Career In Human Resource
Editor - CoolAvenues | September 30,2013 12:19 pm IST
In the not so distant past, HR professionals were the few unlucky souls whose job profile included miscellaneous administrative jobs and other sundry tasks that no one wanted to do. It was more or less a thankless job where no bouquets or accolades could be expected.
However, in the past two decades, things have changed. Today, HR has emerged as a profession in its own right, with more and more people electing to pursue a career in the field. In fact, this field has evolved to such an extent that today organizations in India actually have the option of either meeting their human resource needs in-house or even outsourcing services if and when they choose to.
But what exactly is the function of an HR professional?
Simply stating, the job of the HR professional is to manage the human resources of the organization. In other words, HR manages an employer’s relations with his/her employees and is charged with ensuring easy transitions into and out of the company and a pleasant stay while there. Dogbert may not be the archetype of most HR managers, unlike what Scott Adams may like us to believe.
Originally called Personnel (short for Personnel Management), the term was extended to Human Resource Management. The way HR is defined today is as an umbrella term that encompasses Personnel Management and Industrial Relations.
Human Resource Management deals with the "soft" aspects of the employer-employee relationship while the Industrial Relations branch handles the "hard" aspects.
HR work is shaped by several conditions in the workplace. People change jobs frequently. Benefit programs attract and keep employees in a competitive job market, so they are sophisticated and complex. Employment policies must take into account court decisions and legislation pertaining to a wide range of issues,age, race, and disability discrimination; health and safety requirements; employment security; confidentiality; and sexual harassment, to name a few.
Expect the Unexpected
This is a field where new legislation, new management panaceas, complex relationships, and impossible timetables present constant intellectual demands. The job involves a lot of firefighting and selling new methods and approaches to top management.
All this has complicated the work of HR, increased its workload, and made HR important to employers. Today, the top HR officer in a corporation is usually a key member of the executive team, sitting right alongside his or her counterparts in research, finance, operations, strategy, and sales and marketing.
So, what core abilities are the hallmark of the HR professional? In order to fulfill the role of the perfect support, an HR professional has to possess a wide gamut of qualities. The HR professional has to be an analytical whiz, a natural seller of ideas and concepts, a good listener and a shrewd judge of people at the same time. Ultimately, human resources requires that an individual working in this field find it more satisfying to work with people than with products.
Sweet - The Pros
People, Not Product
The job is a rewarding one for those who enjoy working with people and solving people problems. HR jobs put you in a place where you can have a clear impact on the lives and happiness of others. Moreover, this industry attracts a friendly band of professionals who tend to behave in a considerate manner. They're typically happy to help with assistance, referrals, or ideas - or to just listen when that's what's needed.
An HR professional is never bored. On a typical day one might have to schedule interviews, counsel a problem employee, help a new hire get a loan, plan a departmental function, create a memo for the general manager about employee punctuality, and so on.
Besides, HR often plays crucial roles in facilitating management changes, organising a company reorganisation, helping set new management priorities, and in planned or unplanned job rotation.