Life in the HR industry: always shaking and moving

Often people may be misled by the term ‘Human Resources’ which they interpret as lively communication, lots of laughs and some counselling.  But in truth, while it is a discipline that may attract those of a philanthropic frame of mind, only the truly resilient and dedicated with well-developed business acumen make it through to positions of value and impact. HR is one of the toughest careers around. Not only should you be availed of the requisite academic knowledge, but you will also need technical know-how and the kind of management skills required by the leader of a small country.

The chief purpose of HR Specialists/Managers is to build relationships between staff, and between staff and management. HR managers are typically involved with staffing, training, benefits, policies and legal compliance. So on a day-to-day basis, this would keep you very busy.

A day in the life…

  • First off you would need adaptability. Days are rarely the same and can be run through with a fair amount of chaos. You can’t always settle to do what you need to get done because invariably there is a crisis to be managed or someone who needs your attention. There will be meetings you need to attend…and the work on your desk can pile up…
  • Secondly, you will need patience. Do you have the requisite people skills? After all, your job is all about people and you are going to spend a fair amount of time interacting with them, therefore you need to be able to connect with each person on an individual level with both objectivity and empathy. You will be dealing with employee relations issues, such as harassment allegations, work complaints, and other employee concerns. This means listening with heart, as well as ultimately applying practical problem-solving skills.
  • Typically in any day, you will be involved in staff planning and recruitment. It is your job to populate the company with the right people, and that can mean many hours spent in developing job specifications, sourcing staff, reading CV’s, and interviewing candidates. Performance assessments and disciplinary meetings can take up a good percentage of your time, along with conducting reference and background checks on job applicants.
  • Perspicacity will be called upon continually. When reading CV’s, you will need to have a sharp eye for weeding out those who have faked their information. “I want to know what the candidate has accomplished. We want to hire people who are critical thinkers and change-agents.”
  • Meetings are ongoing and will include: disputes, disability case studies, safety compliance issues, how to develop culture and communication training, coaching and counselling, exit interviews, negotiating with labour unions on labour policies. You will spend a good amount of time interpreting and explaining human resources policies, procedures, laws, standards, and regulations.
  • In addition, you will be expected to provide management with information or training related to interviewing, performance appraisals, counselling techniques, or presenting documentation on performance issues. Oh, and reports. Many reports! Mainly on aspects such as payroll and employee demographics.
  • With a rise in the number of employees who are becoming unionised, there is a need to negotiate new labour policies for many companies. Staff members in your organisation are highly valued, and their engagement and loyalty should be of the utmost importance to you.

Bold innovations

Before you feel this sounds like a hectic schedule, consider the ‘new look’ of modern Human Resources Management. With the digitalisation of much of HR routine work, the load has not only been lightened, but also made more efficient and faster, leaving the HR practitioner with more time for those one-on-one interactions that are so important to making the role more empathic and decisions more efficient.

Today, benefits management, recruitment, time and attendance, professional development, security, and many other day-to-day tasks are streamlined in digitised programmes. This means that employee data, measurement, training and career projection are determined more quickly and easily online, a solution that provides more time for planning and engagement.

Analysing the operational capacity of your employees, helps decision-making with regard to employment, performance requirements, rewards and benefits, and any necessary improvements. HR analytics helps you to ascertain potential problems ahead of time and put steps in place to rectify these sooner – thus impacting significantly on the business’s bottom-line.

In short, the life of an HR practitioner is definitely getting easier! And there’s more time for those really good parts where personal relationships with staff members can be positively  motivated and made effective.

The new value of Human Resources

At the HR Analytics Institute we believe there is a smarter way to get the best out of your staff and improve your business. Not only do we clearly see the potential to improve business through better relationships, but we are passionate about training HR practitioners to understand the value of their interface role between staff and management. Our practical courses will enable you to play a far greater role in strategic decision-making within the business as a whole.

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