If you love working with people and feeling needed, a career in HR may be right for you. Human Resources professionals keep businesses staffed and act as liaisons between managers and their staff. They manage employee benefits and are responsible for maintaining training and employee records.
Careers in Human Resources
As a human resources professional, you can find several types of HR jobs. Smaller businesses may have only one person to handle HR tasks, while larger corporations may have hundreds. The most common HR career titles are:
In a larger corporation with a great many HR employees, the HR director oversees budgets, policies, procedures, and strategic planning for an HR department. Most HR directors have at least 10 years of experience in human resources.
In medium to large companies, an HR manager oversees the daily operations of the HR office. They are responsible for ensuring HR tasks are completed, and they do the hiring for their department.
You know that boring sexual harassment training you have to take every year? Somewhere in your company, there’s a training officer that makes sure everyone takes that training. Training officers identify employee training needs and either create or find courses to meet those needs. They may be responsible for employee on-boarding and orientation as well.
One of the most important roles of HR is to recruit talented employees. A recruitment coordinator advertises vacancies, sorts applications, and is in charge of shortlisting candidates for interviews.
An HR officer performs many tasks in the HR office, such as employee absence tracking, record keeping, performance evaluations, and even payroll in some cases.
HR Administrator or Assistant
Everyone has to start somewhere! If you’re just starting a career in HR, you will likely start in this entry-level position where you will handle data entry, paperwork, phone calls, emails, and other employee communications. You will assist HR officers and managers with the daily tasks of running the HR office.
Skills Important in an HR Career
Human resources offers you a variety of job options, but they aren’t for every personality. Outgoing personalities do best, as you will be dealing with people and their problems most of your workday. Other qualities of a good HR professional include:
- Strong leadership abilities: The HR department is the go-to place for employees and managers who need support. People will look to you to lead them in the right direction to solve their problems.
- Problem-solving skills: You will see problems of all shapes and sizes in the HR department, and you’ll need the skills to navigate all of them!
- Exceptional communication skills: You must be able to communicate in-person, on the phone, via email, through company memos, and during presentations.
- Strong sense of ethics: You must clearly know the difference between right and wrong and make the best decisions for the people who trust you with their issues.
- Strong organizational and time-management skills: You must be able to manage stacks of documentation, meetings, and a variety of daily tasks. Your time-management skills must absolutely rock!
Education for a Career in HR
You can take a variety of educational paths to a career in HR, but most jobs will require you to have at least a bachelor’s degree. Most HR professionals pursue degrees in fields like psychology and business. To advance to the ultimate HR Director position, you will need a graduate degree.
A career in HR isn’t for everyone. If you prefer to work on your own and never see another person, you might want to choose a different career field. HR professionals love to solve problems and get a thrill from finding the perfect person to fill a vacant position. If this sounds like you, start reworking your resume with HR keywords like “problem-solving,” “active listening,” and “talent acquisition.”