People who work in human resources have many job responsibilities. They are responsible for gathering resumes and applications for job openings, keeping track of changes in hiring practices so they don’t run afoul of the law, and they also have to make sure employees have all the information they need about their benefits, wages, their vacation time, etc. They are constantly learning about new information and applying it to their job.
Working in Human Resources
There are many skills that are required for working in human resources, but above all, you need to be able to communicate and effectively deal with people on a daily basis. Along with dealing with their immediate co-workers, human resources personnel will answer questions for employees, management and people who call about job openings at their company. Probably the most visible aspect of a human resources position is the hiring process.
Filling Job Openings
The human resources department is normally assigned the task of advertising openings within a company when they become available. The manager of a department or of a division in a company will notify the HR department when they need to hire new personnel. The HR department will advertise those openings both externally and internally in order to fill them. Advertisements may be placed on online job boards, they will be included on the company’s career page on their website, and they may even place notices where employees can see them.
Along with advertising these openings, HR will also accept the resumes and applications that are sent in for the open positions. They will then have to sort through them to select the candidates for interviews based on their education and job experience, to see how it compares with the needs of their company. In many cases, they will set up the interviews and HR personnel will often conduct the first ones in the hiring process.
After new employees have been hired, the HR department will conduct an employee orientation, even if it is for only one person. During orientation, someone from HR will show employees the facilities and make sure they get their identification badges and the keys or codes they may need to access the areas in which they will be working. Another important part of employee orientation is having employees fill out the rest of the necessary paperwork for the company.
Usually, employees will be informed of company policies at orientation and what is expected from them. This may include information about the dress code, where the smoking area is, and other necessary information for conducting themselves properly in the workplace. In addition, benefit paperwork may be filled out during orientation, such as for insurance or for retirement accounts. HR personnel need to be able to answer any questions that the new employees may have, so they should be up-to-date on company policies and benefit information, or should know where to get the information if they are unsure of an answer.
Ethical Hiring Practices
Another important aspect of working in HR is being knowledgeable in ethical hiring practices and what the law says about what you can and cannot do when selecting candidates for job openings. HR personnel have to keep up with legislative changes like the Equality Act of 2010. The United Kingdom prohibits discriminating against people with “protected characteristics” when it comes to hiring practices and supervision in the workplace.
It is important for HR personnel, especially HR managers, to know this information so they can be fair during the hiring process. They also need to keep managers within their company aware of this information so management personnel can make sure the law is followed on a daily basis. Along with anti-discrimination laws, HR personnel need to know about laws involving harassment on the job and how to take appropriate actions when necessary.
Dealing with Terminations
Probably one of the least favourite aspects of a job in HR is having to deal with employee terminations. Unfortunately, the HR department is one of the first to know when their company is laying off people due to budget cuts or when someone is being fired because of a failure to properly do his or her job. When they are notified, HR personnel have to make sure that all of the policies regarding layoffs or terminations are followed exactly so the employees cannot take legal action against the company.
They may have to notify department managers about any infractions in policy so they can be corrected and keep the company from being sued in court. In addition, they will prepare the necessary paperwork for the employees’ separation from the company and prepare any severance packages the employees may be given when they are laid off or terminated. They have to make sure everything is done properly so no one can claim he or she was wrongly terminated.
Obtaining Job Skills
To work in human resources, you need to possess several hard and soft skills because of the variety of responsibilities you will face. If you are an HR manager, you will not only need excellent written and oral communication skills, organisational skills and job knowledge, but you will also be responsible for handling the department’s budget, making sure you have the necessary personnel in the department to handle the workload, and you will need to be able to access information quickly when requested.
Many of the hard skills and soft skills you need for HR management can be obtained by taking human resources management courses at the institutions where they are taught. These courses will help you acquire the job skills and necessary information to help ensure you can successfully run the HR department at your company.
If you are already working within the company when you take the courses, you may be able to secure funding for continuing your education from your employer. They will often help employees further their education when it comes to courses that apply directly to their work. Going back to school is a good way to gain the knowledge and skills you need for a successful career.