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How to become an HR director

Written by: Hazel Mason
Published on: 29 Jan 2020

In this article, we explore the steps that you would need to take to gain an HR director position.

How to become an HR director

HR plays a key role in the smooth running of an organisation and the success of its people and investments. As such, for many people within the profession, their main goal is to reach the top and become an HR director. 

So, what are four things you can start doing now that will help you when it comes to applying and succeeding in an HR director role?

What steps do you need to take to become an HR director?

Gain experience in other parts of the business

An HR director position involves a great deal of business knowledge and understanding how all the cogs fit together. A great way to ready yourself for this role, is to take the opportunity to learn from other areas of the business. Whether that is commercial, procurement or operations. The skills you pick up when shadowing these individuals will give you a greater understanding of an organisation and how you can make a greater impact.

Don’t be afraid to move to another organisation

Whilst most companies would hope that you’d stay with them forever, that might not always be the best thing for your career. Whilst we’re not suggesting you hop from one job to another, it’s worth getting some experience in other industries and sectors to add to your repertoire and make you a more rounded HR professional.

It’s also worth looking out for HR director roles in other organisations. Whilst being promoted in your own company would be ideal, that could take years. Looking for what’s out there right now will give you the opportunity to take the leap when you feel ready for it. 

Search for HR director roles

Get qualified

Whilst a qualification from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is not a requirement for HR directors, it does help in adding gravitas to your position within the company. A CIPD qualification shows that you are committed to the profession and are up to date with the latest thinking ensuring you have the knowledge and skills set out by the professional body, CIPD. Read more on how a CIPD qualification could benefit your career here.

Listen, learn and repeat

As with all leadership positions, it is important that you listen. Hear the feedback your colleagues are giving you and learn from it. We don’t always do everything right, but the most important thing is that we learn from these mistakes and try again. Do this throughout your career, so that by the time you are ready for an HR director position, you have all of that knowledge to apply to your new role. But, don’t stop listening and learning once you’re at the top - it’s integral to your success as a leader.

Find your next HR job

If you are looking for the next step in your career, whether into an HR director role or other, make sure you search for vacancies with People Management Jobs.

We are the official job board of CIPD and People Management. Our long-standing reputation within the industry as a trusted source of HR and L&D knowledge, insights and opinion makes us the top specialist job board for the profession. We can place you in the best position to find your next job.

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