How to Break into a Career in HR

How to break into a career in HR

What is Human Resources (HR)?

Human resources (HR) is the department within a business that is responsible for all things worker-related. That includes recruiting, vetting, selecting, hiring, onboarding, training, promoting, paying, and firing employees as well as independent contractors. HR is also the department that stays on top of new legislation; guiding how workers need to be treated during the hiring, working, and firing process.

HR is considered by many business strategists to be the most important of all company resources. That’s because employees can gain new skills, thereby increasing the size of a company’s competitive advantage over time. Other resources simply don’t have that capacity.

How to break into a career in HR?

Whether you have just graduated, or are considering changing industries, the Human Resources (HR) industry may be the right path for you. The HR industry is booming, which means it can offer a wide range of opportunity for people interested in beginning a new career.

In order to break into the HR industry, you will need to learn a bit about it, as well as gain the necessary skills, before joining a company.

For those who are trying to find that first human resources position, here are some strategies to use:

  • Network extensively. Human resources by definition is a job for people who can develop good networks.
  • Get an education. A degree is helpful, especially if it is in human resources or another business degree, but is not necessary. A bit of research into employment law and related topics may help convince an employer of a candidate’s ability to do the job. It is also possible to take individual classes without necessarily seeking a degree. Also, some companies may offer tuition assistance to employees who wish to further their education.
  • Analyze the role of HR in the specific companies you are hoping to apply to. While HR has begun functioning as a business environment, some companies still relegate much of HR to administrative tasks. For the latter, you may find that you will get less opportunities to work beyond standard administrative tasks. For companies that consider HR as a large, separate unit within the company, you may find that you have more opportunity to gain new skills.
  • Work experience can put you ahead of the field. HR is a very competitive market place, and if you ever come across the opportunity to do any volunteer work in a HR department either by old or new contacts then grab it with both hands. It may make the difference when you qualify to getting that first role.

Which HR skills do employers want?

To thrive in this often pressurised environment, you'll need to show:

  • Adaptability, flexibility and patience
  • Ambition and confidence
  • Business acumen and an entrepreneurial approach
  • Curiosity and the courage to challenge
  • Discretion and trustworthiness
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Organisational skills and the ability to multitask
  • Strategic thinking
  • The ability to work to deadlines and meet targets
  • That you can work as part of a team.

Looking for more information on HR courses and HR management courses? Then give us a call and find out more about the human resources courses we have at London TFE.

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