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As an HR Administrator you can work in almost any industry, in companies of any size or location, even internationally. HR is an exciting and rewarding profession in an ever-changing environment.

The HR industry has gone through significant changes over the past decade. It is no longer seen as a purely administrative function, but as a career that brings multiple specialist opportunities for career progression and business impact, including at board level. In today’s market, the human resources department is expected to contribute to modern thinking and enhance company profitability.

What would you be responsible for….

One of the main things to understand about an HR Administrator is that their responsibilities can vary considerably. In smaller companies, one or two human resources professionals may be hired to handle all of the company’s HR needs. In larger organisations, the duties can be  distributed between several employees or an entire department.

A few of the most common things that HR Administrators are involved in are:

  • Hiring of employees: From advertising vacancies to interviewing job candidates, HR professionals play a key role in hiring employees. In larger companies, there may be recruitment specialists on staff who are strictly there to look for new talent.
  • Training and development: Training professionals spend time analysing competencies that need to be developed in different areas of the business, they will discuss training needs with managers, prepare training plans and organise and run internal and external training, gather training feedback from participants and finally prepare training reports.
  • Administration: An HR administrator can be responsible for huge amounts of employee related paperwork – contracts, contract changes, certificates, managing employee benefits and preparing reports of HR indicators (attrition, sickness leave, joiners, leavers, etc).

There are many other employee related activities that an HR Administrator may get involved in. These include benefit planning, incentive programmes, internal communication, payroll and even corporate events! HR Administrators often assume a variety of roles in administering programmes that benefit employees.

Every HR department is unique and the responsibilities of individual HR professionals vary depending upon the employer. No matter what the daily responsibilities are, human resources is a vital part of all businesses.

What the standard requirements are…

To become an HR Administrator it would be beneficial to enroll in a human resources or related degree programme. Many Business Administration degrees offer programmes with an emphasis in human resources. There are also a variety of HR Certifications you can pursue, such as the SHRM-CP, PHR or CIPD programme that together with a degree will open many doors within the human resources field.

Essential skills needed…

The skills needed in HR are often misunderstood. It’s not just the softer people skills and strong organisation that are required, although these are important, you also need to have a strong interest in business and strategy.

For example, as you progress in your career, you may need excellent analytical and Maths skills to analyse information including employee surveys, key success indicators of projects, or the financial and personal value of an employee to the organisation.

The ability to coach others in the business, to partner (but also be willing to challenge) managers and to become someone they trust implicitly is also critical and of course, it is imperative to have strong interpersonal skills if you want to be an HR professional.

What if i’m just getting started…

Like any career, it is important to either get a qualification and/or experience in the sector. If you are already working then you can look to get involved in projects such as recruitment to get an insight into this field.

If you are not in a role then you should look at gaining different qualifications such as a degree or professional qualification like  SHRM-CP, PHR or CIPD programme. Alongside this you should look to try and get experience through internships, temping and applying for junior roles.

Louise Reed is an HR and recruitment professional who inspires career success.

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