Human Resources (HR) is at the centre of business performance with HR professionals driving decisions that enable their organisations to perform at their best
HR personnel are central to helping organisations work as effectively as possible. Even more so during the Covid-19 pandemic where their roles expanded to include responsibilities such as, ensuring staff have the resources to work from home, that any furlough or redeployment policies are fairly implemented and ensuring that salary, tax and pension systems are still functioning correctly despite the disruption to normal practices.
HR professionals deal with a wide range of people in an organisation on a day-to-day basis, from the most senior directors and executives to the most junior staff. Therefore a highly professional, calm and approachable manner is key. They also handle and have access to highly sensitive information on staff, therefore a commitment to maintaining confidentiality and knowledge of all applicable employment laws is a necessity.
Recruitment is a major function within HR and roles in this area may be based either in-house (managing the recruitment needs of an organisation) or in a consultancy (handling recruitment for a range of different clients). Executive recruitment consultancies (headhunters) typically operate in specialist areas. They often approach individuals directly rather than advertising openly.
Organisations are increasingly aware of the value and importance of HR functions and almost every organisation now has HR staff in some capacity. The professional association for HR/Personnel specialists and generalists in the UK is the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Although most graduate opportunities are within large commercial organisations with large HR teams or in the large public sector employers, opportunities exist in organisations of all sizes.