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A Guide to Careers in Human Resources

Mizio de Sousa

Human resources is responsible for running and overseeing the administrative tasks of a company. If you're a natural problem solver, have excellent organisational skills, and can communicate efficiently, it could be a career for you.

There are various roles within human resources, each requiring a different set of skills and qualifications. Here's a breakdown of the most common positions.

Recruitment Consultant

Perhaps the most popular job within human resources is recruiting. In this position, you'll be tasked with sourcing, interviewing, and screening new employees. It's a critical job since you'll be directly influencing the calibre and quality of the workforce. To succeed in this role, you’ll need excellent negotiation and organisational skills and be resilient.

A recruitment consultant role is similar to a sales position, but you'll be selling the company instead of a product or service. You'll also have targets and KPIs to meet each quarter, so strong sales ability is recommended. Most companies looking for recruiters place more importance on experience over qualifications for their entry-level positions. Although a degree in any field does help land a job, you'll do just as well if you have extensive sales experience elsewhere.

Human Resources Officer

As a human resources officer, you'll be in charge of ensuring the company complies with the latest labour laws, that recruitment is done fairly, and that employees have development opportunities. To succeed in this role, you'll need good business management and communications skills, in addition to knowledge of the latest HR practices.

Most companies are open to graduates from all disciplines, but some require specific human resources qualifications to undertake the role. If your degree is in an unrelated subject, you can always get the qualifications through a human resources masters degree.

Learning and Development Manager

If you have a talent for teaching or communicating effectively, a learning and development manager position could be for you. You'll be in charge of developing and overseeing training programmes for new and existing employees. This role is common with companies that recruit entry-level workers, such as estate agents.

You'll also help existing employees get training for a new position in the company, usually when a promotion is involved. In other instances, you'll be organising training events on new industry or company practices.

To succeed, you'll need to be a strong leader, a good communicator, and apt at building relationships. You'll need proven management experience, a degree, and be CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) qualified for most positions.

Employee Relations

The employee relations officer has one of the most challenging but rewarding jobs in human resources. You'll be the communication point between the company/management and employees. It often means that you'll be the company representative during dismissals, disciplinary hearings, and meetings with union representatives.

You'll need to be CIPD qualified and usually have some HR experience in another role to land a position. To succeed, you'll need strong negotiation, communication, and interpersonal skills.

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