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Boost your HR skills: A beginner’s guide for Non-HR managers


The role of managers is often said to have expanded in recent years into areas it never previously strayed. This includes, fairly evidently, into the realms of human resources, where managers of all specialities are often asked to play a fairly sizeable role despite never necessarily being prepared to do so.


Managers must now bear some responsibility for aspects of coaching & mentoring; they must understand relevant employment legislation; and they might be heavily involved in the identification of talent gaps and the creation of job specifications. Some will, naturally enough, take to these tasks easily, while others may have been promoted based on their technical and functional skills, and suddenly find themselves ill-equipped to deal with such issues. Here are some of the most ‘alien’ areas for these non-HR managers:




Being intricately involved with selection interviews is often one of the first and most evident duties a manager might find themselves undertaking. It is a mistake to believe that personal experience as an interviewee will adequately prepare you for the task. You might be interviewing multiple candidates, perhaps more than once, and it is important to treat each one fairly and equitably to protect the integrity of the process.


Training & Performance Management


Managing a team will, almost certainly, involve an aspect of performance management and consideration of employee training needs. Many non-HR managers will understandably find these conversations difficult – from utilising a constructive approach to employee feedback, to being open to allowing an employee to embrace new skills through training. Being necessarily critical – or, equally, offering suitable praise – is a skill that needs to be practiced.


Employment rules


The relationship between employer and employee is more regulated than ever before. Every country has its own approach to such laws, but every one of them will require that non-HR managers learn at least the basics of the legal relationship that exists.
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