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How to get a job in Human Resources (HR)

Written by: Hazel Mason
Published on: 9 Jul 2019

If you're considering a career in HR, you may be wondering how best to get started. We provide some handy tips on how to get a job in HR.

How to get a job in hr

What is human resources (HR)?

Human resources refers to the department responsible for managing resources relating to an organisation’s employees. The main focus of the HR department is to develop and administer programmes that are designed to increase the effectiveness of an organisation. They ensure the employer-employee relationship is running smoothly and working for both parties to drive a successful business.

There are various roles within an HR department meaning that you could be involved in anything from payroll to employee development. Your job title could be:

  • HR consultant/business partner
  • HR manager
  • HR director
  • HR data specialist
  • HR generalist
  • Talent development partner
  • Learning and development specialist
  • Talent acquisition partner
  • Recruitment partner
  • Reward analyst
  • HR & payroll assistant
  • Benefits manager
  • Chief people officer
  • Systems trainer

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What qualifications do you need to get a job in HR?

To begin your career in human resources you do not need any particular qualifications but it will help your application to have completed some form of formal training in human resource management or a similar subject area, such as a degree in business management or an MBA. 

If a degree isn’t right for you, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) offers a number of qualifications and apprenticeships that can provide you with the skills needed to succeed in your HR career. 

Suitable qualifications for an entry-level HR professional include:

There are also a number of short courses which may be suitable for you, find out more.

What routes are there into the profession?

Most HR professionals begin their career in an assistant position, this may be an HR assistant, L&D assistant or business assistant role. From here, you can develop your skills and understanding of the business to progress into advisor, officer, business partner roles and beyond.

Another route into the profession is through completing a human resources degree or similar, which could result in entering the workplace at a higher level. Completing a degree can give you that additional edge on the competition and proves that you have the capability and knowledge to work at a higher level. Membership of the CIPD can also help boost your application so it’s good practice to check whether your degree is CIPD accredited.

Apprenticeships are also great routes into the profession with the Level 3 HR support apprenticeship being the best option for someone with limited experience in HR. Apprenticeships provide on the job training which is augmented with additional study from a qualified training provider. Find out more about apprenticeships.

You can also help kick-start your career in HR by joining relevant communities, either with the CIPD or on LinkedIn, partaking in work experience or applying for a graduate development programme.

Where can you start your job search?

People Management Jobs is the official job board of the CIPD, making us the first port of call for CIPD members looking for their next job. As such, we have a long-standing reputation amongst top HR employers as the best in the profession. By searching for your first HR job on People Management Jobs you could work for employers such as Babcock, BT, Royal Mail, British Heart Foundation, the Home Office, UCL and Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport.

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