Skills Necessary for the HR Industry

Hello again! Next week I will be starting my internship with La Casita de Inglés. In preparation, I have been reflecting on the skills I possess and comparing them to those of HR professionals in order to gauge my preparedness for this internship.

During my internship with La Casita de Inglés, I will be working as part of the human resources industry. Earlier this week I had my interview with the company’s HR department to discuss some of the tasks I may be responsible for. They explained that La Casita de Inglés is currently busy opening new centers without enough HR staff to keep up, so part of my job will be to help standardize their recruitment and training processes.

Human Resource Management is a broad topic that includes many different tasks from managing payroll to helping a company gain a competitive advantage in its industry. For those working specifically in talent acquisition, there are certain strengths that are especially useful.

1. Communication

This is probably the most important skill to acquire. People working in talent acquisition are constantly interacting with others. Responsibilities may include interviewing job applicants, promoting the company online to attract job seekers, sending personalized emails to potential candidates, or attending recruitment functions. An HR staff member must always be prepared to answer questions about the job description or the company’s corporate culture. They are also responsible for updating their superiors about the recruitment process and the candidates that have stood out so far.

A necessary component of practicing good communication skills includes active listening. Whenever you are having a professional conversation with a coworker or client, always make a point to stay engaged. Applying this method to interviews with prospective employees shows that you are genuinely interested in their responses and can help the conversation flow more smoothly. It is important to keep in mind that just as you are evaluating a candidate, the candidate is simultaneously evaluating you and the company.  

2. Organization

Like any office job, maintaining good organizational habits, like keeping an updated calendar or writing to-do lists, are the keys to success. Within the HR industry, time management is crucial. Since a large part of talent acquisition is communicating with people, one must know how to prioritize tasks in a time-effective way in order to demonstrate professionalism and reliability – two important qualities when networking and relationship building.

3. Data Analysis

It goes without saying that all job seekers today should have more than just a basic understanding of Microsoft applications such as PowerPoint, Word, and Excel. However, you should also consider researching the kinds of CRM systems or other software a prospective employer’s HR department uses to keep track of data. If it is a platform that you are already familiar with, then great! This will set you apart from other job seekers because employers won’t need to spend as much time and money on your training. If not, there are other ways to familiarize yourself with the tool such as looking up tutorial videos or signing up for a free trial.

Through informational EUSA orientation meetings and some research of my own, I’ve also learned about certain Spanish customs specific to the business world that one should be aware of before searching for work in Spain.

1. Appearances

This is already true in American culture, but even more so in Spain. Make sure you look professional and put together during the workweek whenever you are in the office, attending company events, or meeting with clients. Wearing fashionable and branded apparel is especially important for building a visual representation of how you carry yourself. Putting effort into how you look tells others that you will also put the same effort into your professional work.

2. Connections

In Spain, it is also important to show any possible connections you may have to the area that provide solid reasoning for searching for work there. Employers don’t want to invest time and effort processing paperwork to hire someone from outside the country who may choose to only be in Spain for a short period of time. Being fluent in Spanish is one way to show that you are prepared to assimilate into the culture and not just a tourist seeking a new experience. Having previous work experience in Spain or connections with someone within the company is even better and can boost your chances of acquiring the job. Yet another reason to take advantage of internship opportunities within Pitt Business’s study abroad department!

Although this internship is not my first job, researching these competencies and identifying the ones I can improve upon has helped me feel less nervous about starting something new. I am confident that my first week will be successful.