Businesses need to attract and retain talent. Human Resources (sometimes referred to as Personnel) plays a vital role in this. HR covers everything from recruitment to employee wellbeing and even conflict resolution in the workplace and can be a fascinating career move for someone who is people-orientated, pragmatic and increasingly, great with technology.
This brief guide will give you an overview of the industry, the huge variety of areas that a HR professional can be responsible for, and what it takes start a career in HR.
Human Resources is all about dealing with the relationship and functions between a business and its employees. A business may have an entire department dedicated to HR and smaller businesses may have just one HR manager. Any manager also naturally takes on many responsibilities encompassed by HR even if they aren’t a dedicated HR professional.
Best-selling careers and business author, Jacob Morgan, puts the importance of HR very succinctly:
“HR is the driving force in building a cohesive work environment where employees are happy and growth can happen. Today, Human Resources employees help shape and lead strategy, especially as organisations realize the impact employee experience can have on growth and revenue. With a great corporate culture, employees show up to work for more than just the paycheck, which means HR also has to work on more than just payroll.”
As Morgan points out, HR isn’t just about pay and conditions. Employee welfare is becoming an essential part of HR too.
HR can include many responsibilities, such as:
As the list above demonstrates, HR is hugely varied. Modern HR isn’t just about processes and ticking boxes – it’s about taking care of employees. It also provides the opportunity to make people’s working lives better and nurture their careers through support, workplace learning and training, and wellness initiatives.
The wider workplace is undergoing huge changes and this pace of change is only likely to increase. Advances in technology are causing businesses to undergo huge transformations and employers are becoming more aware of the importance of employee wellbeing.
HR is needed to make these changes go smoothly – for reskilling, employee engagement, organisational redesign, digital leadership and more.
Put simply, HR provides a career with real longevity – as long as companies are employing people, HR will always be needed.
A HR qualification doesn’t just lead to a career in HR
HR skills are hugely transferable. Here are just some of the skills involved in HR that are useful across most industries and many roles: