Human Resources Graduate Jobs - Careers Guide

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Those working in Human Resources (HR) focus on getting the best from the people who work in an organisation or company. Work in Human Resources ranges from helping to select the right people for the job to managing them effectively when they are employed - so this could mean anything from organising training days, to looking after your employees’ general wellbeing, to liaising with trade unions.

Over the last few years managers have begun to further recognise the value of Human Resources departments, and those in the sector are now an important part of any business, often being heavily involved in strategy and planning. It is a competitive industry, but if you thrive on responsibility and enjoy variety in your work, then a career in Human Resources could suit you.

60% of those employed in HR jobs are in the private sector, 33% in the public sector and 7% in charity or not-for-profit organisations.
A Human Resources role may include some or all of the following responsibilities:

  • Implementing equality policy
  • Payment of staff
  • Staff learning/ development
  • Dealing with compensation claims
  • Recruitment
  • Occupational health

The Chartered Institute of Personal Development is the professional and development body for the HR sector, and has 135,000 members.

What degree do I need?TOP ^

If you are looking for a career in Human Resources, you will need to achieve a 2:1 level degree in any subject. It is also likely that you will be expected to display some knowledge of business so business related degrees may be preferred by companies. Work experience is also vital if you are to get a Human Resources job.

What skills do I need for a career in Human Resources?TOP ^

Working with people with be a large part of your job in HR, so you will require skills in communication and teamwork. These skills are essential to effectively manage the employee needs of your employer. As conflict management will also be central to your HR job, skills in this area are also beneficial.

Some of the skills that Human Resources recruiters might look for are:

Most degrees will equip you with the above, but aside from these distinct skills you will also need a good knowledge of business if you are to get a job in HR. You should also be of good character, in order to represent the business both internally and to outside organisations.

What graduate human resources job can I do? TOP ^

There are various different roles within the HR sector, and most jobs will encompass some or all of the following:

  • Service delivery and information: this means efficient and organised management of the details of the company’s staff.
  • Employee relations/ engagement: making sure the company’s management, line managers and staff get along and that there is an appropriate framework, as well as that all staff have positive engagement with their work.
  • Organisational design: ensuring that the company is appropriately structured and managing any change that takes place.
  • Performance and reward: Ensuring that performance is rewarded, and that staff are paid.
  • Learning and talent development: Ensuring motivation within staff and sourcing new ways for them to learn in order to greater benefit the business.
  • Resourcing and talent planning: Managing the workforce and long and short-term aims, and ensuring that the business attracts a high calibre of staff.

Average human resources salariesTOP ^

As with any industry, salaries vary hugely depending on your level. If starting as a HR Administrator, you should expect to earn between £16,000 and £20,000.

Graduate roles in HR may begin on approximately £24,000. As a HR Director, however, you could be on £100,000 or more. If you have a particular specialism you may also find that you are paid more.

Browse all Human Resources jobs for this guide