HR as a Career
"So you want to be an HR practitioner...?!"
If you enjoy working with people, enjoy problem solving, like to think outside the square, dealing with shades of grey within a black and white context and are happy in an organisational environment, then these are some of the qualities that you will be able to bring with you when you become an HR practitioner.
The following information should help you to discover how to become an HR practitioner.
Non Graduate Entry
A number of HR practitioners started their professional life in general administration and gravitated to payroll and Human Resource Management. This is a good starting point and the general experience gained in an organisation at this level can be put to good use ultimately as an HR practitioner. Many tertiary education institutes offer Certificates and Diplomas in HR and taking such courses can only enhance your chances of entering and thereafter progressing in the profession.
Ideally, it would be to your advantage if you were able to attend university and graduate. Whilst a degree of any discipline will demonstrate a requisite level of academic achievement, if you have not yet gone to university/polytechnic but have decided to make your career in HR, you may wish to study an appropriate course such as management, business, psychology or law. There are a number of HR related degrees on offer by the universities/polytechnics.
Most universities and polytechnics will offer Human Resource Management courses and your decision to study at this university or that polytechnic will depend upon many factors. You may, for financial reasons, wish to stay at home and attend university or you may wish to study by distance learning with the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, who run HR courses. Massey University also runs extra-mural courses that would be appropriate for aspiring HR practitioners.
The Work of the HR Practitioner
The following represents a non-exhaustive list of the type of work that the HR practitioner will carry out on both a day-to-day basis and a long-term basis.
- Developing Human Resources strategies, policies and practices that meet the needs and objectives of the organisation;
- Ensuring that the organisation complies with legislation;
- Recruiting the most appropriate employees for the organisation and function;
- Developing employees through appropriate in-house or out-sourced training;
- Dealing with all aspects of employee relations, including implementing disciplinary and grievance procedures;
- Dealing with all aspects of remuneration and benefits;
- Ensuring systems and processes so that all employees are safe from any hazards in the workplace;
- Maintaining appropriate HR information systems;
- Implementing and monitoring the effectiveness of a Performance Management system appropriate to the nature of the organisation;
- Implementing strategies in the event of corporate change.
You will note the wide ranging tasks and responsibilities that the HR practitioner carries out but remember that there are other tasks and responsibilities not listed here.
There will be many people in the organisation making demands of you and expecting tasks to be carried out speedily and so prioritisation will be a key skill in your work, demonstrating that you have a good understanding and knowledge of business knowledge and skills is essential for your career development as a credible HR practitioner.
HR Job Families and Role Definitions
View the HRINZ HR Job roles and definitions.
HR Remuneration Surveys
To find out what the market rate is paying, view latest HRINZ Remuneration Surveys (M).
HR Educational Qualifications
If you are planning to study for a career in Human Resource Management, visit HR Education for more information.
HRINZ Career Development Framework
The HRINZ Career Development Framework assists those who are already working in HR but would like to develop their career further.
The HRINZ Career Development Framework compromises of 5 aspects of career development services that HRINZ offers such as: Mentoring & Coaching, Career Log, Educational Endorsement Programme and Professional Membership Accreditation. The framework is based on the HRINZ HR Competencies module.
HRINZ members can start their career development plan by using their individual Career Log, an online web-based system where members are able to record, monitor, track and assess their career development to date.
Professional Membership Accreditation
HR practitioners and HR academics should be aiming to achieve Professional Membership Accreditation. This is professional recognition of your expertise, skill and knowledge as an HR practitioner and gives you the right to use post nominals MHRINZ after your name. The post nominals are a visual validation of your career achievements to date indicating to your colleagues, clients, managers, recruiters and future employers that you have attained a level of competence and experience that is recognised by your profession, industry and national body.
HRINZ HR Competencies
There are our five competencies which HRINZ members must demonstrate their knowledge, experience and understanding as effective and competent HR practitioners.
View the HRINZ HR Competencies.