Out all of the roles that exist in a standard workplace, HR is among the least understood. What do human resources professionals actually do? What are they good at? And what does it take to work in an HR department?
Here are just some of the reasons you might well thrive as a human resources professional. Is it the sector for you?
You get to make a difference
Few people get to influence the direction of a company as much as the HR professional, at least not when they’re not at management level. HR personnel are involved with all kinds of essential functions of a business, including recruitment, termination, training, redundancy, disciplinary procedure and relocation, among many other areas.
Rather than being just an enforcer of rules, an HR department plays a key part in the strategic direction of a company. It’s the people that make an organisation what it is, and your human resources department deal exclusively with people.
You can progress
Human resources is a broad profession that offers many different specialties and opportunities. While you might start out as a junior officer in a large company, you can quickly gain a position in a particular specialty such as training or employee relations.
Whether you’re a generalist or a specialist, you’ll have plenty of possible career moves ahead of you, especially as you consider you don’t need to remain in any particular industry. All types of companies and organisations have a need for HR personnel after all, and the skillset is highly transferrable. So not only can you progress a long way, but you’re totally flexible in terms of what you actually decide to do day to day.
You work with people
Many job descriptions call for someone who is ‘good with people’, but in HR this trait is really crucial. For people-orientated people, this is a great profession to be in, as whether you’re mediating conflict or handling disciplinary procedure, your ability to understand the human issues in a fair and sympathetic way will take you far. Robots needs not apply.
Thinking about the different departments in a standard workplace, many of them are traditionally fairly cut off from the rest of the organisation. IT will rarely have much to do with Sales, and Marketing and Accounts don’t often talk to each other. It’s the job of HR however to help bridge these gaps and create a strong, cohesive team that drives the company forward.
Did we miss anything? What are the downsides to human resources? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.