Nearly every company – big or small – has a human resources department. At the very least, they have a team that performs human resources functions. But what exactly is human resources? It’s more than just the office that filters potential hires. Human resources personnel are responsible for hiring, compensation and benefits, continued learning, training, and development, legal compliance, employee retention and termination, as well as worker discipline. For those who like working with people, a job in human resources could be the perfect career opportunity. Are you currently in a human resource job search? Find out if you’re qualified for the job with this checklist.
- College Degree – Many of the jobs offered in the HR department require hires to have at least a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Communications, or an equivalent course. This is because HR personnel need to be able to communicate effectively with other people in the workplace, to ensure all employees and key individuals are performing their duties, and are properly compensated and managed. A degree will help verify that they have some formal education on how to properly handle a workforce.
- Interpersonal Skills – How well can you talk with other people? HR personnel should be able to delve into deeper issues experienced by employees, to provide the necessary solutions for optimal work performance. Interpersonal skills are often verified by putting HR applicants through simulated tests that measure their ability to understand people problems. Some of the functions of HR that involve interpersonal relations are interviewing, counseling, training, mediating, and presenting. To prepare yourself for the practical demonstration, think of possible scenarios you might encounter as an HR worker, and then determine how you can fairly and appropriately respond.
- Internship or Previous Experience – An entry-level job doesn’t necessarily require experience, but it’s definitely a major plus. If you’ve just graduated, you can volunteer in HR offices to gain internship experience, which then you can use in your resume to help make it more attractive to employers. Of course, you won’t get paid for your volunteer work, but it will make it easier to apply for jobs later on.
- IT Background – If you want to focus more on the training aspect of an HR personnel, consider to gain some IT-related skills, which will help you operate the different software and applications necessary for providing employees the tools, workbooks, and resources they need for further learning and development. This also comes in handy for compensation and benefit functions, as these do require the use of specific computer applications that can be difficult to understand without IT skills.
- Organizational Skills – It’s definitely not easy to go through thousands of applications, employee profiles, and workforce data. However making the smallest errors with this sensitive could cause serious confusion in the office. An effective HR personnel needs to be highly organized and detail oriented, especially because the information they handle could affect the future and the careers of the different employees in the company.
There can be a bright future for you in the human resources industry if you know how to do the job right. Landing your first break is the primary step towards becoming a successful HR specialist. So be sure to assess yourself for these qualifications to help you create a flourishing career in human resources.