Careers in Human Resource - Skills Required & Job Openings

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If you have always been dreaming about being a Human Resource Professional, then this guide will help you make your dream come true. Most professionals are apprehensive about HR career as they hear a lot of rumours about HR being the most under-paid and infamous people in a whole professional setting. But nothing can be further from the truth. HR people are most important factor for a business. Even HR functions are treated as the support activities in a business scenario, HR can make or break a business.

Before going into detail, you need to know a bit about HR profession. Even if you would see that there are lot of Human Resource professional talking about acquiring knowledge and learning new things, basically, HR is not a knowledge oriented profession; rather it’s a personality oriented profession. As HR people need to meet a lot of people from all areas of life, they need to be presentable and be firm but humble.

It is a combination very few people can master. But capacity to be a good HR professional doesn’t need any inborn quality, but you need to be willing to put in the hard work and building up your presentation skills and hone your personality.

Effective communication is a major part of being a great HR professional. If you are not very well versed in communication and are willing to join the ever increasing number of human resource professional, then you need to start working on your communication, both spoken and written. This is the major part. Once you are good in communication, the rest of things you can improve over time. Let’s learn the nitty-gritty of human resource functions.

What Human Resource is all about?

Unlike the popular belief that Human Resource is just a general area of study, its functions and abilities required for performing them are really complex. It’s not all that simple. Because, human resource professionals need to think about business, people and the way of alignment between them! Thus, there is a new concept emerging in HR field and it is already getting part of the curriculum for people who study human resource.The new evolution is called that Strategic Human Resource, which defines how human resource and strategy are inter-connected and inter-related to each other.

For basic functions, human resource professionals need to perform four important functions.

  • Acquiring: This is the art of attracting professionals from all areas and finding a fitment between the positions available in the company. The HR people need to do a cost-benefit analysis in order to find the most suitable candidate in the least amount of cost.
  • Maintaining: Not all people are going to stay in a single company. Then as an HR, it is of prime importance that the people should be given a purpose to stay in the company and not look for any other opportunity. The HR people should think in terms of opportunity cost from their employees’ perspectives and then do what seems essential. It may be in kind of more benefits or enrolling them in new programs which ensure career growth or else promoting them to a new position.
  • Motivating: Businesses are all about outcomes. And employees are not always ready to create the outcomes the businesses need. Result? There is a gap between performance and expected performance. What to do then? The best way a Human Resource Professional can solve this issue is by stringing employees’ personal goals with organizational objectives. Once that is done, everything will make sense to the employees and they will begin to deliver the expected results the businesses are expecting from them.
  • Developing: This is the most neglected part of Human Resource functions. But this can create havoc if properly taken care of. In developing countries, professionals are realizing the value of developing human potential and now it is a four billion dollar industry. Training and Development is a major part of nurturing human abilities which are mostly done by HR people. Even if there are budget constraint, HR should think about the impact this function can bring and usher in positive result.

The new part is definitely strategy. Human resource people are now having the job of aligning organizational strategy with whatever functions they are entrusted to perform at all levels. That ensures organizational effectiveness and maximises the chances of more profits for businesses.

Where to start?

To become a finest human resource professional, you need to take more mental training. As part of the HR team, you need to hire, fire and retain. Thus, if you have an attitude of doing only good things, then it would be difficult for you to stay in the industry for long. You need to be ethically tough. If a decision needs to be taken, you need to take it even if it seems that it would be harder on a particular employee.

The business doesn’t run on emotions. Thus, if you would like to make your mark in the field, you need to think that first you are appointed to do work for the business and then people. Don’t mix up the sequence. At the same time, you need to think about the development of people after checking all the constraints and limits you have within the purview of business. The starting point is really realizing the value of being firm yet humble, strong yet amicable, presentable yet assertive, soft spoken yet knowledgeable.

Start with reading different materials in HR. There a huge source of materials on the internet and elsewhere. Pick up a book, a magazine or an article on HR field. The bottom line is you really need to master the art of business in order to become the best Human Resource Professional in the industry.

How to get recruited during Campus or off Campus Recruitment?

After passing out from the college you may or may not get selected in a top-notch HR firm. HR is evolving. And there are lot of options now-a-days. You can choose positions like Corporate HR Executive or a recruitment position in a consulting firm. No matter what you get into, the bottom line is that you need to learn more than your competition and never get dominated only by the compensation.

If you crack HR job interview on-campus, then it’s great; otherwise, you don’t need to get morose, you can crack any job HR interview with a month of preparation. Generally, there are aptitude tests, communication-ability test, HR interview and meeting with one of the top-management before final selection in a top-notch HR firm. Brush off your skills, read a lot more than ever and work on your communication. You would be job-ready with just above three important steps.

Choosing right organization for a bright career

Most HR fresher have apprehension about getting into a consulting firm in the beginning of their career. There are several myths like there are no growth in consulting firms, people are not paid well, one can only grow in one dimension and so on and so forth. But the truth is growth is solely dependent on you, not anybody else, not the company you work for, not even your background or lack of it.

You can choose the following area of specifications in HR field in order to choose the bright career in near future:

  • Recruitment Executive (Resource Executive)
  • Payroll Executive
  • Compensation and Benefits Officer
  • Administrative Officer
  • Welfare & Labour Officer
  • Training & Development Executive/Co-ordinator
  • Performance Management Executive
  • Operations Officer (This needs more skill of co-ordination and management of daily activities)
  • HR Generalist (It includes each and every function of HR, but in a meagre amount; a perfect blend for learning the overall structure and functions of HR)
  • Corporate HR

Top Companies which offer jobs for Human Resource Professional

Though there are lot of companies which are outsourcing their HR function to other HR-boutique firms, still are many top-notch companies for which you can work at the beginning of your career.

  • Jobs2Career
  • HireVue
  • StandBy Talent Staffing Services
  • Ataraxis
  • Imagine Staffing Technology
  • Evolv
  • The Premier Group Staffing
  • Ascendo Resources

Skill sets required for getting jobs

What skills set apart a top-class Human Resources Professional from an average one are few skills. They are as follows –

  • Communication Skill (both spoken and written)
  • Body Language
  • Business Acumen
  • Understand Constraints
  • Continuous Learning Capacity
  • Leadership Ability
  • Negotiation & Bargaining Ability
  • General Knowledge about everything else
  • SAP HR (Specific software for aligning HR with other functions, part of ERP)

Compensation

The median salary for the HR professionals in India is around US$8,000-10,000. And in foreign countries like USA, UK and Australia, the compensation ranges from $40,000-60,000.

Higher education opportunities

There is no dearth of opportunity for higher education for HR Professionals. If you are interested, your best tool is an ability to learn continuously. But if you want formal education to add to your feather, you can go for LLB which will help you get through the complex labour legislations. You can also opt for course in Psychology and Philosophy for better understanding of human potential and how they behave.

Other than that you can do course in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Mind Mapping, Public Speaking, Graphology (Handwriting Analysis) and many more courses and certifications. But MBA in HR and a Psychology degree is a perfect combination for making a greater mark in HR field.

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