Human Resources (HR) is an important function within any organization, and a career in HR can be fulfilling and rewarding. In the UK, HR professionals are responsible for managing the people within an organisation, from recruitment and retention to employee relations and training and developments
To pursue a career in HR in the UK, you typically need a degree in HR or a related field, such as business or psychology. Many universities in the UK offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses in HR, and some also offer professional qualifications that can be pursued alongside or after a degree.
Once you have a qualification in HR, you can look for entry-level roles in HR departments, such as HR assistant or HR coordinator. These roles usually involve supporting senior HR professionals with tasks such as recruitment, employee onboarding, and administration.
As you gain experience and progress in your career, you can move into more senior HR roles, such as HR manager or HR director. In these roles, you will be responsible for developing and implementing HR policies and strategies, managing employee relations, and overseeing the recruitment and development of staff.
There are also opportunities to specialise in different areas of HR, such as talent acquisition, employee relations, or learning and development. Specializing in a particular area can help you to develop expertise and advance your career.
In terms of salary, entry-level roles in HR in the UK typically pay around £20,000 - £25,000 per year, while more senior roles can pay upwards of £60,000 per year.
Overall, a career in HR in the UK can be challenging and rewarding, with opportunities for professional development and advancement. If you have a passion for working with people and are interested in the business world, a career in HR could be a great choice for you.
Who might enjoy a career in HR?
A career in HR can be an excellent choice for individuals who enjoy working with people, have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and are passionate about helping others achieve their goals. Some specific traits and characteristics that may indicate a good fit for a career in HR include:
Strong people skills: HR professionals are responsible for managing the people within an organisation, so it's important to have strong interpersonal and communication skills. This includes the ability to listen actively, provide constructive feedback, and build relationships with colleagues at all levels.
Analytical and strategic thinking: HR professionals must be able to analyse data and trends, identify areas for improvement, and develop effective strategies to support the organization's goals.
Attention to detail: HR involves a lot of paperwork and administration, so it's important to be organized, detail-oriented, and able to manage multiple tasks at once.
Empathy and emotional intelligence: HR professionals work with employees at all levels of the organisation, so it's important to have empathy, emotional intelligence, and the ability to provide support and guidance when needed.
Commitment to learning and development: HR is a constantly evolving field, and it's important to stay up to date with the latest trends and best practices. A commitment to ongoing learning and development can help you stay ahead of the curve and advance your career.
Overall, a career in HR can be a good fit for individuals who are passionate about working with people, are comfortable with change and ambiguity, and are committed to supporting the success of the organisation and its employees.
What are the different sections of HR?
Human Resources (HR) is a multifaceted field with many different specialisations and areas of focus. Here are some of the main sections of HR:
Recruitment and selection: This section of HR is responsible for attracting and hiring new employees. It involves developing job descriptions, posting job vacancies, screening resumes, interviewing candidates, and making job offers.
Employee relations: This section of HR is responsible for managing the relationships between employees and the organisation. It involves dealing with issues such as employee grievances, conflicts, and disciplinary actions.
Learning and development: This section of HR is responsible for helping employees develop their skills and knowledge. It involves designing and delivering training programs, creating career development plans, and identifying learning opportunities.
Compensation and benefits: This section of HR is responsible for managing employee compensation and benefits packages. It involves developing pay structures, administering employee benefits, and ensuring that the organisation is complying with employment laws and regulations.
Performance management: This section of HR is responsible for managing employee performance. It involves setting performance goals, conducting performance evaluations, and developing improvement plans.
HR Information Systems (HRIS): This section of HR is responsible for managing and maintaining the HRIS, which is the technology platform used to manage employee data and information.
Health and safety: This section of HR is responsible for ensuring that the workplace is safe and healthy for employees. It involves developing and implementing health and safety policies, conducting risk assessments, and providing training on health and safety issues.
Overall, the different sections of HR work together to support the organisation and its employees. Each section has a unique focus, but they all play an important role in managing and developing the organisation's workforce.
What specialisms are involved with a career in HR?
