Human resources is a fast-growing career field, offering a wide range of great opportunities. There are many HR job titles that you can qualify for as a preferred HR career if you are interested in pursuing a career in this field. According to career analysts, the number of jobs in Human Resources is expected to increase in the future. This means, there is no better time to prepare for and start your career in Human Resources than right now.
If you are wondering how to start a career of your own and grow to become an expert in Human Resources, we have put together some useful and reliable information to act as a guide. This post will help you through the process of understanding Human Resources, and getting ready for a rewarding career.
Personal Qualification – Do you have what it takes?
As important as education is, there are other skills and qualifications that are also as important as your degree and coursework. The personal qualifications you will need to help you successfully work in HR include:
- Effective spoken and written communication skills
- Effective interpersonal skills so that you can successfully interact with the organisation’s employees no matter their level or background
- Conflict resolution skills, with the ability to initiate and mediate conflicts within the workplace
- Demonstrate a high level of integrity, fairness and confidentiality
- Able to set and accomplish goals and work as a member of a team
- Knowledge of how to efficiently make use computers and information systems
- Comfort working with people from diverse backgrounds, including educational levels, work experience, religious practices, ages, cultural heritages, and having differing views
- Understanding of statistics and finance
Different universities and colleges offer educational programs that grant degrees in human resources upon completion, in addition to HR specialities like business, training or development. Depending on your school of choice, courses that lead to a career in Human Resources can generally be found in departments such as human services, organisation development, communication, public administration, education, business, and instructional design or technology.
There are three key points to keep in mind in order to ensure that HR career and job opportunities will continue to be available for you:
- Understand that the duties and responsibilities of HR workers will always be diverse and will vary in accordance with their educational background.
- Most HR specialities require certifications and previous experience, as they are essential to move on to more advanced positions like managers, mediators and arbitrators.
- A combination of a college degree and an earned certification makes a solid foundation and opens the door to great job opportunities in Human Resources.
A look through available HR jobs will show you that many of them require industry-standard credentials such as PHR (Professional in Human Resources) and SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) certification. These types of certification are granted by the HRCI (HR Certification Institute).
As a result of the serious emphasis placed on these credentials by employers, it makes sense that certification would be the foremost recommendation for people preparing for a career in Human Resources.
In order to achieve long lasting success as an HR practitioner, certification is essential. However, without a significant exempt-level (professional) experience in the field of Human Resource Management, you cannot be qualified to attempt either the PHR or SPHR exam.
How to Gain Experience
Practical experience related to HR practice will go a long way to ensure you have an appealing background to employers. If you are in school or planning to return to school, schedule time to take part in a relevant internship to gain useful experience. Other ways to gain HR experience include:
- Seeking for entry-level employment that will provide you with exposure to relevant aspects of the industry. These include record-keeping, payroll, and different other administrative functions involved with dealing with employees.
- Even at your current workplace, you can find opportunities to develop essential HR skills. Volunteer to serve on tasks forces related to employee issues, train or mentor new employees. If possible, let your boss know of your interest in transitioning into HR and request for opportunities to cross train in related areas.
Professional Networking in Human Resources
Membership in a professional organisation also plays a key role in enjoying success in your chosen field. The SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) chapter is a place where you can develop relationships and network with HR professionals close to you. Such people may be in a position to help you begin or transition your career, and by becoming an active member, you’ll have the chance to meet them and expand your horizons.