June 27, 2017

Thinking about a career in HR?

Are you stuck in a job that isn’t for you? Are you ready for a career change?

Have you thought about a career in Human Resources (HR)?

If you enjoy working with people and are motivated by helping people in their working environment, and are interested in having the opportunities to work in a range of industries; HR could be the profession for you.

There are many questions to think about when you are considering a new career, so we have put together this blog so you can get some key information about what a career in HR means, what potential roles you could consider and what you might be doing in those roles.

What does an HR professional do?
Put simply, HR helps your organisation create value through its employees. As an HR professional you will communicate with all departments of your organisation at all levels, and whilst there are several specialist roles in HR, you will be expected to have an understanding of multiple functions. Your role as an HR professional will vary depending on the size and type of the organisation you are working in; however, HR professionals are expected to contribute to the employee development, employee retention and creating a motivating and positive work environment. Your job could include recruitment, training for employees, rewards and performance, grievances, appraisals along with other specialist responsibilities.

Why HR?
A career in HR means you will have the opportunity to work in every sector. Most businesses need an HR professional to support their people management so you will have ample opportunity to learn about new industries. HR is an increasingly popular career choice as there is an opportunity to influence so many aspects of your organisation. The chance to assist with the development of every employee to ensure they are getting the most out of their work experiences is for many, meaningful work. From the tactical day to day activities to the strategic transformation programmes. The HR department helps to make a difference in all organisations.

What roles are there in HR?
From HR Assistants to the HR Director and everything in between there are so many varying roles in the HR department, to list them all would take hours so we have pin pointed some of the key levels and specialisms within the HR department for you to have a look at. To help you understand the complexity of each role we have noted the recommended CIPD qualification Level.

  • HR Assistant: Typically, a HR Assistant role is an entry level position and responsibilities tend to include monitoring staff absence and working hours, assisting with administration for all aspects of the recruitment process and attending and taking notes in HR meetings. As a HR Assistant, you will be the first point of contact for all HR related questions and queries. (CIPD Level 3 Foundation Qualification)
  • Recruitment and Talent Planning Professional: As a Recruitment and Talent Planning Professional, your role is to help fulfil the short and long-term recruitment requirements to meet your organisation’s needs. You should plan for staff turnover, need for skills and changing demographics. You could be responsible for identifying current talent and training them effectively with succession planning and performance management. (CIPD Level 3 Foundation / Level 5 Intermediate Qualification)
  • HR Manager: A management position has different responsibilities based on the organisation, however a typical management role will be responsible for driving a HR agenda, resourcing, performance management, complex employee relations issues and employee engagement. (Level 5 Intermediate)
  • HR Business Partner: HR Business Partners help senior managers and directors to provide coaching, support and advice. Their job is to improve how an organisation performs, and make sure it has the best staff to do this. (CIPD Level 5 Intermediate / Level 7 Advanced Qualification)
  • HR Director: HR Directors determine how to get the best out of their employees and be successful at work. It’s their job to inspire people to get the most out of their job and themselves. An HR Director is responsible for making the big decisions about all things related to people, that’s attracting people, developing careers and improving people performance. (CIPD Level 7 Advanced Qualification)

What skills do I need?
If you are interested in a career in HR, there are certain qualities that employers find important. The CIPD have completed many forms of research over the years and have identified some key behaviours necessary for success in HR, these behaviours include curiosity, the ability to be a skilled influencer, to be driven to deliver and to have the courage to challenge. These amongst many other attributes will allow you to thrive in the HR environment. The CIPD are now working on a new qualification framework that will set out the knowledge, skills and behaviours of what HR for the 21st century looks like. To read more about the current behaviours identified by the CIPD, click here.

What is the earning potential?
One of the key questions when looking at a new career or even a promotion is the earning potential. In HR, it can vary depending on what role you do and the qualifications you hold. For example, a CIPD Level 3 Certificate in HR Practice allows you to earn up to £25,000 in an Assistant type role. A CIPD Level 5 Intermediate Certificate in HR Management would mean you are qualified for a role as a HR Manager where you could potentially earn £35,000 – £50,000. We have created a handy little salary calculator that you can use to see how much you could potentially earn as an HR professional.

Click here to find out how much more you could earn.

We hope this blog has helped you decide if a career in HR is right for you. If you have any questions our team of expert Programme Advisors are available to talk to you to help you get started in your new career in HR.

Call 0330 660 0220 today or email cipd@dpgplc.co.uk

For even more great content to get your new career of the ground, you can download our new white paper ‘A guide to a career in HR