Is human resources right for you?
When you’re on the other side, it’s easy to think that the HR department only issues dress codes. But dig a little deeper, and you might find that human resources is for you.
First, know that an HR position will vary by company. “Some HR roles, such as those in compensation and benefits, are often quite technical, require solid analytic and math skills, and relatively limited interaction with employees,” explains James W. Smither, chair and professor of management and leadership at La Salle University.
HR professionals also play a crucial role in a business. “HR executives are managers of a company’s most valuable resource — their talent,” says Brad Everett, COO of human resources firm NorthgateArinso.
If you’re looking into this field, consider key parts of your personality. “Do you have a strong sense of ethics and confidentiality?” asks Alicia Huppman, professor of human resources at Peirce College. “Working in HR, you will have to handle sensitive and confidential information. You’ll have to learn to keep to yourself and not divulge anything, especially when talking with co-workers.”
Rolling with it
Human resources requires that you be a bit of a cheerleader, even during stressful times of change. “HR professionals need to be able to personally handle change while also motivating others to adopt new ways of working,” advises Elissa Tucker, a human capital management knowledge specialist with APQC, a business consultant company.