Career Cheer: Human Resources

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It goes without saying that every job has its own skill set. A talented caliber in sales does not necessarily have to be a runner up for audit. Nevertheless, when it comes to Human Resources, it appears that so far there had been no definite guidelines on the successful candidate. This is not because Human Resources is any less than other functions within the organization. This is because very few understand the value of Human Resources and the role played by this integral part of an organization’s infrastructure.

It may be assumed that this episode of career cheer is about HR because I work in HR. I have to admit that part of the reason why I am writing this is because HR has been my career target since college days. So, what is Human Resources? There could be many definitions out there for Human Resources. But perhaps none of them could be inclusive of all the duties and responsibilities carried by the HR workforce in every organization. The Business Dictionary defines Human Resources as: The division of a company that is focused on activities relating to employees. These activities normally include recruiting and hiring of new employees, orientation and training of current employees, employee benefits, and retention. However, HR can be broadly defined as the existence of an ACTIVE supportive workforce that works as a business partner and reinforces its organizations’ vision an mission while focusing on employee well being, satisfaction and development as its primary responsibility.

Referring to the above quote, more often than not, HR professionals are faced with a huge challenge. This challenge is the fact that most of the organization’s employees are unaware of the role that HR plays in their career. On one hand, this may be partially because the existence of HR as we know it today only emerged recently. On another hand, this occurs due to the fact that in many organizations, Human Resources is nothing but an order taker and plays no major role in the business partnering and overall organization’s strategic tendencies. A successful HR team will be participating in everyday activities that have to do with the employees. These activities in a nutshell could be: compensation, benefits, development and employee relations. The existence of the four afore-mentioned duties of HR contributes to establishing a ‘healthy’ working environment that in turn promotes employee retention and minimizes turnover, absenteeism and frustration.

 Perhaps a lot of the tasks carried on by HR occur in the background. An example of this is: compensation and benefits. When it comes to compensation, efficient HR teams would participate in salary surveys in order to improve their organization’s salary structure and keep up with the ever growing market. Once a successful participation in a salary survey is completed, the company’s salary structure is adjusted and employees’ base salary is increased accordingly. When it comes to benefits, competent HR teams negotiate the benefits provided to the employees annually with their service providers so as to receive a better and faster service to the employees. This could include higher medical insurance ceiling, a stronger customer service base from third party service providers or new super saving offers for the employees. Despite the fact that the compensation and benefits efforts carried on by HR vary from one organization to another, the overall driver is the same: Employee satisfaction.

 Would you like a career in HR? Ask yourself one question: How much can you achieve balance between service delivery and control? HR is one day negotiating offers and giving employees more benefits and another day they will be investigating an employee relations issue such as a code of business conduct or a fraud case. A successful HR employee needs to be open to the following aspects of the job:


        –      HR is not a routine job by all means. ‘Personnel’ is somewhat static and it is a different branch of HR

–      No day is like the other, so don’t try to predict how your work day will work itself out.

       HR teams have to be open for ideas and keep an open eye for changes in the market and their impact inside and outside the organization.

       HR must familiarize themselves with the industry/service/product delivered by their organization to be able to serve their people better.

       Commitment to the employee’s growth, development and cultural integration.

       Familiarization with the organization’s norms and culture. Can articulate and teach the culture.

       Demonstration of honesty, integrity, and respect for all employees.

       Demonstration of effective communication skills both verbally and nonverbally.

       Initiation of new ideas and fostering the employee’s wellbeing.

       Ability to make changes in performance based on the constant change occurring in their work       environment.

       Success in establishing and maintaining professional networks and relationships, both online and offline.

       Open to spending time with diverse individuals who may not share a common background, jobs, or goals.

       Understanding of the organization’s policies and internal regulations.

       Knowledge of labor laws and their impact of the day to day HR activities.


Liking people is not the only qualification for pursuing a career in Human Resources. It helps, but it is insufficient for success. Human Resources jobs and careers continue to grow in sophistication and the expectations of employers increase every year. Employee development, employee retention, and a positive, motivating work environment are critical to business success. So, would you like to pursue a career in Human Resources?



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