How to become a Human Resources Officer Job Application. Read through our comprehensive job guide to learn more about this career.
What does a Human Resources Officer do?
Human resources (‘HR’) officers or managers, also known as personnel officers/managers, are responsible for the recruitment, development and welfare of their company’s employees.
As a HR officer your work would typically involve:
- recruiting staff – advertising and interviewing
- working with other managers to plan future personnel needs
- keeping employee records
- providing staff training and development
- making sure staff have the right pay and benefits
- arranging services such as staff welfare and counselling
- dealing with grievances and disciplinary procedures
- promoting equality and health and safety
- advising on matters like pay negotiations, redundancy and employment law
- developing HR policies and procedures, and writing staff handbooks.
In large organisations, you may specialise in one or two of these areas. In smaller companies you would usually deal with all aspects of the job.
In a full-time job you would typically work standard office hours, Monday to Friday. Part-time and temporary work are often available.
You would be mainly office-based but you may need to travel to meetings, especially if you worked in a company with more than one site.
How much does a Human Resources earn?
Salary and pay information:
- Personnel administrators can earn around £18,000 to £23,000 a year.
- Starting salaries for human resources officers can be between £21,000 and £27,000 a year.
- Personnel managers can earn £32,000 to £55,000 a year or more.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
You should have a good standard of general education, and previous experience of office work. Employers will usually prefer you to have or be willing work towards qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
You could start as an administrator in a company’s HR department, and study part-time for the CIPD Certificate in Personnel Practice (CPP) or (from September 2010) the new CIPD Certificate in Human Resources Practice whilst you are working. Alternatively, you may be able to take the CIPD courses at college before looking for your first job in human resources.
Many human resources officers are graduates and some have a BTEC HNC/HND, degree or postgraduate qualification in human resource management. However, this is not essential if you have the right experience and CIPD qualifications.
Training and Development
You will develop your skills on the job. Many employers will also expect you to take qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), and may pay towards your study.
If you are new to HR, or if you are a personnel administrator looking to progress, you can take CIPD qualifications at foundation level. CIPD has recently introduced the foundation-level Award, Certificate and Diploma in Human Resource Practice, available from September 2010.
The previous foundation-level CIPD qualification, the Level 3 Certificate in Personnel Practice (CPP) is still valid, and anyone currently studying it will have until 2013 to complete it.
With more experience, from September 2010 you could take the new CIPD Intermediate and Advanced Awards, Certificates and Diplomas in:
- Human Resource Management
- Human Resource Development.
The intermediate and advanced qualifications will replace the current CIPD Professional Development Scheme (PDS).
You can study full- or part-time at local colleges, or by distance learning – see the CIPD website for more details on their qualifications, where and how to study.
- Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development – About CIPD Qualifications
Skills and Knowledge
- a tactful and approachable but assertive manner
- good spoken and written communication skills
- the ability to build good working relationships with colleagues at all levels
- fairness and objectivity
- discretion with confidential information
- good organisational ability
- high levels of accuracy and attention to detail
- calmness under pressure
- good administrative and computer skills.
You could work in any organisation with a human resources department, particularly larger companies and public sector organisations like the NHS, education and local authorities. You could also work for a specialist HR consultancy.
Jobs may be advertised in local and national newspapers, trade publications for particular industries, and by recruitment agencies.
With experience, you could progress into senior management. You could also set up your own consultancy offering recruitment services or advice on policy planning.