How to become an HR professional

Becoming an HR professional

While others consider the job selection process a chore, you seem to have fallen in love with it. You can’t stop daydreaming about conducting interviews, meeting all kinds of candidates, ensuring everyone gets paid fairly and on-time, and making the workplace everyone’s happy place. Now let us help you take the next step and figure out how to make this daydream a reality.

What are the types of HR jobs?

The human resources department is involved in a variety of tasks such as manpower planning, recruiting, payroll management, employee engagement, learning and development, employee relations, employee retention, and so on. So you are really spoilt for choices and can pick whichever HR role best suits your interests.

1. HR associate

This is an entry-level HR job. If you are interested in the recruiting side of HR, then this can offer a good starting point. In the associate role, you will conduct job analysis with the hiring manager, create and post job ads, screen resumes, schedule interviews, take preliminary interviews, and conduct employee onboarding. 

2. HR analyst

Over the past few years, data has become an integral part of HR. It is used for defining and refining various HR strategies. So if you want to get the best of HR and data worlds, then an HR analyst might be the best fit for you.

As an HR analyst, you will collect and analyse HR data, observe trends and patterns, identify key performance indicators, and make recommendations related to recruiting, talent acquisition, employee retention, and employee engagement.

3. HR administrator

These HR personnel take care of maintaining and updating the HR database with information such as employee records, preparing documents like employment contracts, answering internal and external HR queries, and updating company policies.

4. HR manager

Human resources managers occupy a significant role in any company’s functioning. They are responsible for various HR functions such as recruiting, training, interviewing, managing payroll, deciding compensation, conducting performance reviews, terminating employment, creating employer brand, and overseeing HR associates.

Besides these responsibilities, HR managers can play a key role in creating the company culture and defining the long-term HR strategy.

5. HR generalist

As the name suggests, an HR generalist is a jack of all trades. On any given day, a generalist can tackle anything from employee onboarding to legal compliance. Because this requires a know-how of a variety of HR tasks, this is generally a role for professionals with a few years of experience.

6. HR consultant

Once you know the ins and outs of the HR world, you can share your expertise with organisations that want to improve their human resource management and development. As an HR consultant, you can help with optimising HR processes. This can be done by identifying bottlenecks in the current process or leading HR projects/tasks. For example, larger organisations may need a consultant for employee engagement. On the other hand, a small business might need help with defining best talent acquisition practises or creating compensation packages.

7. Chief human resources officer (CHRO)

They are at the helm of the HR department. A CHRO is a C-suite executive who is responsible for creating HR strategy that is in alignment with the business goals. They need to have a strong foundational knowledge of HR and some years of experience in different HR roles.

Now that you know about all the HR jobs you can make a career in, let’s find out about different ways to get there.

How can you learn human resource management?

1. Pursue a degree in HR or related field

The traditional route to getting into HR is enrolling in a degree in human resources or related fields such as management or psychology. Popular choices for colleges include XLRI, TISS, NMIMS, IIM, and FMS. 

2. Take an online training

If you have developed an interest in HR but aren’t sure about committing to a 2-year degree program, then you can try out online training.

Internshala’s Human Resource Management training has been designed for anyone who is starting out in the world of human resources or existing HR professionals who want to enhance their knowledge of HRM. The training will take you through different functions of HR such as manpower planning, job analysis, recruitment and selection, compensation management, and training and development. Throughout the training, you can test your knowledge by working on real life based projects like creating an employee pulse survey, designing salary structure, and revamping an HR department.

3. Do an internship

If you already possess some HR skills such as communication, problem-solving, and empathy, then you can break into the field with an internship. An internship can expose you to different areas of work that the HR department works on and give you hands-on experience in some. This way, an internship can also help you figure out if you want to take the plunge with a degree later on.

To learn more, read Building a career in Human Resources – All you need to know.

4. Network with other professionals in the industry

While networking is an important part of an HR professional’s job, it is also a great way to learn about the field and stay abreast with the latest developments. You can join online groups or associations and attend industry events.

5. Read about the best practices, trends, news, and research

There are a huge number of resources dedicated to the fine art of human resource management such as Society for Human Resource Management, HRKatha, and PeopleMatters. If you are into reading books, then you can check out this list of best HR books.

What are the skills you need to become an HR professional?

1. Communication 

This is one of the most commonly listed skills in an HR opening. In fact, if you are a people person, then you may have already been asked to consider a career in human resources. However, communication as an HR isn’t merely limited to being good with people. 

You will spend a major part of your day communicating with candidates or employees, drafting policies, and attending meetings with stakeholders from different departments. For this, you need to be good at writing effectively, listening carefully, and public speaking. 

2. Time management

The HR department often deals with time-sensitive tasks such as employment contracts, payroll management, insurance, etc. Hence, HR employees need to be pros at defining priorities and managing the tasks in a timely manner.

3. Conflict management

Workplace conflicts can often lead to unpleasant consequences such as an employee quitting, an unhealthy workplace culture, loss in productivity, etc. The HR can play a key role in diffusing these situations through their conflict management skills. An HR member should know how to resolve workplace conflicts in an unbiased manner or be able to figure out the best course of action.

4. Problem-solving 

Whether it’s finding ways of sourcing the best candidates on a budget or finding the best party venue, an HR professional needs to deal with a number of problems regularly, so having problem-solving ability is a must. 

5. Empathy

HRs need to be people advocates. To do so, they need to be empathetic so that they can genuinely understand the employees’ concerns and address them in a way that leads to satisfaction.

6. Understanding of HR laws

The HR department should be in the know of various workplace laws and regulations so that the company does not run into any legal problems. 

7. Technical skills

HR professionals may need to use tools like MS-Excel and Human Resource Information System (HRIS) for their day-to-day work. 

If you have some of these skills, that’s great! If you want to pick up on other HR skills and HRM concepts, then you can check out Internshala’s Human Resource Management course. Use coupon code BLOG10 to get an additional 10% off.

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