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Keen to succeed in the HR profession? Here’s what you need to do…

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Whether you’re just about to embark on your career, or are in need of a professional overhaul, working in HR is a rewarding path to take; you get to encourage the best out of other people, and help employees make a valuable contribution to the business you work for. But how do you go about forging a rewarding career in HR? This guide from Northumbria University is sure to help you find out…

Job titles in HR and yearly salaries*

There is a clear path of career progression within Human Resources. With information from Payscale and the National Careers Service, we’ve created a list of the key job roles, salary ranges, qualifications, skills and experience needed for each role.

Human Resources Assistant, HR Assistant

Salary range: £15.766 – £25,947

Average salary: £19,658

Qualification requirements**

  • Essential: GCSE’s in English and maths
  • Desirable: Business Administration qualifications
  • Desirable: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) qualification or Higher National Diploma

Skills requirements and experience

  • Essential: Computer skills
  • Essential: Written and verbal communication kills
  • Essential: Attention to detail
  • Essential: Teamwork
  • Desirable: Office experience

Job duties (may vary depending on the company)

  • Arrange meetings and events and staff training
  • Answering the phone and taking enquiries
  • Admin such as maintaining staff details, holidays and sickness days
  • Taking notes during meetings and disciplinaries
  • Writing letters and reports
  • Arranging training for staff

Human Resources Officer, HR Administrator, Personnel officer

Salary range: £20,769 – £34,633

Average salary: £26,683

Qualification requirements

  • Essential: GCSEs in maths, English, science
  • Desirable: Degree or postgraduate qualification in Human Resource Management
  • Desirable: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) qualification or Higher National Diploma

Skills requirements and experience

  • Essential: Written and verbal communication kills
  • Essential: Organisational skills

Job duties (may vary depending on the company)

  • Compiling Company Handbooks
  • Interacting regularly with members of staff regarding complaints, disciplinaries and management
  • Recruiting, training and developing new staff
  • Managing employee records and confidential information
  • Looking after staff welfare, Health and Safety and equality
  • Advising in HR procedures, employment law and rights

Human Resources Director, Human Resources Manager, Personnel Manager

Salary range: £41,017 – £108,526

Average salary: £66,668

Qualification requirements

    • Essential: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) qualification
    • Or Higher National Diploma

Skills requirements and experience

  • Essential: HR Experience
  • Essential: Staff leadership and management
  • Essential Written and verbal communication skills
  • Essential: Organisational and motivational skills

Job duties (may vary depending on the company)

  • Leading the Human Resources team, managing budgets and training officers
  • Taking the lead on staff training and development
  • Making tough HR decisions and handling complicated issues
  • Planning and making decisions on staff policies, company benefits and training schemes

How to get what recruiters are looking for

Once you’ve decided this is the right route for you, it’s time to take your first steps into HR. As you can see from the above, there are a number of ways to get where you need to be.

Through your existing employer

If you’re already in a company you love, and are looking for a career change, it would be beneficial to speak to your employer about a possible secondment or transfer to another department. If you’ve already forged a successful career, or have worked with the company for a long time, they’re likely to be keen to keep you.

Alternatively, they may be willing to put you through study and training while you continue working for them. This is a desirable route, as you eliminate the cost of the course and still earn a decent income.

Study

Often people make the first move into HR straight from university. There are a number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses that will help open the door to employers. Some of the main qualifications include:

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) qualification

The CIPD is a professional association for Human Resources that hosts a number of esteemed qualifications and training programmes that employers actively look for. CIPD qualifications and courses include the following categories:

  • Human Resources
  • Leadership, management and business
  • Employment Law
  • Employee Relations
  • Organisational development and design
  • Personal effectiveness and behavioural skills

Degree in HR Management

Training either as an undergraduate or postgraduate, a degree in HR Management is a very strong step in your career. There are a number of degrees at universities all across the country, so shop around to find the one for you.

Expect to specialize in employment law, diversity management, comparative industrial relations, talent management, alongside many more.

Work experience

Even if you’re studying towards a professional or HR qualification, it’s greatly beneficial to get HR or office work experience to help you to stand out from the crowd. You can do this by:

  • Searching online for placements advertised in your local area and apply
  • Search for local HR companies, and write to them about the opportunity for work experience

*Salary information taken from www.payscale.com, from National Salary, without bonuses

**Information taken from nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk

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