How to Begin a Career in HR Recruitment

By Joseph Boyle , last updated December 22, 2011

Human resources and recruitment are absolute essentials when it comes to the overall success of a company. Especially when it comes to larger corporations, the human resources department can make or break the company. This is because the entire purpose of the department at large is to seek out and bring in new talent, in addition to managing current employees. Thus it is the responsibility of the human resources department to find individuals with the skills that will help the company achieve its objectives. Securing a first job in HR can be a bit difficult, even in this economy, but it’s by no means impossible. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in human resources and recruiting, below you will find some tips on how to go about your pursuit.

As a career, HR can be quite competitive. This is largely because, as mentioned above, human resources is such an important part of steering the company in the right direction, and as such, most companies tend to seek out the best candidates they can find.

There are a number of applicable skills that make individuals well-suited to human resources. A love of people is absolutely essential. When it comes to HR, people are the business. So an ability to talk to people, as well as make yourself approachable, are both important skills to possess. Another aspect of the business worth mentioning is that it tends to involve quite a bit of paperwork. So if you aren’t afraid of paperwork, then you might be cut out for human resources.

When starting out and looking for an entry level position, any kind of office experience will help you to find a position. Whether they have prior experience or not, most people who end up in the HR field start out with some kind of administrative experience. As in many other fields, establishing a career in HR is all about working your way up. A good way to begin is to seek out an HR assistant job at a smaller company where you will likely gain more exposure to the different aspects of HR than you would in a large company. Spending a few years in such a position will give you a broad overview of the field and what it contains. Working toward a CIPD professional qualification can also help your progress. After a few years as an HR assistant, you should have the skills necessary to secure a job as an HR advisor. Once reaching the advisor level, you will likely have to put in another few years before you progress onto the level of HR manager.

Recruitment and HR being closely related, it can also be helpful to get seek a job in recruiting, and then make a subsequent crossover from recruitment to human resources. This is applicable, of course, only if you have the necessary skills to get hired into a recruitment position. So depending on your skills and experience, this may or may not be a viable option.

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