How to Find an HR Job

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If you are considering getting started in a career in human resources (HR) you may be wondering how to find an HR job. The human resources industry is open to anyone with the desire to assist companies with human capital management, as well as professionals who enjoy working with people. Professionals working in HR often find their way to jobs in a variety of methods, however there are some guidelines to follow to be successful in landing a good HR job. Here are some suggestions.

Get a Job in HR

  • Get education and training in human resources. Before you decide to launch yourself as an HR professional, it’s important to get the education and training needed to be successful. Human resources is a challenging field, with many employment laws and procedures to learn, so you will want to be as prepared as possible before applying for HR work. Find a program with a college or university and take coursework in human resources. Most human resource jobs require a minimum of a four-year bachelor's degree with an emphasis in human resources management, although there are some entry-level jobs that only require a two-year degree and certification.

  • Seek work experience in human resources. Many HR professionals land their first job by taking on human resources duties in addition to administrative roles. If you are currently employed with a firm that has a human resources department, check with your HR director to see if there are duties that can be performed by entry-level administrative personnel. These duties may include recruiting, interviewing, designing employee retention programs, processing employee paperwork, filing employee records, and a number of other duties. Express an interest in working for your human resources department and you will be a shoe-in when an opening becomes available.

  • Find a mentor and network in human resources. You can do this by joining an organization in human resources such as the Society for Human Resources Management (www.shrm.org) which is an international association of professionals working in the HR field. Many colleges and communities also have local organizations that include human resource students and professionals. These networks allow you to get to know the folks that are involved in human resources and learn about job openings before others do, in addition to having support and career guidance once you get hired.

  • Consider a job in the staffing and recruitment industry. A great way to get involved in human resources work is to take an entry-level job in a staffing agency, recruitment firm or employment service. There are many staffing agencies and recruiting firms listed in telephone directories and on the Internet looking for new recruiters. Staffing and recruitment are HR careers that are in high demand and are often a good way to learn the skills needed to succeed in human resources. In addition, recruiting careers often pay some of the highest wages in the HR industry. According to 2009 statistics provided by the United States Department of Labor (www.dol.gov), earnings average between $38,000 to $63,000 annually.

  • Explore HR jobs in payroll and benefits administration. One of the highest areas of growth within the human resources field is in the employee benefits and payroll arena. All companies are in need of HR professionals to process paychecks, handle benefits administration and other financial duties. A good way to get your foot in the door is to highlight your mathematical and interpersonal skills by accepting a role in payroll or benefits and working your way up into a more advanced human resources job.

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