communication, knowledge can be enhanced in this area, but demonstrated experience with these fundamentals are critical to the speedy assimilation of a successful candidate into the role.
Knowledge of Principles and Procedures
The third important KSAO for a HR Manager is the knowledge of principles and procedures for recruiting, candidate selection, training and development, compensation, benefits, labor relations, negotiation, and human resources management systems are required for a successful Human Resources Manager. Specifically, the candidate should have the knowledge of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and other employment laws (ERC, 2013). This knowledge can be gained through previous positions held within the candidate’s career but is required to be a manager.
HR is a balance of psychology, business acumen, and law. It is important for an HR Manager to understand the effect various employment laws have on the decisions that are being made within an organization. This information will be necessary when having discussion about employee relations, workforce structures, and fair employment practices. HR, in partnership with the legal team, should provide guidance to management that prevents any resultant litigation from decisions being make. An HR Manager can expect to spend 15% of their time utilizing this knowledge.
Knowledge of the various principles and procedures surrounding the various HR practices is not necessarily required prior to hiring but basic understand would make assimilation into this role much easier. Much of the recent HR process and employment legislations can be referenced at any time. Training can be provided on recent techniques, employment legislation, and various other policy requirements.
In summary, demonstrated ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing, knowledge of management and business principles, and knowledge of the various HR principles and procedures are three KSAOs for an HR Manager. The relative importance and relative time spent for each KSAO discussed are listed below in Table 1.
|Relative Importance||KSAO||Relative Time Spent (%)|
|20||Management and Business Principles||25%|
|10||HR Principles and Procedures||15%|
These three items are in no way an exhausted list of the KSAOs for the role of HR Manager, but they provide a strong basis of what a recruiter can use to differentiate a qualified candidate from an unqualified candidate. If a candidate possesses demonstrated ability and knowledge of these three areas the recruiter can assume likely success for the candidate in the HR Manager role.
Career Cover Letter. (2016). Retrieved from http://careercoverletter.com/Knowledge-Skills-And-Abilities/255/Human-Resources-Manager-ON11312100/
ERC. (2013). Retrieved from https://www.yourerc.com/blog/post/Employment-Laws-HR-Professionals-Should-Know.aspx
Phillips, J. M., & Gully, S. M. (2015). Strategic Sourcing (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.