A human resource career is a particularly interesting role in any organisation. While other employees are focused on serving clients and designing products, the HR’s focus is on making the employees happy. Of course, it must translate to the bottom line of the company.
Research in the United States shows that more than half of US citizens aren’t happy at work. This statistic is likely higher in Ghana due to concerns better addressed in another blog post. This is where the HR team comes in. They are there to make sure employees are happy, efficient and productive at work.
What is the Human Resources Department?
The Human Resources department of a company is the unit of the company that deals with employee need assessment, recruitment, selection, administration, management and training and development of employees in the company in order to optimize their collective productivity towards overall organizational profitability and growth.
In other words, the Human Resource Management (HRM) department makes sure that after going through the right process to be employed by the company, the employees have everything they need to perform their day-to-day tasks, duties, and responsibilities in the most desired ways.
HR again is responsible for creating an enabling work environment that attracts and retains qualified people.
It also describes both the people who work for a company and the department responsible for managing resources related to employees.
The Role of the HR Manager in an Organization
As an HR manager, it is your responsibility to contribute to the employees’ development through various training and programs with the objective to bring out the best in them.
Other responsibilities include retaining employees, creating a positive and motivating work environment in order to build a successful business.
In essence, HRM is very essential in every organization. Its work is such that it harnesses the knowledge, skills and abilities of the organization’s greatest asset – the employees. So as to shape them towards achieving the overarching goal of the organization.
With all these functions of the Human Resource team in an organization, you’d agree with me that the HR management team remains the backbone of every company or organization in this highly technology-driven epoch.
One thing I found interesting in my research about the HR department is the fact that professionals have the opportunity to make impacts in the lives of others and the organization at large. In addition, the HR function impacts almost every aspect of a business.
As an HR professional, your ability to bring different people with diverse abilities, skills and strengths together so as to help them develop and fit into a company’s culture goes a long way to increase your confidence level. Also, those whose lives are impacted are able to live meaningfully. All these and other important roles of HRM ultimately leads to the overall growth of the organization.
There are so many jobs in the system that one could decide to pursue but should you think of one that could help you impact other lives in the field of work, do consider a career in HR.
Practical Approach On How To Start A Career In HRM
Would you prefer to prepare a list of the items you’d need to buy in the comfort of your room or in the noisy market when you get there? I’ve had some friends tell me they don’t know what career to pursue and therefore stay idle before finally deciding based on no factual considerations about their passions.
It must be noted that in choosing a career, one needs to choose a career they are passionate about so that at a point where they are no longer motivated to continue, their passion for it could get them going.
If you’ve already decided to pursue a career in HR, this article is a good guide for you, do read on. You’d agree with me that once you’ve decided to pursue a career in HR, figuring out what you what to achieve in it before starting will really help you and make the journey easier. More so, finding out how to start makes it less intimidating.
In my research, I came across two practical approaches you could employ in starting a career in HR. They are; Internship and Formal Education. Let’s delve into these approaches practically below.
How to Start a Career in Human Resource Management in Ghana
1. Through Internships (Self-taught)
This is taking a job in order to learn a profession or a trade. With this, you don’t need to worry whether you have a certificate in HR. Besides, this is your starting point where you could take up jobs that offer you the opportunity to gain experiences in this field. All I mean to say here is volunteering.
Search for job opportunities online pertaining to your chosen field (HR) and volunteer. There are so many job opportunities online that we could take advantage of. When you’re given the opportunity, take up responsibilities and give it your best shot.
Also, volunteering in the HR department at a nonprofit organization would enable you to understand how the HR department works. Your ability to maintain confidentiality while volunteering could lead to more responsibilities to beef up your experience.
One other thing to talk about under internship is, ask for help. We all need help to survive. Starting a career in an area you know nothing about can be very daunting without help from the experts. Why would you want to frustrate yourself? Ask questions while you volunteer. Talk to the leaders about what you need to know and do to be successful in your career as an HR. Again, do ask them how they got started and figure out what you could do to succeed.
2. The Formal Education Route
Apart from internships, one could increase their knowledge of HR through formal Education. Acquiring a Psychology degree and other Human Resources related fields can provide the foundational skills needed to start a career in HR.
More so, one would realize that the complexity of the role would demand tertiary qualifications which could enhance career growth.
Again, many HR roles require candidates to have a Bachelor’s degree equivalent in HRM, Business or Psychology. Postgraduate qualifications can also further progress one’s career in HR.
Barney Ely, a director at Hays Human Resources opined that, for those who have decided early on that they wish to focus on HR, a degree is always a valuable route to take. HR is such that, people keep upgrading their skills every now and then to fit into their company’s culture. It’s okay to take your career to the next level from internship to acquiring formal education in the role you want to play in the industry. That way, you keep growing and figuring out how to be an effective HR.
3. A Mix of Formal Education and Practical Internship Training Programs (Ideal)
You have been exposed to two seemingly different ways to become an HR manager. But these two approaches actually work best when used together.
Pursuing formal education in a course relevant to HRM makes for good qualifications and certifications.
Combining this with internships will help you gain practical knowledge and experience in the field even while at school.
Together, they give you an edge over others who go typically with just one of the two.
There are smart ways to make learning and practising one’s career easier in recent times. Instead of needlessly brooding over a failed career in HR, do follow these practical approaches to help you find your feet again in the HR profession.