How To Get Experience In Hr – Whether you’re just starting out in HR or have years of experience under your belt, planning your HR career path plays an important role in helping you achieve your personal and professional goals. There are many opportunities to grow and shape your career based on your skills and interests. By determining your HR career path, you will be able to determine the direction you want to develop in the future based on your HR career goals and capabilities.
Human resources cover various functions apart from general HR and the value that HR professionals add to businesses is far reaching. You can provide general advice for your business, help implement technology or other digital initiatives, build and maintain a healthy organizational culture, or strategically integrate the HR value chain into business operations.
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In this article, we’ll discuss what the modern career path looks like, the different HR career paths you can take based on the four HR profiles we’ve created, and three examples of HR career progression to inspire you.
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Don’t hesitate to explore our HR Career Path Tool to find out what your own career path in HR might look like!
Not so long ago, a career was traditionally seen as a series of steps leading to the highest point of success – a leadership position. The typical progression of an employee’s career path is from an employee to a manager overseeing a team, director of a function, vice president of a department, a senior vice president, and so on. In other words, your career usually follows the hierarchical structure of your organization. Every role you took was a step to support you on your way to a higher position.
But these days thinking about careers in terms of organizational hierarchy is no longer ideal. The modern career path is now considered a series of experiences, each of which gives you the opportunity to develop your knowledge and skills. Your career may follow an upward trend, and you may eventually end up in the senior vice president position. However, the role you played before is not just a stepping stone to the highest point of your career.
This concept represents a shift from career as experience to career as a hierarchy. According to Deloitte research, 84% of employees consider this change important or very important. The reason for this change can be partly attributed to the fact that to succeed in today’s disruptive business environment (the Covid-19 pandemic is a prime example of this), you need a variety of skills and competencies that cannot be easily acquired. Follows traditional hierarchical career progression.
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A successful HR professional needs more than just an in-depth knowledge of compensation and benefits, talent acquisition or learning and development. You also need to understand the operations of the business, including how its products are manufactured, how it provides its services, how it makes money, and more. This is why it is now very common to find HR professionals who have previously worked in marketing, sales or product development. HR Career Advancement: What Makes It Possible
HR jobs are projected to grow by 10% by 2030. Also, HR job postings in the US have increased by 87% since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the emergence of new roles and responsibilities in HR related to wellness, digital transformation and sustainability, we are seeing more non-traditional HR career paths and opportunities emerge.
Not only is an HR career no longer linear, but your career path is expected to have more variety. These days, professionals change between roles and companies more frequently than in past decades. It is also normal for employees to take on different roles and still achieve the same end goal.
This means that if your ultimate goal is to become a CHRO, you don’t have to follow the traditional path of starting as an HR assistant, progressing to HR specialist, HR manager, and then HR director. It is also possible to start your career as, for example, HRIS Analyst, then HR Ops Manager, then Shared Services Manager, and finally as CHRO.
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Your career progression in HR is essentially a collection of meaningful experiences. With each role you take on, you acquire a new set of skills and abilities that contribute to your personal and professional growth. They will enable you to progress in your career. Remember that different companies – depending on their size, structure and industry – may require different skills, competencies and portfolios for the same job. This means your possibilities are endless.
However, this means that you need to go beyond your HR specialization and develop additional, more general HR skills that can be transferred between roles. These skills will not only allow you to collaborate and innovate cross-functionally, but also adapt to the changing work environment of your career in the face of global disruption. HR Core Competencies: The T-Shaped HR Professional
When we take a deeper look at the skills you need to fill different roles across the HR spectrum, four stand out as key skills. We note that a typical HR professional must develop a set of both functional and generic skills throughout their career, making them a T-shaped HR professional.
To become T-shaped, you need to develop a certain level of competence in four core competencies, namely business acumen, data literacy, digital competency and people advocacy. Each of these skills has different dimensions, which consist of specific behaviors. These are the general skills mentioned above and those that can be transferred between different HR roles. Apart from these, you need to be an expert in at least one area of HR. It could be recruitment, DEIB, HR analysis, or organizational development.
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There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to finding the right HR career path for you. The path you take will depend on your ambitions, interests and skills – meaning what’s right for you may look very different to what’s right for another HR professional, even if you have the same starting point and experience.
That said, there are still guidelines you can follow to find the right path for you. Your starting point is your dream location. Ask yourself: “What is my ideal job?”. If you already know what you want, all you need to do is identify the skills, abilities and experience you need to get there. After that, it’s a matter of charting your progress.
If you don’t yet know your end goal, the best thing to do is to first focus on the skills and experience you want to acquire and start looking for roles that will help you achieve them. A quick and easy way to do this is to use the HR Career Path tool.
With the number of HR roles available and the different skills required for each, it can be a daunting task. That’s why we’ve created a framework to help you identify what skills you need to acquire and what roles will help you get where you want to be.
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This framework gives you a clear understanding of the different combinations of behaviors and skills required to succeed in different HR roles:
There are dozens of HR specializations out there, which means there must be hundreds of functional skills and role-related skills you need to master. Fortunately, most HR positions can be divided into four key profiles based on the main functions they perform in the business: advisory, strategic, service provider, and solution provider. This means that positions that perform the same key function share a set of core behaviors and skills.
To be able to transition between different roles, be it within one profile or across different profiles, you need to know exactly which behaviors and skills to develop. In the next section, we describe each feature profile and provide examples of several roles that require the behavior defined by that profile HR Career Options
To help you chart your own career progression, we’ve listed several HR career examples that you can take to develop vertically or horizontally. A vertical step refers to a career progression where you move up a level. Meanwhile, a horizontal move refers to when you move to another position (or functional profile) at a similar level to your current role. To explore your career options, it is best to start from the functional profile of your current position. HR careers within service provider profiles
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These are roles within shared service centers, typically more junior and middle management level. They may include positions such as HR Administrator, Payroll Administrator or Manager, Benefits Manager or HR Scrum Manager.
A professional in a service advocacy role is responsible for providing fast, responsive and quality service. This professional must be committed to the client and a consistent, repeatable,
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