A job in Human Resources usually brings to mind hiring and firing people and dealing with staff nightmares. While the role can involve some difficult decisions, a career in HR can be incredibly rewarding. Without an HR department, a company couldn’t function properly and would probably be left without any staff.
If you are organised and have a great knack for remembering names, a job in Human Resources could be a really fulfilling career. You should love keeping up to date with office politics, enjoy being a mediator and able to strike up a conversation. Each day in HR is different and you should always be willing to welcome a challenge!
HR admins are usually the first point of contact if staff faces any problems. You’ll build up a good understanding of your organisation because you’ll be liaising and visiting different departments, attending meetings and providing information for all employees from junior staff right up to senior management.
You should expect to have an extremely varied role that includes multiple tasks such as recruitment, training, complaints, appraisals and health and safety. You will also have to keep up to date with employment laws and regulations.
The Good Bits
The great thing about working in HR is no two days are the same and there is always someone with a challenge waiting for you around the corner. Troubleshooting is the word of everyday.
When working in Human Resources, you become a trusted advisor in the business and gain the opportunity to influence many aspects of the organisation. As they say, business is only as good as its employees, and an organisation’s employees are only as good as their HR team.
While many work full-time hours (9-5.30pm), you can also find part-time or flexible working options. Some companies even have in-house childcare facilities.
The Bad Bits
There can be a lot of emotional work in an HR department, especially when companies are making redundancies. You are usually the person who delivers the bad news, even if you weren’t involved in the decision-making process.
As a HR admin, you are expected to deal with a lot of problems and are usually the first person employees turn to with an issue but if you’re really good, you’ll learn that the employee can solve many problems just by being a little proactive.
What Skills and Qualifications Do I Need to be a HR Admin?
Still unsure whether a role in HR is for you? Here are just some of the skills employers ask for.
- Excellent communication and listening skills
- Good budgeting, IT and organisation skills
- Ability to deal with difficult situations
- Skilled at performing under pressure
- Trustworthy and discreet
- Knowledge of UK employment legislation (desirable)
You usually have to be educated to college or even degree level in order to become an HR administrator. If you want to go up to become an HR director, your company may ask you to take a professional development course by the Chartered Institute of Professional Development – CIPD (2 years+).
For an entry-level role in HR, experience is not always necessary, as many graduates tend to take up these roles. To progress into higher management however, usually five or more years of experience are needed.
For an entry-level position you can expect a salary from £20,000 – £25,000 a year. However, management can start at £40,000 and shoot up to £100,000 for an HR Director role.
There is a wide scope and potential for progression within this sector. From an entry-level role, with time and effort you can gradually move to HR Manager, Director and everything in-between.
By Nathalie Lot
29 July 2013