How to become a HR professional

Becoming a HR Manager

Starting a career in Human resources is one of the most challenging and exciting careers you can embark on.  A career in HR provides huge opportunities for personal growth, reward and professional development. The HR job is currently the most in demand profession in Ireland.

In this guide we will cover the 7 steps to succeed in HR and what you can do to succeed in HR and to be a successful HR manager. There are several aspects of HR that contribute to its dynamic and stimulating nature:

  1. Understanding the Human Resources Field
  2. Education and Qualifications Needed for HR
  3. Gaining Valuable Experience in HR
  4. Networking in the Human Resources Industry
  5. Learning Necessary HR Skills
  6. Land your First Job in HR
  7. Maintain Continuous Learning and Develop your HR Career

The reason HR is so highly valued by Employers is that it is a core function. It ensures the successful management of a company’s workforce through recruitment, training and development and employee relations initiatives. HR is exciting due to its multifaceted nature, the opportunity to interact with and support people, the ability to drive significant organizational change.

If you are considering embarking on a successful career in HR, then it is vital you start with the necessary education qualifications. Doing a HR certificate or Associate Diploma with an accredited institution will provide you the understanding and knowledge to excel in the Human resources field.

  1. Understanding the Human Resources Field

To become a HR professional, you need to acquire HR knowledge and skills as well as gain awareness of current trends and best practices. Getting to know the Core HR Functions is key. Understanding of the HR profession may happen through getting a HR qualification or through a job placement or simply volunteering.

The Human resources field is vast and varied. To become a successful HR manager, this means learning about recruitment and selection, for example sourcing, conducting interviews, and making recruitment decisions.

A big part of how to become a hr professional, is learning about verbal and written communication. HR skills rely on good communication and organisational skills. Knowing how and when to resolve conflicts, making decisions on analysing data and being flexible in a dynamic work environment.

  1. Education, Qualifications and Certifications Needed for HR

A way how to become a HR professional is to go the traditional route by way of a degree or Master’s degree in Human resource management, Business or Psychology. This can take 2 to 4 years, either full or part-time. That is a big commitment in terms of your time particularly if you are unsure if the HR profession is for you.

A smarter and more effective way to become a HR professional and to succeed in HR is to consider professional certification.  The following bodies will teach you how to be a successful hr manager.

Completing a professional qualification will help you succeed in HR. To understand the HR field comprehensively, it is clear you need to combine theoretical with practical experience, keep track of industry trends, develop a broad set of skills, and seek learning opportunities. This approach will help you succeed in hr and equip you to handle the various responsibilities and challenges that is the consequence of becoming a HR professional.

You can save yourself a lot of money by requesting employer sponsorship of a professional course. One education provider, CMI offer employer sponsorship of human resource courses and this method of funding is on the increase as employers see huge benefits.

  1. Gaining Valuable Experience in HR

Successful Career in HR

While you are studying an online professional diploma in HR  your efforts should also be focused on internships and entry-level positions.

There are a range of entry level jobs in HR  and many large organisations have internship programmes available. These internships usually provide a broad view of HR operations.

Internships offer hands-on experience in various HR functions such as recruitment, employee relations, training, and employee development.

It is worth considering using job platforms such as Glassdoor, Indeed and LinkedIn to research opportunities to gain work experience. It goes without saying that searching for the right organisation to fit your own background and experience will help you better find a suitable placement. Learning about a company’s values, environment, HR Departments and its objective will pay dividends.

In the event there is no formalised internship programme in an organisation, you could consider volunteering. This is particularly popular with not-for-profit organisations, NGOs, and charities.  This often leads to very a fulfilling and diverse experience in HR and will help build your credibility and HR profile.

Another useful way is to Job-shadow which allows you to understand the day-to-day responsibilities and decision-making processes to succeed in HR. It involves spending time with experienced HR professionals. If you are lucky, you may stumble upon a mentor prepared to provide guidance, share their experiences, and offer advice as to how to become a HR professional.

