What is Human Resources?
A business organisation or a firm that operates in the free market usually has a few key departments. Some of them include operations (responsible for production), accounts (responsible for finances), and marketing (responsible for branding and advertising). However, the most important department that manages the people aspect of the business is human resources.
Human resources is a general term that encapsulates a wide array of jobs and tasks. It is the specific department that deals with humans rather than the product. Since employees, regardless of their place in the hierarchy, are the ones who run the business on a daily basis, human resources is considered to be one of the most important departments of an organisation.
Most often, the very first interaction that a potential employee has with any company is with an HR person. For example, suppose you are applying for a job. In that case, your application will go to human resources, you will get a reply from human resources, and if hired, you will be trained by someone from human resources. Hence, every person who has worked or will work there is involved with this department. It is one of the most important and active areas in which to work.
If you have a knack for talking to or dealing with people, then human resources is most definitely the place for you. Not only will you be able to put your people skills to use, but you will also grow and learn a lot more about people in general. It is also a growing field of employment since communication between people has taken a whole new turn with online spaces.
How to get a job in human resources
Let’s look at some of the ways in which you can get a human resources job. There are many different avenues and aspects that a recruiter looks at when hiring someone for a human resources position.
To understand how to get human resources jobs, you simply have to take a look at all the other jobs that people do and what basic tactics they employ to get to that job. What most jobs initially require is an education in a relevant field. So, before you decide on what you would like to study, you should also consider what kinds of jobs you would want to pursue after graduation.
Nonetheless, the job market for human resources is not too strict, so even if you have irrelevant qualifications, such as a mathematics or philosophy qualification, you can still end up in a human resources position provided you have relevant skills. Furthermore, many people take human resources courses or do a Diploma of Human Resources Management to build credibility and the skill set for a potential job.
Even if you have taken one class on human resources or similar in your undergraduate degree, you will still have a chance of getting the job. Additionally, people take the graduate route, where they pursue a master’s degree in business or human resources or even in psychology to enter an HR department.
Experience matters, too!
However, mere educational qualifications will not promise you a job in human resources. Many companies also look at your experience, whether that is in the professional world or something you did while you were studying. This is important because it allows recruiters to understand whether you are someone who gets on well with people or not.
For example, if you have had significant experience working with people in teams for projects or have had a history of leadership positions, you are a likely candidate for a human resources job. Similarly, suppose you have handled large groups of people in volunteer situations, such as a school working bee. In that case, it shows that you are a competent ‘people person’.
Hence, companies will like you because your history would tell them that you can work with others well. It’ll also relay that you have the communication skills necessary to excel in human resources. On the other hand, if you prefer to work alone or find your disposition to be easily impacted by the moods or actions of others, you may not be a suitable candidate for a human resources job.
This does not mean that you are not smart, or you may not be worthy of other jobs. It simply means that you may lack one thing that a position in human resources wants but may compensate for it in a thousand other jobs. So don’t worry, you are amazing in whatever you do in your own capacity.
So, if you have experience in anything that involves interacting, communicating, and working with people, you are pretty much the right fit for a human resources position. In fact, if you are someone who has held leadership roles in the past and have a track record of being an effective communicator, then companies may prefer you over business graduates.
Thus, experience matters because it is only your experience that will show the recruiters that you have gained sufficient life skills to survive in the human resources department. Furthermore, your experience will also tell them that you have dealt with situations similar to those you may encounter once you start the job. That makes you a likely candidate for the position.
Finally, one of the most important and determining factors of whether or not you will get a job in the human resources department will be based on how you perform in your interview. Interviews are important because you are not hidden behind a piece of paper or an e-application you sent to the company.
You are now sitting right in front of the recruiters, and you can say much more than what you may have in the applications. So, interviews allow you to fully express the nuances present in your speech, body language and mind that you want to show the recruiters.
Most often, even if you don’t have the most relevant academic qualifications or have not had the opportunity to gather years of experience, you can still demonstrate to the interviewers why you’re a good fit for a human resources job. This is primarily because, in the interview, the recruiters can tell whether or not the candidate is an effective communicator.
Usually, there will be more than one person on the interview panel who will keep a note of how you respond to different questions. They will determine what traits you’re showing and whether you have the qualities they need for the role. The interviewers will also look at how you solve problems, communicate under pressure, and how well you think on your feet. Aside from the skills on your resume, these also matter in evaluating how you will function in the workplace.
Furthermore, an interview also takes note of how effective of an organiser you are. This is because one of the most important aspects of doing a human resources job is to be good at organizing emails, applications, portals, and employee analytics. Thus, you have to be very sharp at handling multiple things at the same time.
In an interview, the recruiters might ask you to solve a case study. Now, this case study could be about anything. It could be a challenge given to you to solve for the overall benefit of the employees, or it could be a challenge that will test your abilities to communicate and organize. Nonetheless, recruiters use various ways to test how suitable you may be for a position in the human resources department.
Now that you know what we’re working with and what may be expected of you, let us look at some of the potential job positions available for candidates hoping to enter human resources.
What are some of the jobs in human resources?
Human resources is a department that deals with anything related to the people involved in the organisation. Thus, any and every position that is related to the hiring process is a human resources position. For example, one of the most well-known human resources positions is that of the recruiter.
A recruiter essentially seeks out candidates to fill roles in the company. The responsibility of a recruiter is to create a system through which the company can get the best employees for any given position. This process will include generating an application, making sure that the application reaches people, and for people to apply through that application.
Recruiters may do this by consultations and going to different public events like career fairs in universities. They may also fulfil their job requirements through processing applications from the relevant departments and by gathering all the information that they may need to hire someone efficient for the company.
Another desirable position is the human resources manager. This is a high-ranking position that encapsulates all that happens between employees in the firm. This job essentially manages employee relations that include any disagreements, payment issues, policies, complaints, and more.
This is a very prestigious position because the HR manager has the power and authority to dictate how the firm will be run. So, it is in the manager’s hands about how they want to manage the workplace environment. It is also important because a workplace environment is one of the first things that new candidates see, and if the workplace environment is not up to par, then the company can lose its credibility.
Similarly, another position is that of a training and development manager. This position allows the person to train fresh recruits. It is also a job full of responsibility because this person will determine how the new employees will be trained and made accustomed to the work environment in the company.
Thus, if the training and development manager makes a mistake in creating training programs, the future of the company is at risk. This position is prestigious because it has so much responsibility attached to it, and only the most responsible and effective people can properly carry it out.
HR is an exciting career option
If you’re considering a move into HR, you’ll love how people-oriented it is. It’s a role that allows you to make meaningful connections and can improve the lives of others. And with HR roles in high demand in 2021, it’s a good time to step into a more formal role or improve on your existing skills.
Looking to step up into a human resource role? Check out Monarch’s HR course here and start today. Or give one of our Course Consultants a call on 1300 738 955 and chat about your options.