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How to get into HR

Published on: 25 Aug 2015

Finding recruitment for your first HR role is not really any different than landing a first job in any other field, with a tried and trusted set of tasks which must be completed to give yourself every chance of being successful.

However, Human Resources is incredibly 'hot' at the moment. In conjunction with the Health and Safety field, HR is becoming increasingly popular with employers as they come to appreciate the large legal and financial implications that can arise from a poorly executed HR program.

You can begin your HR journey by implementing the actions detailed in the following three steps.

Start at the bottom

This may sound a little unimaginative, but it really is the best way of getting your foot in the HR door. Scour the online job sites for entry level HR administrator and HR assistant roles in your area.

Entry level positions tend to be those of a more clerically-based nature. You may not be implementing a groundbreaking HR strategy across the entire company in your first week, but you will be garnering the necessary skills and experience needed to achieve this one day in the future.

Start at the bottom, and take the time and effort to fully learn your craft. It will pay enormous dividends over the long run.


So, you've got your first HR role as a clerical assistant. You're not really getting to experience much actual HR work though, as you're too busy doing the filing and typing for the actual HR advisors. What's the best way out of this scenario?

Volunteer to do more.

The more you volunteer to take on extra HR related tasks, the more you will be given. If an advisor needs a note-taker for an investigatory meeting, then make sure that it's you sitting in with her, evaluating exactly how she handles the situation.

If the HR manager needs somebody to proofread a new company procedure, make sure it's you that spots the error which avoids potential embarrassment for the entire department.

I'm sure you get the picture – the more you volunteer to do, the more you will be given to do. In some cases this may be undesirable. In your case, however, this is exactly what you need to start building those necessary skills and experience.

Continue your training

Once you have landed your first HR job (no matter how lowly it may first appear), it is important that you carry on expanding your skills by gaining further HR qualifications and certifications.

The CIPD (Charted Institute of Personnel and Development) website will list dozens of HR related courses which you can apply for and take, alongside the experience you will already be gaining 'on the job'.

Taking these certification courses will also make you more desirable to alternative employers, if you begin to feel as though your HR career is stalling in your current role.

Alternatively, they also give you a vast head start over the competition when it comes to internal promotions within your current company.

It is also worth asking your employer if you can receive funding for any HR training courses you believe could be of benefit to your current role.

If you can prove that a particular course is beneficial to the business itself, you may be pleasantly surprised by just how many times your employer agrees to your training requests!

Implement all three of these strategies from the very beginning of your career, and you should find yourself moving up the HR ladder in no time at all.