Sobhan Mohmand, Career Expert 2 Nov 2019
A Human Resources (HR) Officer is responsible for hiring, developing and looking after employees in an organisation. Their key responsibilities include creating new policies and procedures, and advising and supporting staff in various HR functions including employment contracts, holidays, health and safety, work performance and internal disputes.
They are primarily focused on effectively implementing policies within an organisation to ensure efficient work culture and workplace safety, having the interests of both the organisation and the employees at heart.
Day-to-day activities and responsibilities
- Acting as the first point of contact for any Human Resources issues
- Understanding the organisation’s business objectives
- Implementation of organisational policies and procedures across the organisation
- Liaising with the management on the working conditions within the organisation and promoting workplace safety
- Developing the job descriptions for the openings according to the required skills and experience
- Ensuring the effective advertisement of vacancies on various platforms
- Short-listing suitable applicants for a position
- Scheduling and participating in interviews
- Checking the references provided by candidates
- Conducting in-house training for employees
- Using information systems to effectively record and maintain the employee data along with other information such as salary, holidays, training, etc.
- Providing assistance and consultation to employees regarding any work-related and personal concerns
- Developing induction programmes for new employees
- Providing advice on employment law
- Conducting employee performance evaluation
- Monitoring daily attendance and tracking the absence records
- Presenting the required HR information in board meetings
- Preparing HR reports for managers and directors
- Encouraging diversity and promoting equal opportunities in the workplace
Workplace and working hours
HR Officers generally work between 35 and 40 hours per week, which are the standard working hours. Overtime may be required during the recruitment period for providing assistance in selecting candidates, arranging interviews and other activities as and when required.
The work would typically be carried out within the office premises. However, travel to other branches may be required to conduct interviews and training sessions.
The starting salary for a Human Resources Officer will typically range from £20,000 to £26,000 a year.
With more experience and responsibilities, candidates can expect a salary up to £40,000.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
A HR Officer must possess expert knowledge in People Management and other essential skills such as good communication, IT, monitoring, negotiation and training skills.
A degree or an HND is usually expected by many employers, although candidates with relevant work experience and at least a certification or a diploma in Human Resources will be considered. It is an added advantage to have the following certifications:
- CIPD Level 5 Intermediate Certificate in Human Resource Management
- Advanced Level Certification in Human Resources
Job likes and benefits
- Working in any sector: Human Resources Officers are needed in every industry and therefore a candidate has the opportunity to choose from a wide range of sectors/environments to work in.
- Transferable skills: Working in this role enables one to gain many transferable skills in human resources, finance, law, and business management and administration. This facilitates one to progress to a variety of different jobs across different industries.
Job challenges and disadvantages
- Pressure: The real challenge one will face in this role is the work pressure and stress management. The HR Officer will be responsible for dealing with the recruitments for an organisation or project; there is always a pressure for prompt communication and effective selection of candidates. They might also be required to shortlist candidates and conduct interviews in cases of urgent recruitments. Due to which, they might be asked to work additional hours on top of their standard work commitments.
Job progression and career prospects
Human Resources Officers may eventually move into managerial roles such as an Assistant HR Manager or HR Branch Manager. There are many opportunities available across the different sectors as recruitment is an ongoing and frequent process in every industry and job market.
There is plenty of room for career growth even when starting from an operational level HR jobs such as HR Assistant or HR Analyst.
With enough experience and knowledge, one may also set up their own recruitment consultancy business and become self-employed.
According to government statistics, jobs in this role are projected to grow by 6.5% over the period to 2024 (Source: LMI for All).
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development