How to become an HR Manager
Have you ever wondered what it takes to become a human resources manager? Besides having experience in the HR industry, you will also need to posses the right skills, knowledge, and qualifications to make the most of your career. We’ve created a quick guide to help you develop your career in the world of HR and progress onto a managerial position.
What does a human resources manager do?
Firstly, you need to research what is involved in being a human resources manager. Think about the role specifications and what you’ll need to know and be able to do in order to perform effectively.
An HR manager oversees the entire company, connecting the senior management team to the other employees. Some of the things in a human resources manager job description will include recruitment, strategic planning and coordinating the administrative tasks of the company.
With the need for HR talent in the industry, becoming an HR manager can be a high-paying and rewarding role.
Education and qualifications needed to become a human resources manager
Entering the HR profession is possible through several different routes and may not require you to have a bachelor’s degree or any other qualifications. However, HR managerial roles are highly sought after, so getting qualified could give you an edge over the competition, and help you get a better salary. Many employers will even put mandatory qualification requirements in the job description, so make sure you do your research before applying.
Here are some of the different qualifications that might prove vital in securing a job as an HR manager.
Higher National Diploma (HND)
A Higher National Diploma is a qualification provided by colleges in the UK. A full time HND can take up two years to complete or three to four years part time and is equivalent to two years at university.
Available HND subjects that can assist your route into HR: Human Resources, Business and Management, Psychology and Social Administration.
Undergraduate credited programmes in HR management can help you gain skills and knowledge about the management of important workplace situations, executing business social responsibility strategies and diversity management.
Training schemes such as apprenticeships and graduate schemes are a great way to kick-start your career at an entry level. You’ll also continue to see the benefits throughout your career.
Postgraduate programmes can really make you stand out when applying for jobs. You can, of course, attend a university to gain your qualification but you could also consider studying for an online master’s degree.
The CIPD is the most highly regarded professional qualification for HR and L&D in the UK, and many other countries across the world. For mid to high-level positions within the HR sector, a CIPD qualification is considered vital.
More on CIPD qualifications
CIPD qualifications and CIPD HR courses are internationally recognised and offer you an accredited route into the HR industry. Whether you’re starting out in your HR career or already working within a support level role, the CIPD Level 3 Certificate in People Practice or Level 5 Diploma in People Management will provide you with a strong foundation of all the areas in HR and develop the essential skills and confidence you need to progress your career further.
On successful completion of the Level 3 programme, you can then progress your HR career into a managerial role. The CIPD Level 5 Certificate in People Management of qualification will give you a deeper understanding of all aspects of the profession and help you get qualified towards your professional development.
What work experience do you need to become an HR manager?
To become an HR manager, you’ll need to have a strong understanding of the business and commercial world. Work experience will help you develop the correct skills and knowledge you need to progress in the world of HR.
When you’re starting your job search:
- Send out speculative letters to companies asking for work experience or shadowing opportunities
- Check different job sites online for any vacancies available
- Network and get in touch with key people in the industry that you can speak to
If it is not possible for you to find a job in HR then find a vacancy in relevant roles first, like recruitment, training and development, or supervisory roles.
Once you’ve got on the HR ladder, the more experience you gain, the better. Remember to always keep seeking out new responsibilities and opportunities for growth within your role and you’ll be on your way to a managerial position.
What to know before applying for a human resources manager role
Before you apply for a management role, make sure you have the following:
- At least five years of work experience in an HR role
- Excellent leadership, communication and interpersonal skills
- An excellent understanding of employee and labour law
- The ability to work within a stated business plan, develop staff and work according to the needs of a business.
Working towards an HR management role is definitely achievable. Find out more about our CIPD HR courses and get one step closer to that dream job.
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