Careers in HR – What’s the right role for you?

  24th May 2016      
 Human Resources, CIPD, Employment, Recruitment


One of the reasons that a career in HR is so attractive is that you get such a vast insight into all areas of business. Each organisation is different, however HR departments usually encompass the values and the essence of the company culture as a whole. This means you can look for companies that have the same principles, goals and values as you and then go from there. You can then make the decision between seeking a generalist HR position or perusing a more specialist role.


Recruitment and resourcing

The objective in this business area is to meet short and long-term strategic goals in an ever-evolving market. You may be actively involved in attracting, identifying or even recruiting key talent and ensuring they have the right skills to help the business stay ahead of the competitive market. Creating and developing a network of people will also make it easier and more cost-effective to attract talent in the long-term.


Key skills – Strategic thinking, networking, identifying talent.


Learning and development

When individuals discover their own strengths and potential, an organisation is more likely to get the best out of them and boost performance making this a rewarding role for learning and talent development professionals. L&D specialists help organisations execute their strategy by aligning learning with business priorities. Strong analytical skills along with quick thinking and an assertive attitude are needed to be successful in this role.


Key skills – Recognising strengths, quick thinking, strong analytical skills, coaching & mentoring, presentation and delivery skills, ability to engage.


Employee engagement

Employee engagement is about employer branding and internal communication. It’s about building connections between employees and their organisation and instilling a sense of loyalty and pride into every part of the workplace, empowering people and giving them the knowledge to become ambassadors for your brand. You will be changing attitudes, developing surveys, running workshops and focus groups to collect insights and make connections and then sharing this across the business. An organisation is only sustainable if its people buy into its culture and objectives, so an Employee engagement specialist’s analysis and advice is invaluable.


Key skills: Analytical, persuasive nature, quick relationship builder, excellent communication skills.


Organisation development

Organisations today are constantly evolving, the fast moving market place and external environment means they need to be agile and switched on to stay ahead of the curve. Usually professionals in an organisation development role are key to managing the process of change within an organisation and will be heavily involved in working towards positively impacting the company culture, people and customer-centric processes. The ability to communicate change to employees in a positive and exciting way while also outlining potential challenges and ways to overcome them is a great asset for these type of roles.


Key skills: Able to manage change and processes, risk analysis, systematic, people focused, strategic.


Performance and reward

It’s important that any company culture is nurtured and sustained by ensuring that its people’s skills, behaviours, values, attitudes and contribution are rewarded and recognised. Performance and reward professionals are involved in setting salary levels and creating incentive and recognition schemes for employees. Good communication is essential as you will be liaising with colleagues to create a joined-up strategy and achievable goals and with issues like bonuses and pensions on your schedule, you will be engaging with senior members of staff.


Key skills: Good communication, numerate, persuasive nature, analytical, figures orientated.


Employee relations

As an ER professional you will be entering into a trust-based culture so you’ll need to speak the language of the business and understand how people management can drive performance. Strong values are also fundamental as you may be involved in managing the organisation’s relationship with its trade unions and workplace conflict dealing with individuals or their representatives to maintain a genuine commitment to diversity, fairness and equal opportunity.


Key skills: Natural motivator, maintaining relationships, able to manage conflict, good legal understanding, ability to retain information, ability to follow process, good influencer.


Generalist HR

HR is all about variety and can encompass all of the above roles in order to drive the needs and goals of the business. You could be responsible for everything from attracting new talent to the business, to implementing strategies, to developing employees. It goes without saying you will happy working alongside managers and senior leaders, supporting, developing and coaching, and also pushing back when needed. Your insights will be invaluable to driving forward lasting people performance improvements within the business.


Key skills – Ability to adapt, insightful, teamwork, coaching, developing, mentoring, good listener, good communicator, people focused, relationship builder, manage workloads, legal understanding.


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