Human resources is among the ever-popular career choices for young professionals. And it makes perfect sense – people are after all the most valuable resources for the modern business. If someone enjoys working with people and making available whatever is required to enable optimum work performance, along with encouraging them and working on making things simple on their work and personal fronts, HR is a great career option.
It is, however, very important to be sure that the candidate can handle the challenges of HR work before reaping the rewards. A person may have a top degree in HR or the best HR certifications, but personalities and preferences must match to make this a successful career choice. It is also important to consider the nature of work, jobs, and benefits for HR professionals. Only careful consideration of these matters will determine the choice of taking up the study of human resource management in 2021.
What is human resource management?
Human resource management is a discipline that looks at the workforce of the organization and seeks to improve its productivity through different methods, principles, and technologies. The right policy and strategy mix implemented by HR professionals helps to boost the effectiveness of employee work efforts.
How has the HR profession changed over the years?
In the past, HR work was large of an administrative nature, handling routine tasks such as interviews, leave applications, and salary disbursals. Over time, though, HR has moved from the backend to gain a seat at the leadership table. Driven by the needs of organizations in the highly competitive modern business era, HR works to make people strategies match with the strategic priorities of the organization, helping the latter achieve its goals.
To achieve this, HR professionals must comprehend the drivers of market success for the business. They accordingly have to craft people strategies that develop and engage employees, helping them adapt to the dynamics of the business environment. With the knowledge gained through their HR degrees or from certifications for HR professionals, they can understand the nuances of strategizing for the people aspect of organizations and leveraging technology to efficiently and effectively discharge their budgets, transactions, and other activities.
What are the chief responsibilities handled by HR professionals?
An HR professional needs to show ambition, energy, enthusiasm, and experience in handling people’s responsibilities. The person must pay close attention to acknowledgment, recognition, and utilization of talent, such that the goals of the organization and its individual match.
Here are the different focus areas of work handled by an HR professional:
- Recruitment and hiring
- Learning and development
- Compensation and benefits
- Organization development
- Employee and labor relations
In the process of handling the above responsibilities, an HR professional must take care of different tasks. The key tasks handled are explained below:
- Hiring and deboarding: hiring the most talented people and overseeing the exit processes of departing employees
- Work environment: creating an environment of positivity and enjoyment in work
- Career development: providing opportunities to develop careers through proper programs
- Recognition and reward: implementing recognition and reward systems
- Company culture: building and maintaining a company culture of positivity, encouragement, and good values
- Reinforcing values: creating and implementing programs in accordance with core organizational values
- Performance evaluation: at individual and overall levels
- Guidance: providing guidance to employees in identifying their strengths and weaknesses
- Concern redressal: handling concerns of the employees
- Conflict resolution: solving issues and conflicts such as misbehavior, bullying, sexual misconduct
- Retention: implementing the right strategies to boost employee retention
How does one decide if an HR career is the right choice?
The key attribute is a desire to work directly with people. The main task is to create a bridge between the needs of the organization and those of its people, and finding this balance must excite the candidate.
In addition, there must be the desire to make a difference for the organization and its people. It helps to stay up to pace with the happenings within the company as well as in the marketplace, and to come up with innovative solutions to employee situations accordingly.
- The best part of working in HR is the chance to make a difference for a person, a team, or the whole company
- The tough part is to let go of employees either due to poor performance or tight market conditions
Is an HR degree required for a career in HR?
For an aspiring HR professional, an undergraduate degree in HRM or related subjects is an excellent way to break into the field. The prospects become even better with a graduate degree, which helps to grow into senior positions.
However, a degree is not the only route into an HR career. Certifications for HR are also a good choice if the candidate wants to learn the latest skills and know-how in the field. These show the person is equipped with current knowledge and is prepared to grow in the field and invest in continuous learning and development.