Choosing a specialisation within HR can be a great way to focus your career and develop expertise in a specific area. The best specialisation for your career prospects will depend on your interests, skills, and the job market in your area. However, here are a few specializations that are in high demand and have strong career prospects:
Talent Acquisition: With the demand for skilled employees constantly increasing, talent acquisition has become a critical function for many organisations. Specialising in talent acquisition can involve developing and implementing recruitment strategies, sourcing and screening candidates, and ensuring that the organization has the right talent to meet its goals.
HR Analytics: As more organisations turn to data to inform their decision-making, HR analytics has become an increasingly important specialisation. This involves using data to measure and improve HR performance, identify trends and patterns in employee behaviour, and make data-driven decisions about HR strategy.
Learning and Development: With the rise of remote work and the need for upskilling and reskilling, learning and development has become a critical function in many organizations. Specialising in this area can involve designing and delivering training programs, creating career development plans, and identifying learning opportunities.
Employee Relations: Managing employee relations is a critical function in all organisations. Specialising in this area can involve dealing with issues such as employee grievances, conflicts, and disciplinary actions, and ensuring that the organisation is complying with employment laws and regulations.
HR Information Systems: As technology becomes increasingly important in HR, there is a growing demand for HR professionals with expertise in HR information systems. Specialising in this area can involve managing and maintaining the HRIS, developing and implementing new HR technologies, and ensuring data security and privacy.
Ultimately, the best specialisation for your career prospects will depend on your interests, skills, and the needs of the job market in your area. It's important to do your research, network with professionals in your field, and stay up to date with the latest trends and developments in HR.
What are some of the more common HR titles?
There are many different HR titles depending on the size and structure of the organisation, but here are some of the more common HR titles you may encounter:
HR Assistant: Entry-level role providing administrative support to HR team.
HR Coordinator: Provides support with recruiting, onboarding, and employee relations.
HR Generalist: Responsible for managing various HR functions, such as recruitment, compensation, benefits, training, and employee relations.
HR Manager: Responsible for overseeing the HR function and developing HR strategies that align with the organization's goals.
HR Director: Leads the HR function, developing and implementing HR policies and strategies, and advising senior management on HR issues
Talent Acquisition Specialist/Recruiter: Responsible for sourcing, screening, and hiring new employees.
Employee Relations Specialist: Handles employee grievances, conflicts, and disciplinary actions
Compensation and Benefits Specialist: Manages employee compensation and benefits packages.
Learning and Development Specialist: Develops and delivers training programs to employees.
HR Information Systems (HRIS) Manager: Manages and maintains the HRIS technology platform used to manage employee data and information.
These are just a few of the many different HR titles that exist. In addition to these titles, there may be variations based on industry, company size, and specific job responsibilities.
The governing bodies that offer training courses for HR in the UK
There are several governing bodies that offer training courses for HR professionals in the UK. Here are a few of the most prominent organisations:
Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD): The CIPD is the leading professional body for HR and people development in the UK. They offer a wide range of training courses, qualifications, and professional development opportunities for HR professionals at all levels, including undergraduate and postgraduate courses, as well as short courses and workshops.
International Association for Human Resource Information Management (IHRIM): The IHRIM is a global organisation that focuses on the intersection of HR and technology. They offer a range of training courses and resources to help HR professionals stay up to date with the latest trends and technologies in HR.
Institute of HR Management (IHRM): The IHRM is a professional membership body for HR practitioners in the UK. They offer a range of training courses and qualifications for HR professionals at all levels, including foundation-level courses, diploma-level courses, and short courses.
HR Certification Institute (HRCI): The HRCI is a global organization that offers certifications for HR professionals, including the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certifications. These certifications are recognized globally and can help HR professionals advance their careers.
These are just a few examples of the many organizations that offer training courses and qualifications for HR professionals in the UK. It's important to do your research and find the organisation that best fits your needs and career goals.
How to start a career in HR?
Getting into an HR career typically involves a combination of education, experience, and networking. Here are some steps you can take to pursue a career in HR:
Earn a degree: Many HR jobs require a degree in HR or a related field, such as business or psychology. Consider pursuing an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in HR or a related field to gain the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the field.
