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How to break into a human resources career

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Human resources is a fast-growing industry with many lucrative employment opportunities. In addition to planning, programme development and accounting, HR is a highly personable field designed to help others, so it can be a rewarding career to start or transition to. If you think you have the relevant interpersonal skills and experience, or else you’re eager to learn, you may be wondering how to embark on an HR career of your own. To get your foot on the ladder, follow these four steps.

Get Educated

The most common routes to a career in HR are to either complete a degree in HR Management or Business or acquire certification from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. If you don’t have the relevant qualifications, there are other ways to break into the industry, such as working your way up from a PA or secretarial role. Due to the changing nature of the field and the need for business acumen in the role, however, most employers expect a formal education of some kind. You could always look at distance learning opportunities if you’re keen to retrain or do some unpaid work experience in a HR environment – you never know, this could lead to a paid position.

Hone Your Skill Set

Human resources is a competitive field, so there are many skilled and talented professionals vying for jobs. In order to stand out, you need to hone your skill set and be prepared to undergo further training. Whichever route into HR you follow, you’ll need to show that you’re a strong communicator with advanced interpersonal skills, as much of the role will be people orientated. You’ll also need to demonstrate organisational skills and be prepared to deal with an unpredictable workload calmly and efficiently.

Know the Software

The role of an HR professional is always changing. As such, the profession is no longer limited to support, and administration and is now more technical and strategic. Due to the changing nature of the industry and the move toward more automated systems, there is a growing need for candidates who are familiar with cloud-based programmes and accounting software. Therefore, acquiring knowledge of these systems is one way to get your foot in the door and stand out from the competition. XCD is a trusted provider of online self-service programmes for HR firms that are easy to use. For more information about their cloud-based HR software, visit

Getting Started in HR

Once you’re established in a HR role, there is a defined career path for you to follow, which is part of the attraction for many people getting into the field. Most organisations spit their HR functions into different areas of specialism, such as resourcing, recruitment, learning and development, so it’s a good idea to think about which of these specialisms most appeals to you.

Depending on your skill set and experience, a typical annual starting salary for an entry- level candidate ranges from £16,000 – £20,000. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the average HR Director earns over £92,000 per year. Currently, there is a high demand for entry-level HR professionals, especially within larger organisations, so’s a great time to break into the industry.

Are you a budding human resources director? Let us know your plans to get in the industry.

Career CamelHow to break into a human resources career

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