Employees can make or break a company, that’s no secret. Finding, hiring and keeping the quality employees that make a company is a challenge. It takes time, research and knowledge to find the right person for a position. It’s the job of the human resources department to help companies find and keep top talent. I checked in with our own HR department to get the inside track on finding a job in human resources.
If you’re looking for a position that makes a difference, HR may be for you. HR combines technical and legal knowledge with people skills to benefit both the individual and the organization.
Human resources positions generally include working with management to determine employment needs and building position descriptions. HR will be involved in the interviewing, hiring and training of new employees. They also manage benefits and employment records.
HR can be a great career choice. It is engaging and challenging every day. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job growth through 2022 in human resources positions including:
- Human Resources Manager
- Human Resources Specialist
- Human Resource Generalist
- Training and Development Manager
- Training and Development Specialist
- Compensation and Benefits Manager
- Payroll Specialist
If you’re interested in a career in human resources, here are the top things our HR department looks for:
Most HR positions require at least a bachelor’s degree in human resources or business. A master’s degree may be preferred and is often required for higher level positions. Courses such as labor relations, employment law, retention, and training and development are valued by employers.
Previous experience in HR is a big advantage. Management experience is also compatible as managing involves HR issues and policies. The ability to organize, manage and lead is essential for HR managers. Experience is important for upper level positions.
This may hold true across all jobs, but a quality resume is a must. Use bullet points to highlight your education and qualifications and keep it concise. Make sure it’s professional with no spelling mistakes.
Working in an HR department does come with a learning curve. The employer is investing in you and looking for employees that are going to have an impact and stick around. If your resume shows that you have changed employers frequently, it could leave a negative impression.
HR requires professionalism, objectivity, creativity, problem solving and critical thinking. You will be working with people and sometimes with issues. Be prepared to talk about your skills and experience and show that you are the best candidate for the job.
Professional certifications are not generally required for HR positions, but they can set you apart from the crowd. Certifications show your dedication to the field and may be what it takes to get your resume on top of the pile. The most recognized professional HR certifications include:
- Professional in Human Resources (PHR®), designed for individuals early in their career and focused on HR practices in the US.
- Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR®), which is for those working in organizations that operate in multiple countries.
- Senior Professional in Human Resources ((SPHR®), aimed at experienced professionals covering strategic issues.
- Human Resource Business Professional (HRBP®), a global credential showing professional-level core knowledge and skills.
Overseen by the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI), these certifications require education, experience and an exam.
There are also specialty certifications in areas such as compensation, workforce planning, training and development, and benefits for those who wish to specialize in a certain area. Corporations with large HR departments will have specialists.
Joining a HR association is a great way to network, keep up with industry news and find continuing education resources.
- Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
- National Human Resources Association
- Professionals in Human Resources Association (PIHRA)
- World at Work
Human resources is a growing field with potential. Be prepared to find a job with this advice from our HR department.