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HR management careers – what you need to know

The workforce of a company is the key enabler of its output and its achievement of its strategic goals. Appreciating this aspect has taken some time, and it is now recognized that people are the most valuable resource within the organizational fold. And that has, in turn, boosted the importance of and the requirement for HR professionals.

What are the key functions handled by HR professionals?

In the course of their work, HR professionals handle a number of key tasks. Some of these are as below:

  • Recruitment, onboarding, learning and development, and management of employees
  • Hiring the right people as per the requirements, culture, values, and vision of the company and accordingly facilitating the attainment of organizational goals
  • Creating a work environment that is competitive, credible, healthy, safe, and without stress, helping employees to achieve their goals

Clearly, as with most other career options, HR offers challenges and rewards too.

What are the major responsibilities of HR professionals?

HR professionals discharge several roles and responsibilities on a day-to-day basis. Given that they serve as the bridge between the needs of the organization and those of its people, their tasks are critical to organizational and people success. Here are their major responsibilities:

For employees:

  • Recruitment within and outside the organization by using the right approach to screen, interview, select, induct and onboard, orient, and train and develop the candidates
  • Analyze performance on the job, determine salary and benefits, and offer other monetary and non-monetary rewards
  • Plan the career paths and growth of employees
  • Create a positive and encouraging workplace offering a high quality of work and adequate work-life balance
  • Monitor employee discipline and avoid harassment or other issues at work
  • Motivating employees to put in their best efforts at work through educational and recreational activities, team-building, and better teamwork, thereby also boosting employee retention
  • Ensure adequate safety and welfare measures as per existing legal regulations

For the organization

  • Create better communication between the management and the workforce
  • Facilitate requisite changes and serve as the expert when it comes to matters involving internal stakeholders and the overall organizational strategy
  • Ensure the people strategy of the organization is aligned with the organizational strategy and helps to attain organizational goals
  • Monitoring and solving the conflicts and disagreements between people in different departments
  • Institute the requisite HR programs and services, and study their performance, making changes as required to improve program and service quality

Which skills are useful for HR professionals?

A diverse set of skills is required to properly discharge the responsibilities of HR professionals, and these skills can be attained through HR degrees or from certifications for HR professionals, apart from via work experience. From the past where the emphasis was on soft skills, now they need the following:

  • Hard skills:
  • Understand the working of compensation and benefits management, HR software, HR information systems (HRIS), corporate and labor laws, and talent management systems
  • Possess knowledge of big data and data analytics, business change management, language processing, people analytics, and predictive algorithms
  • Soft skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Confidentiality and ethics
  • Empathy and problem-solving
  • Multitasking and time management
  • Taking initiatives

What are the educational requirements for HR professionals?

Typically, the basic requirement is for an undergraduate degree in HRM or related disciplines. For higher roles in HR, a graduate degree is often preferred.

With time, though, new routes and options have emerged. Candidates even from unrelated technical backgrounds can seek entry into an HR career by doing some of the best certifications for HR. These serve as proof the candidate has the latest skills and know-how in the field and can take on higher roles and responsibilities.

Is an internship a good idea?

An internship or other short-term on-the-job experience is a great way to explore the HR field. It helps to validate newly-learned skills and how to apply these to actual work situations.

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