Almost every turn I make, I hear people say they want to pursue career in HR.
HR there, HR here or probably it is just my pronounced circle of friends.
Hence from the foregoing, the thought came to my heart to do a write-up on what HR as a profession/career is about and how to become HR personnel. While some know close to nothing on how to become HR personnel, some others simply have bits and pieces of information/knowledge about it.
This article is geared towards moving that fellow with the passion for HR in the right direction and shed more light on what HR truly is. There are other careers you might also consider like salesforce
What is HR?
HR is an acronym for Human Resources.
At face value, human resources refer to the people who occupy certain job functions in an organisation. They perform given tasks for the sole aim of achieving set organisational goals.
Business dictionary defines HR as the resources that reside in the knowledge, skills and motivation of people.
However in text, HR is also an acronym for Human Resource Management.
Human resource Management (HRM or simply HR) is a function in organisation designed to maximize employee performance in services of an employer’s strategic objective.
Who are HR personnel?
From our face value definition of Human Resources and the Wiki’s definition of Human Resource Management, we can say that HR personnel are officers who perform one or a combination of the Human Resource Management functions which are categorized into Managerial, operative and advisory functions.
Before we highlight the job roles of HR officers, let us take a look at the basic functions of HRM as listed below:
- Staffing- This involves HR planning, job analysis, recruitment, selections and placement.
- Employee development – Performance, appraisal, training etc
- Employee Maintenance- This involves health, safety and welfare policies in the workplace
- Employee Relations etc
Job Role of HR personnel
HR personnel job description depends on his/her level in the HR career path. What an intern does is different from what a HR officer does, and what a HR officer is expected to do is different from what HR supervision does and so on.
In the same vein, what a HR manager does is different from what a HR business partner does and the list can go on and on.
The beauty of the HR career path is that the further you go, the more strategic your role is to certain decisions of the organisation i.e. you can become a strategic partner in the making of decisions that determines the direction of the entire organisation and also the business performance.
To pick the different levels of HR career and discuss their roles one by one would be cumbersome for this piece. However, I will discuss the general roles of HR within an organisation and how to start a career in HR.
Roles of HR within the Organisation
Over the years, the role of HR has evolved from administrative to being strategic within an organisation. Some of the duties of HR are:
- Create and drive strategies that build a workforce necessary to meet business objectives
- Indentify skill gap in current workforce and implement the strategic to close it
- Optimize the performance of the workforce by creating retention strategies, productivity improvement and identify competency upgrade opportunities
- Promote management practices that create and sustain positive employee retention in the organisation
- Strike balance between what is right for the individual and what is right for the organisation
Why is HR Important to an organisation?
- Manpower planning (MP) which refers to HR planning consists of putting the right number of people, the right kind of people at the right place, the right time doing the first thing for which they are best suited (CIPM Man Power Planning, 2013).
- HR encourages organisation learning though its training and development arm
- The HRM serves as the mediator between the employee and his employer, manages disputes and stands as an agent of peace. The HR attracts, recruits, selects and inducts employees. No one knows them better than the HR. Hence, they stand in the gap between the employee and its employers
- The HRM has the responsibility of creating and maintain a safe workplace. They engage employees in creating/promoting awareness of safe handling of equipment
- HR looks after the staff welfare. A well motivated and compensated staff is a gift to any company. HR makes sure its staffs are well compensated and looked after.
Looking at this beautiful and pivoted strategic career, the next question is “How do I build A Career in HR?”
Building a career in HR for a young fellow may be determined by the course of study. If you are yet to get admission into a higher institution of learning, I will strongly advise that you pick a psychology, labor and industrial related courses.
However for a graduate who wants to pursue a career in HR but studied a divergent or different course from the aforementioned, you still have a chance to do so.
First I will advise that your source of motivation for choosing a career in HR should be self-awareness, passion, and strength. HR is a lucrative career path but I will not advise that you to pick this career (or any career for that matter) because of the amount of money you can make.
First, determine that HR is right for you. Make sure you have picked your career path. I strongly opine that you talk to people in the field for experiential insight into the HR career path. And once you have determined that HR is for you, you can start out by interning at an HR firm e.g. job recruitment firms.
While on the job, as you start to learn, you should begin to develop your career by following trends in the HR industry (both globally and locally).
Certifications like CIPM, HRBP, HRMP, SHRM, GPR etc. are some of the certifications you should consider taking along your HR career pathway.
Also educational qualifications like MBA or M.Sc in Managerial Psychology and related fields are also advised.
One of the ways you can grow quickly is to network and attend seminars and career training organized by statutory bodies like Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Chattered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM), and the likes.
All these will give you a career push at whatever level you are in the career path.
A few of the qualities you must possess as HR personnel will be
- Good communication skills
- Good interpersonal skills
- Good sense of humor
Every career path must begin with a decision based on passion, skills and a good research. HR might not be the perfect career for you. But there is one way you can know and confirm – get interned.
And as I usually advise participants at the employ-ability skill training program, a career is not something you jump into. You need to make adequate research to ensure you are on the right career path. What is interesting to note is that as in all matters of the heart, once you stumble upon a right career, you will definitely know that, this is what you were born to do.
Ready to start your career in HR. Search for the latest HR jobs in Nigeria now.