Jobs in the HR industry

Consider yourself a well-informed resource? You should consider a career in HR…

If you enjoy working with all kinds of people, and like the thought of helping others achieve their goals, entering the HR industry could be the next logical step in your career. But what specific role would suit you best, and what are the main differences between them?

Here are some of the most popular careers in the HR industry, and a few of our top tips to help you get started:


HR Assistant

What they do: Support a business by addressing the needs of its employees. Their specific duties may vary, but responsibilities will typically include boosting staff morale, handling employee grievances, instigating training and development, and helping with the recruitment process.

What you need: A friendly and personable attitude, excellent organisational skills and are essential to being a successful HR Advisor.

What you can earn: Around £16,000 as a starting salary, with the potential to rise to upwards of £25,000 with experience in the field.

Perfect for: People who want to break into the HR industry.   

Our advice: If you’re struggling to get your foot in the door, gaining some previous experience in recruitment consultancy or sales could help you learn valuable skills to help sell yourself. Duties such as scheduling meetings, managing appointments, analysing CVs and interviewing candidates, will all be desirable attributes for an aspiring HR Assistant, and could help set you apart.

How to become a HR Assistant

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HR Consultant

What they do: Assist clients by advising on all HR-related practices. Typically, an HR Consultant will be called in to help a business deal with a challenging situation, or to help the company grow. General duties range from overseeing legal matters, advising on salary, and assisting with recruitment, through to making sure clients are aware of the latest employment laws and sharing company policies throughout the business.

What you need: To be an excellent communicator with an approachable nature. Good selling and negotiation skills are also an asset, as you will often be required to pitch your business directly in order for a company to hire you. 

What you can earn: Salaries can rise to £40,000 when you become a fully-qualified HR Consultant.

Perfect for: People who like guiding other people.

Our advice: If you don’t have any experience in the field of HR Consultancy, don’t worry. There are a number of courses available that will give you the relevant skills to get started, and develop your knowledge of all things HR. For example, many employers consider CIPD qualifications pre-requisites, and becoming CIPD certified will go a long way in helping you develop in the industry.


How to become an HR Consultant

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HR Director

What they do: Take overall responsibility for the HR department, and deal with any departmental issues that arise. They’re in charge of day-to-day management, and will need to ensure a strategic direction which is in line with the needs of the company is upheld. They develop plans and strategies by researching issues within their business, and create analytical reports. Their role also involves providing advice and guidance to employees, implementing training plans, and ensuring compliance with employment law and health and safety.  

What you need: CIPD qualifications will generally be essential, alongside a wealth of previous experience in the HR industry. You’ll also need to be a natural at dealing with difficult situations, have excellent interpersonal skills, and a good knowledge of commercial awareness and business strategy.

What you can earn: HR Directors earn upwards of £50,000, on average, which has potential to grow with more experience.

Perfect for: People who are natural leaders, with a knack for strategic planning.

Our advice: If you’re finding it hard to make the step up to HR Director, consider gaining some related commercial experience or training in fields like management or law. It will not only help prepare you for the typical day-to-day tasks you’ll be required to do as a HR Director, but it will also give you some quantifiable transferrable skills that’ll make your CV instantly more attractive.


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Recruitment Manager

What they do: Head up the recruitment process within their organisation. Typical responsibilities for a Recruitment Manager include designing and developing efficient recruitment procedures that are tailored for their business, evaluating CVs, conducting interviews and supervising the recruitment department within the HR team. They may also perform job assessments and reviews.

What you need: You’ll need a strong managerial ability, combined with great interpersonal skills, and the ability to negotiate, in order to become a Recruitment Manager. Although no specific qualifications are needed, experience in recruitment and/or in a managerial position will usually be required. A related educational background will also be a plus point.

What you can earn: Earning potential for this position can range from £30,000 to £50,000. However, a portion of your earnings may be commission based, so the overall amount will be reflective of whether your targets were met that month.  

Perfect for: People who are a great judges of character.

Our advice: The best way to break into the recruitment industry is by starting off as a Recruitment Consultant. With the right amount of experience, coupled with some on-the job training, you’ll gain most of the skills you need to progress to a management position. Additionally, as employment law and best practices are constantly changing, it’s always recommended to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in recruitment to keep your skills and knowledge relevant.


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Training Officer

What they do: A Training Officer is in charge of a company’s learning and development process. They focus on identifying needs for improvement and growth within the organisation, and design tailored training plans to help employees develop. They may provide training themselves, or oversee a third party trainer to run the sessions. Other duties include monitoring staff progress, the effectiveness of the training, and developing induction programmes.

What you need: The ability to plan, problem solve, and motivate others is essential to succeeding in this role, not to mention patience. Some employers may require a degree or HND, but previous experience in a relevant field may be enough to help you secure your first position.

What you can earn: Starting salaries average at around £20,000, but will quickly rise to around £40,000 with relevant experience.

Perfect for: People who like motivating people.

Our advice: If you don’t have any relevant on-the-job experience, you can always add value to your CV by taking part in activities that will boost your leadership and motivational skills outside of work. Good examples include anything involving coaching or event planning, which will help quantify your attributes and increase your chances of being considered. Voluntary and temporary roles are also a great way of making more of your application.


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Still searching for your perfect Human Resources position? View all available HR jobs now.