  1. Networking in the Human Resources Industry

Joining a professional network like CIPD, SHRM or local HR groups allows you to connect with industry HR professionals.  Networking is critical in HR and helps you socially stay up-to-date on industry trends and connect with like-minded professionals. For example, CIPD regional committees and events bring members, north, south, east and west of Ireland on learning events covering how to be successful in HR.

Networking can help develop lasting relationships that lead to job opportunities, mentorship, and internships. Attending network events regularly and participating in online forums will help build and expand your professional network.

Having a strong online presence and building up your profile on community platforms such as LinkedIn can increase your visibility towards a prospective employer in terms of showcasing your skills and qualifications.

  1. Learning Necessary HR Skills

Acquiring HR soft skills is vitally important to become a hr professional.   To improve your soft skills takes practice and time. It involves being self-motivated and focused on self-improvement and applying HR skills in different situations.

Communication is an important aspect of succeeding in HR and requires active listening, giving constructive feedback and using empathy to maintain well-being in others. A key skill is time management and the ability to complete tasks efficiently. Every day you are required to coordinate and balance priorities and separate out what is urgent and important. There are wide and varied tasks from dealing with employees’ issues to performance standards. The skills of conflict resolution must be learned to ensure a positive work culture.

Getting organised is another important feature to become successful in HR. Possessing key administrative and written skills allows you to handle the work and ensures you organize, manage, file, and store all documentation effectively. HR jobs require excellent writing skills for writing reporting and preparing HR documentation and Employee contracts and offers.

Other important skills include learning to work in a team and understanding the dynamics, data analysis and problem-solving which are critical to be successful in HR. HR skills are developed over time and focusing on continuous improvement will ensure you work well and achieve your goals with employees, managers, and executives.

  1. Land your First Job in HR

HR mentor and HR SkillsGetting your first entry-level HR job can be an exciting and challenging experience. Here is a breakdown of what to expect:

When you start in any organisation you will be first getting a feel for the culture and the way things are organised. Different organisational cultures operate in different ways.

Expect a training period where you’ll learn about the company’s policies, procedures, and HR systems. This can be anything from a few days to a few weeks. If you are seen to be proactive in asking questions and seeking clarification, this will give encouragement to your trainer and mentor.

Initially tasks will be low level, so that you can build confidence on the basic tasks before moving on to more specific areas of the job in HR. Most mentors will give you administration tasks at first, such as maintaining employee records and HR databases.

Depending on the organisation and mentor, you may be assisting with the recruitment and onboarding processes straight away or it may take a few weeks. As your confidence builds your mentor will want to see how you handle employee inquiries and provide administrative support.

A really important part of starting a job in HR and becoming a HR professional is to build relationships with coworkers. Establishing positive working relationships from the outset will enormously help your success in hr. Find out about different departments and their HR needs to get a wider view.

Your mentor will want to see how you stay organised and whether you can manage tasks efficiently and whether you prioritize your workload to meet deadlines.

  1. Maintain Continuous Learning and Develop your HR Career

HR online studyMaintaining continuous learning and developing your HR career is crucial for staying relevant and advancing in the field. Here are some strategies and tips to help you achieve this:

Encourage and taking new learning opportunities whenever they might appear can help you develop your HR career. Enrol in new courses and workshops that cover current HR trends, laws, and best practices is essential.

Joining CIPD as a member will ensure you are invited to attend events and will support your CPD.  Very often there are industry conferences, seminars, and webinars to attend which will provide networking opportunities and new insights.

Pursuing more advanced levels of short and long courses in HR will help your continuous learning. Do your research and check out professional education bodies to support your growth.  Keep well read on HR journals, blogs, and books.

How to be a successful HR manager

In summary, carving out a successful career in Human resources can be quite daunting. Planning for a successful career either as a HR Manager or a People Manager consists of gaining the right qualifications, experience and continuous professional development. We have explored the key steps on how to be successful in HR.

Kick-start your career in human resources with a CIPD qualification in HR Management through CMI Ireland.  You will learn the essentials of HR such as recruitment, onboarding, Data analytics, learning & development, change management and the development of the HR practitioner.  It will be the first step on a long and rewarding journey as a HR professional.

CMI are a premier CIPD provider of HR and People Management qualifications. Make the first step to a successful HR career. Contact us Today.