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Choosing an HR career in 2021

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For any organization, HR is a very important department. Gone are the days when it was considered to be just an administrative role, dealing with conducting interviews and processing salaries. An HR career now has a significant, strategic component, so aside from the aforementioned responsibilities, HR looks to hire talent in line with the strategic goals of the company.

To this end, HR professionals look at the recruitment, onboarding, appraisals, and multiple other aspects of handling employees. In addition, they engage with senior management and executives on strategic hiring plans and are also intermediaries between the staff and the management.

How is the demand for HR professionals?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), HR professionals are in high demand. From 2019-2019, the jobs for HR managers are expected to grow by 6 percent and for HR specialists by 9 percent.

What qualifications are needed?

The qualifications vary as per the role and position. For certain roles, a high school diploma and relevant experience are sufficient. However, typically, the requirement is for a bachelor’s degree in business administration, HRM, industrial psychology, or other relevant disciplines. Larger organizations tend to seek advanced degrees or other higher qualifications, and communication and interpersonal skills must be excellent in all roles and every organization. Candidates can also pick up HR certifications from reputed institutions, as a testament to their possessing the latest skills and know-how in the HR field.

Is HR a good major to choose?

For those convinced about working in HR, a major in HR is a great choice. The tricky aspect is choosing the right degree, given the multiple options available. It is advisable to choose a degree accredited by a reputed institution. Along with this, what helps is to take up people roles early in life, such as school club leadership or managing part-time staff members at retail outlets. Alternatively, if the person does not wish to major in HR or take an advanced degree, an HR certification is a great way to come up to pace with the most current tools and techniques in the HR domain.

What are the important gains from working in HR?

For someone looking at an HR career, the important personal aspects are the desire and love to assist others and work with others. There is a good scope to be flexible and creative, and learning is huge. Here are the top reasons to join the HR field:

• Crucial strategic component: Workforce quality and employee satisfaction lead to better customer service and innovation, which in turn give the organization a competitive edge. HR professionals monitor key parameters and strategize on how to maintain enthusiasm and create better communication.

• Career flexibility: There is the option to work as a generalist who handles multiple HR responsibilities, commonly seen in a small organization, or as a specialist, working on and specializing in a particular aspect of HR work such as compensation and benefits, training, or other.

• Opportunities for progression: The diversity of responsibilities encompasses interviews, creating job descriptions, handling promotional paperwork, and more. At a senior level, the person could work in contract negotiations or leadership training, and could ultimately become the HR head of an organization.

Which roles can a person work in?

An HR career offers several types of roles. These include:

• HR manager: overseeing recruitment strategy, developing training

• HR specialist: recruitment of new staff

• HR consultant: assess the current situation and deploy systemic recommendations, specialize in different fields

• Compensation and benefits specialist: developing compensation and benefits programs and healthcare and retirement plans

What are the salaries for HR professionals?

The entry-level annual salaries in the US are estimated as below:

• HR specialist: USD 38,582

• HR generalist: USD 44,873

• HR manager: USD 49,745

Should you choose a career in HR?

Yes, if you are approachable, a people person, love to solve problems, enjoy doing research into policies and practices, make sound decisions, and understand larger business aspects.

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