The Human Resource (HR) department of a company looks after the most valuable resource of an enterprise and that is its employees. A career in HR is definitely exciting but at the same time, it is going to be quite challenging.
Contrary to the limited job responsibility of the HRs in the past, the HR job role has now evolved to include various facets. HRs now functions more than just a face for recruitment and firing. They are also highly involved with employee development, maintenance of organization culture, employee retention, employee growth, and maintenance of a motivating work environment.
How to begin a career in HR
Firstly, HR’s are responsible for looking after the Human Resources of a company. Therefore, they need to have strong communication skills and strong interpersonal skills.
These professionals may need to learn about finance, business management, and accounting from time to time to help with the goals of the company they are working for.
The job prospects of HR are good and the demand for these professionals is here to stay in the future. Therefore, people can pursue this career path as this will be a long-lasting profession. It will be rewarding for them who have an interest in this field.
Besides, the above-mentioned points, the HR career path also needa person to follow confidentiality and have integrity.
You can conduct a job search with Lensa and find out the job responsibilities expected from an HR professional.
How to prepare to be an HR
To get on the HR career path you would definitely need the required educational qualifications, certifications, and experience.The educational backgrounds of people who choose to become HR vary widely but a degree in human resources is preferred. Further, where you go to college to study also decides what role and duties of HR you learn about.
A job in HR and its responsibilities varies on the basis of geographical location and the company size. In a small company, one person may be expected to look after everything, whereas in big companies HR department will have individual employees specializing in specific roles.
Previous experience and certifications in the HR field are highly desirable to get the senior job roles such as that of an HR manager.
An MBA in HR is recommended if you want to grab high pay opportunities and be competitive in the job market. A person aspiring to be an HR is recommended to take a complementary course on psychology, compensation, recruitment, performance appraisal, and training & development.
Earnings and Job Prospects
According to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) in the US, the average national yearly salary of an HR manager is $113300. However, the actual salaries vary widely depending on factors such as years of experience, location, and others.
The huge variation in salary exists because the job duties of an HR vary widely and touches different areas of a business. The highly paid HR jobs are that of technical and scientific consulting firms. Additionally, the highest paying specialties in the domain area of organizational development and labor relations.
The BLS report also stated that the top professionals in the human resource domain earned around $201380. The average salary of HR recruiters and HR specialists was $60880. Again, those who are the benefits managers and compensations managers earned an average salary of $121010.
Educational qualifications to be an HR
While in the past it was possible to work hard and move ahead in the career even to become VP. Now, the situation has changed. People now need to have proper degrees and certifications if they want to make it big in their respective careers. This change has come in almost all the fields but the degrees are even more important for a career in HR.
A bachelor’s degree is a must to consider a career in HR. The bachelor’s degree doesn’t have to be in HR. As mentioned before, HR is a field that encompasses various disciplines. Therefore, knowledge of different domains is desirable.
You should have a curriculum that consists of social sciences, behavioral sciences, and liberal arts. The courses should enable you to have strong written and oral communication skills.
The SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) stresses that students who aspire to become an HR in the future should pursue a course in:
- General Business
- Labor Law
A bachelor’s degree is needed to have good opportunities in the field. If the students want to gain specialized knowledge in the HR domain and want to grab high paying jobs then they should go for a master’s program. Master of Science in Human Resources or MBA in HR are both highly desirable to have if a candidate wants to deal with a complex marketplace.
What certifications are required?
Most of the time, certifications are optional. They are mainly required to remain competitive in the market or sometimes in big enterprises that deal with complex scenarios. Hence, even though they are not required they may help you in your HR career later.
If human resource aspirants want to get certified they usually go for the certification in PHR (Professional in Human Resources) or SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources).
How to make the transition from other careers to HR
Lawyers and psychologists often shift their careers and enter the HR department. Lateral moves are one way in which people transition from a different field to the Human resource. Plus, that’s an easy way too.
If you already work in a particular department of the company you can convey your interest to switch over to the HR department. This can be done by taking small job roles at a time such as employee benefits, payroll, etc.
Another way is to network with HR professionals in networking events. With good connections, you can easily grab new HR job opportunities.
Another way to improve your chances is by getting relevant HR experience by joining small businesses as they are open to people who can work in multiple departments.
A career in the HR domain is a rewarding one. It is not so difficult to become an HR or transition into the HR job role. Just work on your soft skills and acquire a relevant degree and experience.