The CIPD is a registered charity with over 140,000 members who work in HR (human resources) and learning and development.
Our purpose is “to champion better work and working lives”. We believe that what is good for people at work is good for businesses, economies and society.
We want to raise awareness and inspire young people about the possibilities of a career in HR. We then support HR professionals as they develop their careers, through offering research, advice, training, conferences and qualifications. In fact, we are the only recognised professional body in the UK which offers approved HR and learning and development qualifications.
What is HR?
Are you interested in getting into HR – or ‘human resources’ to give it its full title?
Well if you’ve ever heard the saying, “people are your most valuable asset”, then you’re beginning to understand what HR is all about. People who run successful businesses say they couldn’t do it without a talented workforce.
So HR is about making sure the right people are in the right jobs – literally providing human resources. Attracting people is an important first step, but that’s just the beginning. How do you then get your people to stay with you and perform to the best of their abilities, day in, day out? Are you giving them the skills, training and development to build long-term careers? How do you get them working together to drive your business’s success? Or protect their rights and make sure they are fairly rewarded and treated at work?
And it’s HR’s job to make sure all of these things happen!
What skills do you need?
You may already have some relevant skills that will suit an HR career. Have you ever worked as part of team and given advice to a friend to help them with their studies? Have you coached someone in sport, or helped someone learn a new skill? If the answer is yes, you’ve probably used some techniques that HR professionals have.
People who enter HR often have a strong interest in business and also want to understand what makes people tick. You’ll use skills like negotiation, coaching, communication, influencing and business planning. You’ll be working with lots of different types of people as HR interacts with all parts of a business.
What jobs are available?
If HR is all about creating successful businesses through people, what jobs could you go into? For smaller organisations, you are often asked to cover the full range of HR work, gaining really broad skills and experience. In larger businesses, you may be able to specialise, for example in recruiting the best people, training and development or pay, performance and reward (making sure that people are fairly rewarded and paid for their skills and experience).
There are many options to progress your career over the years. You could start off as an HR administrator, but progress all the way to the top of the business as an HR Director!
How do you get into HR?
You don’t have to be a graduate to get into HR. Organisations offer both entry-level jobs (such as an HR Apprentice) as well as graduate training schemes. You could study for a Higher Apprenticeship in Human Resource Management. This route allows you to develop knowledge and skills in HR management while being employed and earning a salary. http://www.hrapprenticeship.org
If you want to gain a professional qualification in HR, the CIPD offers a range of qualifications depending on your experience. Its internationally recognised HR qualifications are delivered in the UK, Ireland and internationally by universities, colleges and training providers. http://www.cipd.co.uk/qualifications/about-cipd-qualifications.aspx