Build Your Career In Human Resources: Steps For A Successful HR Career

Last updated 24 Feb 2023 . 1 min read

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Your friends love coming to you to solve their problems. You are a good bridge for bringing people from two pages to one. You are a good listener. If you are a bearer of all these qualities, you can make a career in the Human Resources profession. 

In simple words, human resources meaning can be attributed to the word “people.” Any organisation is full of people, thus Human Resources (HR) becomes a crucial part of any organisation. It is responsible for hiring, training, and retaining employees, as well as managing employee benefits, compensation, and performance. However, getting started in this field can be difficult. With so many paths to choose from, it can be confusing to know where to begin.

This article provides tips for new HR professionals to build the road to a successful HR career. Whether you are just starting your career or looking to make a career change, this article will help you make a plan to achieve your goals.

1. Acquire The Human Resources Qualifications And Skills

One of the first steps in pursuing a career in HR is to get educated with human resources qualifications. There are many courses available, including bachelor's and master's degrees in HR. Other verticals that can be pursued are business and industrial-organisational psychology. But the HR degree is not one to be missed.

In addition to formal education, staying up to date with the latest trends and developments in HR is significant. Make a point to attend workshops, seminars, and conferences and enrol in online training courses. This will help you stay informed and provide opportunities to network with other senior HR professionals.

2. Develop Soft Skills

As per the human resource job description of some organisations,  you will be required to work with employees at all levels of the organisation, from entry-level employees to top executives. Here, the HR soft skills will help you handle any situation you might face in your profession. Some of the key skills for HR freshers that need brushing up include communication, interpersonal skills, problem-solving, and decision-making. 

In addition, HR professionals may be required to deal with employer-employee conflicts, convey performance issues to the concerned employee, and make tough decisions related to employee discipline or termination. You not only need to be an empathetic listener to both sides, but you also need to be a solution giver so that none of the parties is treated with a bias. Hence a basic understanding of emotions and human psychology can make for the skills required for an HR manager. Plus, it gives you an edge in dealing with tricky situations.

3. Understand Your Niche

HR is a broad field with many areas of domain. Thus, specialising in a niche area can help set you apart from other HR professionals and make you a more valuable asset to your employer. Picking a particular area of human resources management, such as compensation and benefits, recruitment, or training and development, can have your resume different from others. It also makes you eligible to apply for different types of HR jobs.

To determine your niche, you can list your interests and experience. Jot down the areas where you have a passion and can make a meaningful contribution. Once you have picked up your area, then you can work accordingly to develop your skills and knowledge through relevant education and experience.

4. Gain Relevant Experience

Learning something in theory and actually doing it is a whole different experience. Thus while education is important, practical experience helps you understand real challenges and struggles. Nowadays, many employers also prefer candidates with a combination of education and experience. 

To get some experience, look for opportunities in HR-related fields. You can gain exposure by applying for internships, co-op programs, and entry-level jobs in human resources.

Volunteering your time is another option to gain experience. Nonprofit organisations often need help with human resources management-related tasks, such as human resource planning, recruiting volunteers or managing employee benefits. In this way, you can gain experience, build your resume and meet the field's masterminds who can give you the best practical advice.

5. Developing a Professional Network

Networking works as a magnet that will assist you in being updated on job human resources management opportunities. You can start by attending networking events, industry events and conferences, and joining professional associations. These organisations provide opportunities to learn about recent industry trends and stay up to date with the latest developments in the field. This will also make you confident in answering future interview questions and taking part in HR-related discussions.

Additionally, consider reaching out to HR professionals. Connect with them and ask if they would be willing to provide advice or mentorship. Many professionals are happy to help others in the field and may be willing to offer guidance.

6. Stay Up to Date with Statutory Laws

Working in the human resources department, one is expected to be aware of all the related statutory acts that are applicable to an organisation as well as the employee. Some of the acts that come under this umbrella are:

- Income Tax Act, 1961

- The Companies Act, 2013

- Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (commonly known as POSH Act)

- The Employees’ Compensation Act, 1923

- The Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948

These laws keep getting updated according to Government policies, and thus it is recommended for HR professionals to stay up to date with the latest developments. 

If you feel that understanding the technical law terms is difficult, then you can get a gist of the relevant laws by attending workshops and seminars, joining professional organisations, and subscribing to industry publications. This will make you confident with your answers to the questions asked by either the employees or your workplace senior.

7. Make Technology your Friend

Technology is rapidly changing our landscape. That makes it evident that technology also significantly affects employment-related procedures. Technology is everywhere, from recruitment and employee onboarding to performance management and employee engagement. Thus, staying up to date with the latest HR technologies and tools is necessary.

Taking courses or training programs to develop your technical skills can be the first step towards being tech-savvy. Knowing everything about MS Office tools is a big yes since you must deal with Excel sheets and PowerPoint presentations now and then! 

Keep looking for new technologies and tools to help you become more efficient and effective. Some examples of HR technologies and tools include applicant tracking systems, performance management software, and employee engagement tools. Let technology reduce your burden and make you a quick-wit HR employee!

8. Develop a Personal Brand

In today's competitive job market, it is essential to have a personal brand. Your brand is how you present yourself to others, reflecting your skills, experience, and personality, thus setting you apart from other HR professionals. 

To develop your brand, you can create a website or online portfolio that showcases your skills and experience. Use social media to share your thoughts and opinions on HR-related topics and engage with other professionals in the field. Your brand might take you to your dream job offer or career opportunity! 

9. Build Healthy Professional Relationships with Managers and Employees

As an HR professional, you will work closely with managers and employees at all levels of the organisation. Building strong relationships with these individuals is essential to your success. Some points to build professional relations are:

- Taking the time to get to know managers and employees, and learning about their needs and concerns.

- Being responsive to their needs and concerns

- Being available to answer questions and provide guidance

- Working to resolve any issues that arise

Creating strong relationships with managers and employees can help you become a trusted and respected member of the HR team. And a favourite one too!

10. Develop a Future Career Plan

Lastly, develop a future career plan to help guide your path in HR. This should include short-term and long-term goals and strategies for achieving those goals. Your career plan should be flexible, adaptable and regularly updated to meet future turbulences.

Once you have a future career plan in place, notice your interests, strengths, and long-term career goals.  Keep yourself open for opportunities to gain experience and develop your skills in your chosen area of specialisation. Consider pursuing additional education or certification to help advance your career.

A career in HR can be both challenging and rewarding. To face the challenging part, you have these tips and tricks for navigating the road to your successful HR career. Remember to stay informed, build strong relationships, and develop a personal brand that sets you apart from other HR professionals. You bring dedication and hard work and life will get you a successful career in HR! We wish you all the luck!

The Glow Lovely Career Community on SHEROES offers chat consultations with career experts who help you grow professionally. Get on board with a career guidance expert by joining the Glow And Lovely Career Community on the SHEROES App, and use our expert advice to improve your business skills today!

Anuradha Sangeeta Parmar
Anuradha Parmar is a Company Secretary by profession, switching completely towards her love of writing. She is always up for music, mountains, and creativity.

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