Human Resources (HR) Managers lead teams that are tasked with getting the best from the people who work in an organisation or company. This could range from helping to select the right people for the job to managing them effectively when they are employed - anything from organising training days, to looking after your employees’ general wellbeing, to liaising with trade unions.
It is a competitive industry, but if you thrive on responsibility and enjoy variety in your work, then a career in as an HR Manager could suit you.
You won’t be able to go into a management position at the beginning of your career, but can move up the ranks relatively quickly when working with a HR team.
It is likely that your team will be responsible for the following:
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. Small companies are unlikely to have dedicated HR departments, so you should look to companies with a least a couple of hundred employees for roles.
The Chartered Institute of Personal Development is the professional and development body for the HR sector, and has 135,000 members.
HR Managers are paid well, with some paid over £100,000 after only a few years in the industry.
This pay-off comes with experience, though – your salary within an HR department is likely to start at around £24,000, whilst HR apprentices will earn around £200 per week.
Apprenticeships in HR are available, allowing you to work within a company for part of the week and go to college for the rest to get a professional qualification. This will allow you to work up to the position of HR Manager in the future.
Specific A-Level or degree subjects are not required for HR roles – any form of humanities, or business or management based subjects, would qualify you for a career in this area.
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.
Working with people with be a large part of your HR Manager role, so you will require skills in communication and teamwork. These skills are essential to effectively manage the needs of both your team and your employer. As conflict management will also be central to your HR role, 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.
Work experience is also vital if you are to get a Human Resources job. Contact companies directly and see if you can come in for work experience or to shadow a member of staff during your school or university holidays.