How to get your foot in the door for a career in HR

HR positions have evolved over the years and more recently has changed from being a support/admin position, to a much more strategic part of the business. Talent management is an essential part of any business and integral to growth and success. The role of a HR professional is to make sure that talent strategies are aligned to the business and managed effectively.

Making your move into a position in HR with no experience

One of the most common routes of getting your HR career started is to complete a degree in HR management, a certificate in personnel practice (CPP), a Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) course or business degree.

If you’re able to get any experience during a gap or placement year in a HR department, this is another really good way to generate the skills needed to work in HR, and prove to potential employers that you have what it takes. Some companies, however, will not hire a HR professional without certifications or degrees, so it’s important that you’re always looking for ways to improve your skillset as a HR professional.

Making your move into a position in HR from a different career

Depending on the background you’re coming from, you might find yourself at an advantage. Those who want to move from employment legislation, recruitment, or any administrative type position, will often find it easier to make the transition. These positions already include elements of the HR function, so if you’re struggling to find a HR position and don’t have your certifications, it could be worth pursing an initial career in any of the above to help improve your skills and experience.

The challenge that you’ll face trying to get into a HR position with some career experience already will be the salary level. You’ll be competing against other candidates who likely have some form of experience in HR, so you might need to be flexible in terms of your salary and potentially take a lower salary in order to move forwards in your HR career.

What skills do you need to be a HR professional?

To make yourself an ideal candidate, you must stand out against your competing prospective HR professionals. Making sure that you attend networking and skill-based events to enhance your knowledge base will help set you aside from other candidates by proving the will to learn. The role of a HR professional is largely based around people and talent within an organisation and therefore it is imperative that you have second-to-none communication and interpersonal skills. You will be working with people at all levels of the business, so being able to communicate with them all is essential to run a successful HR department.

HR professionals can grow and progress in an organisation and really show their value within the business. You’ll be working closely with a lot of decision makers within the business and being able to make a strong impression on those people, by delivering exceptional results will open many doors for you as a HR professional. Whether you decide to work in a smaller business or a larger business, as a HR professional, you will have a very clear career path set for your future. If you’re looking to get started in HR, please do get in touch with a member of the Coby Philips team here.

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