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How to Get Started on Your Career in Human Resources?

In recent years, there has been a large number of people who are choosing careers in the field of Human Resources. If you are interested in this field, the first thing you will need to get started is an associate’s degree.

Many organizations require the applicant to be a graduate with a bachelor’s degree as this will make the applicant eligible for HR management positions. If you already are a graduate and have gone on to complete your master’s in the field of human relations, you will be able to directly apply for a senior level management and directorial role.

However, not all master’s degrees hold this value. It can only occur if you have a master’s degree in Business Administration (specializing in HR) or a master’s degree in Human Resources itself.

What is the Role of a Human Resource Specialist?

There are many kinds of HR jobs which are in demand right now. One of them is the Human Resource specialist. They are in charge of the screening, interviewing, recruiting and placement of new hires. Many organizations also require them to handle the employee training process from start to finish as well as employee payrolls, employee relations and benefits.

Now, you may ask yourself what does a HR manager do? Their job responsibilities include planning, directing and coordinating the administrative functions in the organization. Also, any form of strategic planning is needed to be overseen by them along with working with the HR specialists in their organizational duties and consulting with business executives on new methods to improve these processes.

In layman’s terms, the HR manager is the individual who acts as a link between the management and the employees while HR specialists are more focused in areas such as recruiting and training employees in an organization.

At the same time, the role of a HR generalist is concerned with resolving the day to day employee related issues and complaints as well as issues with the employee benefits administration, this includes employee payroll and employee paperwork. They also oversee all the tasks and duties of HR Assistants.

Let’s say you are interested in applying for an entry level HR position, some of the activities you will partake in on a day to day basis are as follows.

  • You will be required to interview applicants about their previous experience, education and skills.

  • You will have to inform all applicants who are selected about their job details and the employee benefits, conditions and work environment.

  • You will be required to consult with your superiors on identifying the new employees needs and preferred qualifications.

  • You will have to contact references and perform background checks on the new employees.

  • You will need to process paperwork for the new employees and also conduct employee orientations.

If you are applying for the post of a Human Resource manager, then the responsibilities will include the ones listed below.

  • A HR manager will need to plan and coordinate the workforce in a way where the employees talents can be utilized efficiently.

  • A HR manager will advise managers of other departments on policies such as sexual harassment in the workplace and equal employment opportunities.

  • A HR manager will need to coordinate and supervise the work of HR specialists and staff members.

  • A HR manager will need to resolve any disputes between management and employees.

  • A HR manager will directly oversee the recruitment and hiring process of new employees.

  • A HR manager is required to carry out disciplinary procedures on employees and staff once they have received complaints.

What are the Certifications Required to Join the HR Department?

In short, yes there are certifications that are necessary. However, depending on the organization you wish to join, the requirements will vary. Some of the most common certifications are listed below.

  • Certificate from the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI)

  • Certificate from the Professional in Human Resources (PHR)

  • Certificate from the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) which can be obtained through the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM).

Based on where you are located, your work experience, the organization you wish to join and many other factors, the value of these certifications will differ. When it comes to entry level HR jobs, entry level human resources jobs, these certification may not be required to begin your career in the field of Human Resources.

However, many large established organizations who operate in many countries and have a vast number of branches tend to prefer candidates who hold any one of the certifications. Many of the job listing sites online have the certification requirement as part of their job postings.

When it comes to small to mid-sized organizations, only some of them have the need for certification while the others do not require them for the entry level HR position. Another huge benefit of signing up and completing the certification course is that you will be able to make substantially more money than the ones who are uncertified and other organizations will perceive you to be a professional in your area of expertise.

Keep in mind that the role of a HR manager must add to the needs of the organization when it comes to developing, planning and implementing new procedures that can improve workflow and maintain employee productivity. HR managers must be passionate about their job and be effective leaders who promote growth, communication and meaningful work.

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