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Why should you consider a career in human resources?

by Chloe Baird
Posted: July 27, 2021

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The human resources (HR) department is designed to support the company’s employees and to act as a middleman between the executives and the employees. 

The smooth running of the HR department can have a huge impact on the success of a company. The role of the HR department used to be solely focused on administrative tasks. Now, however, companies are utilising their HR departments to attract and retain the best talent around.  

This is done in a number of different ways, starting with recruitment and employment, ongoing training and support and building a company culture people want to be a part of. 

Gone are the days when the HR department was known for just ‘hiring and firing’. Today, the HR department of any business has an integral, pivotal role to play. And skilled HR professionals are in demand. 

Read on to discover what a career in human resources could offer you and what kind of jobs are out there for those wanting to begin a career in HR. 

HR department

The different functions of the HR department:  

  • Recruiting candidates and onboarding new employees. 
  • Facilitating training for Managers and employees.  
  • Supporting the general health and wellness of all employees. 
  • Processing payroll.  
  • Updating company policies.  
  • Managing and maintaining employee records.  
  • Facilitating disciplinary actions.  
  • Overseeing employee exits.  

As you can see, the function of the HR department isn’t just operational. There are aspects such as training and support that they oversee as well.  

For new employees, the HR department might be the first point of contact for them. In this way, the HR department sometimes acts as the face of the company, as it’s heavily involved with recruitment and onboarding.  

But the HR department isn’t just there to support new employees. Its aim should also be the ongoing, continuous support of existing employees. This can be achieved by making professional training and development available, helping to create a positive and supportive work environment for everyone, instigating employee initiatives, and ensuring that the company’s policies are up to date and that they reflect current regulations and laws.  

What could a career in HR offer you? 

If you’re a driven, motivated and enthusiastic people person who thrives in a busy environment, a career in HR could be perfect for you.  

By working in HR, you’ll be in a position to learn a diverse set of hard and soft skills. What’s better, these skills can be easily transferred across to other roles in different areas.  

For example, HR professionals need to have exceptional communications, administration and organisational skills – all highly valuable skills in any job. H 

There are also plenty of opportunities for growth within HR. The larger the company, the greater the need for a solid, resilient HR department to support employees. And because there are so many areas that come under the authority of the HR department, this gives you the opportunity to focus on one particular area or several. This allows you to find what responsibilities you enjoy the most, so you can discover your niche and build your skills in that area.  

Another benefit of working in HR is that professionals often find that they’re in a position to enact real, positive change within the company they work for. HR professionals bridge the gap between employees and management, giving them a unique perspective on many different types of situations. And because of their close dealings with other departments, it gives them a greater say in the shaping company policies and enacting change.  

What’s more, you’ll also be rewarded for your efforts. A Human Resources Manager in Australia can expect to earn around $2,464 per week (much higher than the national average). 

HR career

Where could a career path in HR take you? 

Studying a course in HR could help to open up many different career pathways for you. 

It’s good to keep in mind that because of the nature of the HR department and its intrinsic role in the day-to-day operations of a business, companies may assign different tasks to various HR roles. This will also depend on the size of the company: a smaller company may not have need for a full-time Recruitment Specialist, and will instead delegate recruitment to the HR Administrator who also handles payroll. However, a larger company may have a dedicated Recruitment Specialist as well as a dedicated Payroll Officer.  

It also depends on the industry you find yourself working in and what the company’s goals are.  

Keeping this in mind, here are a few job descriptions of some of the most popular HR roles available: 

1. Human Resources Administrator  

This is a great starting point for anyone who’s looking to begin a career in HR. HR Administrators take care of employment records, employee data, contracts and databases. They also work to assist other members of the HR team with administration related work.  

2. Payroll Officer  

Although Payroll Officers?sit within HR, they also work very closely with the finance department. The role of a?Payroll Officer?is pivotal, as?they’re the ones in charge of managing employee and ensuring wages are paid on time. 

3. Recruitment Specialist 

Every company wants to be able to attract the best and brightest talent, right? That’s where Recruiters come in. The job of a Recruitment Specialist is to not only manage and oversee job postings, but to also seek out new employees who have the right skills. Sorting applications, arranging or conducting interviews and following up references also fall under the duties of a Recruitment Specialist.  

As a Recruitment Specialist, you’ll have the chance to make a real impact on the company and the chance to change lives!

Human resource manager

4. Human Resources Generalist  

As we mentioned above, the HR department has a range of responsibilities that cover anything and everything to do with a company’s employees. Therefore, a HR Generalist is someone who is capable of handling a wide variety of HR related tasks. This kind of HR professional is high value for smaller companies who don’t have need for a full HR department, and instead rely on one or two highly skilled professionals to handle all HR duties.  

5. Human Resources Manager 

It’s the responsibility of the HR Manager to oversee the human resources department. Their job is to make sure that the HR team is functioning smoothly, and that all team members are working to the best of their abilities.  

HR Managers liaise with the company’s executives to create, manage and coordinate strategies, policies, and programs that focus on employee recruitment and retention. They may also conduct exit interviews and deal with sensitive employee issues.  

6. Human Resources Director  

If you’re ambitious and determined enough to work your way to the top, you could climb the ladder to become a HR Director.  

The main role of a HR Director involves overseeing the company's HR department. The HR Director most often reports directly to the CEO. They manage the HR department budget, direct employee training programs, implement company policies and procedures, and ensure compliance with both federal and state laws.  

Looking to study human resources online? 

You can study the BSB41015 Certificate IV in Human Resources online with Open Colleges. As this is an online course, you’re free to fit your study around your life’s other commitments. 

This qualification acts as the perfect introduction to human resources for anyone who’s looking to begin a career in this integral area.  

OC also offers the BSB50618 Diploma of Human Resources Management. This course will help teach you the advanced skills needed to progress in HR. The Diploma of Human Resources Management also acts as a pathway into university if you’re considering further study. 

What are you waiting for? Enrol with OC today and discover where a career in HR could take you! 



Chloe Baird

Chloe is an Open Colleges alumnus who now works full time for OC as a Content and Copywriting Specialist. She is passionate about encouraging others to pursue their goals through education.

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