Human resources and recruitment and are increasingly viewed as distinct industries with related areas of work. Both are growing considerably and have seen significant changes over the past decade. These changes have helped HR to shed its former image as a welfare or administrative role, and it is now recognised as a key function in driving business forward and influencing business strategy.
Companies recognise the value and importance of their HR functions and the need to recruit and retain the best workforce. Therefore, organisations are employing graduates with key skills into HR roles, which is a very popular and highly competitive sector.
Recruitment is becoming an increasingly significant employment choice for many graduates. Recruitment roles may be ‘in-house’, managing the recruitment needs of an organisation, or in a consultancy/agency handling recruitment for a range of clients.
HR is a general term which can encompass the following specialisms:
Professionals will work as either Generalists, with responsibility for a number of areas (include any of the above plus sickness/absence and disciplinary/grievance issues), or will concentrate on one specific aspect depending on the organisation and the way the HR function is set up. Many HR functions in larger organisations have been outsourced.
Roles in recruitment consultancies include:
As a graduate, there are three distinct avenues open to you:
In this sector, work experience is vital. Recruitment/HR is an incredibly competitive sector and recruiters will want to know what you understand about the role and why you think you are suited to it. These answers are always best addressed by being able to refer to meaningful work experience.
You are strongly advised to contact larger organisations where this opportunity is sometimes available. So research is vital. The retailers and large scale manufacturers often run summer schemes and details of such opportunities will be available on their websites and in the careers directories listed below. Deadlines are often early, so it is advisable to start your search early in the autumn term.
Wherever you will be in the vacation, think about local, large employers of staff and contact these organisations about work experience or work shadowing. Use any contacts that you may have and talk to those who are already working within Human Resources. Activities such as this will help make your final job applications stand out. Consider contacting your local branch of the CIPD to help make some contacts.
You can also develop appropriate skills whilst at University by taking on positions of responsibility, such as organising people, events and finances, whether in a voluntary or paid capacity. Remember, business awareness and management skills are actively sought by employers, as are good communication skills, IT and numeracy, interpersonal skills, integrity and approachability, influencing and negotiating skills.
Local links and events
Many varying organisations visit the University to make presentations and attend recruitment events throughout the year. Check the latest edition of the Careers & Employability Programme of Events and notice boards in your department to find out who has arranged forthcoming visits. All events and recruitment fairs are posted in the intranet and the Careers Account app.
Of particular interest to those wishing to enter a career in Human Resource Management are the ‘Autumn Careers Information & Recruitment Event’ and the ‘Business, Finance & Banking Careers Fair’ every October – excellent opportunities to meet employers..
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