How to Get into Human Resources

An effective human resource manager can add value to so much of the work done within an organisation

Ever wondered how to get into Human Resources? Well, many c-suite executives are clear that the human resources team is the most critical department within a company. As such, human resource professionals are often highly rewarded and given freedoms to be creative in managing the workforce.

Therefore, human resources posts are highly competitive, and it is a popular destination for many graduate job seekers. Human Resources courses from companies like NCC Home Learning are an excellent way to prepare yourself with the appropriate skill set for the role.

However, the vital question for anyone seeing to get into Human Resources is: what will it take for me to stand out amid the crowd?

Identify the skills you will need

Human Resources is a role for someone who enjoys working with people. You will be responsible for managing the people within the company and those hoping to work with the team. Therefore, of primary importance are the people skills needed to do this successfully, such as tact, empathy and sensitivity. You will be able to appreciate the different personalities it takes to make a successful team and adapt to the needs of these personality types.

However, more than anything, HR is an administrative position. Many regulations, policies and processes must be applied by law. The HR professional is also central to the successful functioning of a business. This level of administration requires outstanding organisational skills and the IT and numeracy levels to handle such things as budgets.

Identify necessary qualifications

There are no specific post-graduate qualifications needed to enter human resources. The entry requirements from one role to another will depend on the nature of the company. However, using some common sense about the degree you undertake will give you a head start. Therefore, any degree that involves an understanding of people, business in general, or communications would be an excellent choice.

For recent graduates, graduate training schemes are highly recommended as a route into HR

Although larger corporations will demand a university-level education, smaller companies could accept you with no degree. However, to then make yourself stand out in the field would require some form of human resources course, or experience working within a human resources team.

Seek work experience

Speak to a lot of successful human resources managers, and they will tell you that the core abilities of a successful HR professional cannot be gleaned from learning in a classroom.  Working with people is part science and part art and part intuition.  Gaining intuition requires experience. Many graduate training schemes could offer you this experience.

However, you could also approach major companies and ask to shadow the HR manager as part of your preparation. This voluntary work experience will add value to your CV and ensure you are competitive. Rather than considering this working for free, shape this in your mind as a route to gaining bonus points on your application so that it makes you more valuable than someone else.

Do your research

Before applying for your HR position, research the role and the company. You should read industry magazines and look at human resource bodies’ websites. The more significant posts will be advertised in The Guardian or similar, and you could find smaller roles on Indeed or in the local press.

Remember, knowledge of the company and shaping your answers to reflect your understanding of a specific organisation will make you the most desirable candidate for the post.

Ryan Jones works as an outreach assistant on behalf of NCC Home Learning. Who are the UK’s leading providers in home learning courses that reward students with a reputable qualification.

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