Gain experience: Look for opportunities to gain experience in HR, such as internships, volunteer work, or entry-level roles. This can help you develop your skills, build your resume, and make connections in the field.
Build your network: Attend industry events, join professional organisations, and network with other HR professionals to build relationships and learn about job opportunities.
Develop key skills: HR professionals need strong communication, interpersonal, and analytical skills, as well as the ability to work well under pressure and manage multiple tasks at once. Consider developing these skills through courses, workshops, or other training opportunities.
Consider professional certifications: There are several professional certifications available for HR professionals, such as those offered by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) or the HR Certification Institute (HRCI). These certifications can demonstrate your expertise and commitment to the field and may be required for some positions.
Search for job opportunities: Look for HR job postings online, in professional organisations, and through networking contacts. Tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight your relevant skills and experience and prepare for interviews by researching the organisation and practicing common interview questions.
Overall, pursuing a career in HR requires dedication, hard work, and a commitment to ongoing learning and development. By taking these steps, you can increase your chances of success and find a fulfilling career in HR.
What is the CIPD?
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is the leading professional body for HR and people development in the UK. It was established in 1913 and has since grown to become a global organisation, with over 150,000 members in 120 countries.
The CIPD's mission is to champion better work and working lives, by setting professional standards for HR and people development, and providing training, resources, and support to its members. The organization is committed to promoting ethical and sustainable HR practices, and to improving the well-being and performance of employees and organisations.
The CIPD offers a wide range of qualifications, training courses, and professional development opportunities for HR professionals at all levels, from entry-level to senior management. These include undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, professional qualifications, short courses, and workshops. The CIPD's qualifications and courses cover a wide range of topics, including HR management, employment law, learning and development, coaching and mentoring, and HR analytics.
In addition to its training and development offerings, the CIPD also conducts research and thought leadership in the field of HR and provides resources and guidance to its members on a wide range of HR topics. The organisation also runs events, conferences, and networking opportunities for HR professionals to connect and share best practices.
Becoming a member of the CIPD can provide many benefits for HR professionals, including access to exclusive resources, networking opportunities, and professional recognition. The CIPD offers several membership levels, including student, associate, chartered member, and fellow, depending on an individual's qualifications and experience.
Overall, the CIPD is a highly respected and influential organisation within the HR profession and offers a wide range of resources and support to HR professionals at all levels.
HR salaries in the UK:
Salaries in HR can vary widely depending on factors such as job title, experience level, industry, and location. Here are some approximate salary ranges for HR professionals in the UK, based on data from the Office for National Statistics and other industry sources:
HR Administrator: £20,000 - £25,000 per year
HR Coordinator: £22,000 - £30,000 per year
HR Advisor: £25,000 - £40,000 per year
HR Manager: £35,000 - £60,000 per year
HR Director: £70,000 - £120,000 per year
Talent Acquisition Specialist/Recruiter: £25,000 - £45,000 per year
Compensation and Benefits Specialist: £35,000 - £60,000 per year
Learning and Development Specialist: £25,000 - £45,000 per year
These salary ranges are meant to provide a general idea of the salaries for different HR roles in the UK and should not be considered definitive. Salaries can vary significantly depending on factors such as location, industry, and company size, as well as an individual's qualifications, experience, and performance.
What demand is there for people with HR skillsets?
There is a strong demand for people with HR skillsets in the UK and globally. The importance of HR in organisations has increased in recent years, as companies recognise the value of attracting, developing, and retaining talented employees.
According to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), most organisations in the UK plan to maintain or increase their HR staff in the next 12 months. This suggests that the demand for HR professionals is likely to remain strong in the coming years.
Some specific HR skillsets that are in high demand include talent acquisition, employee engagement, learning and development, HR analytics, and change management. With the rise of remote work and digital transformation, there is also a growing demand for HR professionals with expertise in HR technology and digital HR.
Overall, a career in HR can be a promising choice for individuals with the right skillset and qualifications. By staying up to date with the latest trends and developments in HR, and by continuously developing their skills and knowledge, HR professionals can increase their employability and advance their careers in this exciting and dynamic field.