It’s a great time to be an HR professional, especially as industries across the world face tumultuous shifts within the workforce. HR professionals have had to adapt to recruiting, retaining, training, and managing remote workforces — all while they look for novel strategies to shorten hiring times, decrease burnout, and boost morale in a highly competitive job market.
This has solidified their significance in society, and is partly why the BLS projects about 16,300 openings for HR managers each year, on average, over the decade. This will replace the workers who have transferred to different occupations or exited the labor force through retirement or other means.
Sounds exciting? Here’s what you need to know for a job in the HR industry.
1. Education and training
HR is a dynamic field with opportunities for all kinds of job experience. This means that any degree can actually help you get an HR job, although many aspirants tend to lean towards an undergraduate degree in business, management, or even the social sciences to streamline their accumulation of relevant skills. A Bachelor of Science in HR is the standard choice.
The bottom line, however, is that what you’ve learned and what job experience you have is more important. HR Daily Advisor explains that earning a degree shows dedication to long-term commitments and an ability to easily adapt, and this is what employers want from HR candidates. Don’t give up if you aren’t equipped with a degree, however. While the chances would be significantly lower, achieving an entry-level position isn’t impossible if you have the right skills, internships, or network beforehand.
2. Job seeking and recruitment
Before applying to any office, make sure that your resume is updated with the latest skills and experience you have that are related to HR. An article by LHH for HR job candidates lists technical skills, financial management, and critical thinking or problem-solving skills as being in high demand, so highlighting these may allow for a jumpstart in the initial screening process. Keep in mind that the HR industry currently employs a fast-paced hiring process to keep up with the demand, so expect a virtual screening or interview from 60% of workplaces if you move on to the next process.
There are other ways to get into HR without going through the standard recruitment process. Internal transfers are a common choice. Here, you move up in the company that you already work for by first talking to your supervisors or those working in HR. You can then write a job transfer request letter as recommended by The Balance, and this will list your background and your reason for the transfer request. If the employer sees this transfer as a beneficial investment for the company, this will be approved and you can start your internal training in your new department.
Types of HR jobs
There are many different roles within the HR department, so choosing wisely and playing by your strengths will greatly affect your performance and chances of getting in. If you are especially skilled in math, you could quickly qualify for an entry-level payroll processing position. Otherwise, if you have had training in communication, you could fit right in with more written or verbal roles.
More experienced workers in the field can enjoy the tasks of a recruitment consultant, as we’ve previously discussed in Is RC A Good Job? Here, one advises other clients and negotiates with candidates seeking jobs, which can make for a fulfilling yet time and energy-consuming experience. It would therefore be best to start out as a recruiter, an employment specialist, or a recruitment manager and work your way up from there.
When you match your skills with the right role, the on-hands training will only improve your strengths. Make up for any shortcomings with enthusiasm and passion for the job, and HR will become a rewarding experience for yourself and your employer.