How do I get into an HR career?

Helen Gallagher 08.11.2012

Not so long ago, HR was known as ‘Staffing’ or ‘Personnel’ and was responsible for issuing payroll and the hiring and firing of people. Nowadays HR means so much more –making the most of the people you've got, and attracting the people your company requires has become a priority for the world’s leading companies.

Working within HR gives you a great insight into all aspects of a business. It gives you the opportunity to really work out how successful organisations operate and how those that desire to be successful can become so. When the needs and talents of individuals are aligned up with the organisation’s aims and purpose, HR can really help a business to achieve sustainable levels of success.

What skills do I need?

The knowledge and skills you need to work in HR may not be what you expect. It’s not just the softer ‘people skills’ that are important in HR. You need to have a strong interest and acumen in business and the policies that underpins its success. You need a good degree of numeracy to evaluate information such as employee surveys, key success indicators of projects or the financial and personal value of an employee to the organisation. The ability to coach others in the business, to partner (but also be willing to challenge) managers and to become someone that can be trusted completely are also critical.

How do I get there?

One of the best ways to ease your move into HR is to obtain a qualification from The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) CIPD is an internationally recognised organisation with over 135,000 members across 120 countries. CIPD members consist of the next generation of Human Resources professionals, and many of the world’s most influential senior HR leaders from world-class organisations. Whether you’re starting out in HR or looking to progress, the CIPD and its members will support and encourage you to achieve your full career potential. CIPD’s globally-renowned professional qualifications are a fantastic way to obtain the essential foundation knowledge and skills needed to become an effective HR professional.

Helen Gallagher's picture
Global Head of HR
hgallagher@morganmckinley.com

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