Human Resources Management

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Human resource management works from the belief that a company’s most valuable assets are its employees. Therefore, HR managers manage the workforce, ideally in a beneficial and productive a manner.

HR managers are responsible for recruitment, training, retaining and rewarding employees. In addition, the HR department tries to create the best possible working environment for the staff. As a result, HR managers need good negotiation and communication skills as well as business expertise.

Education

HR courses give students a broad business education, combined with specialist HR expertise. The National College of Ireland and Dublin Business School have degree programmes. In addition, many business diplomas, certificates and degrees have HR options on the curriculum.

HR subjects include:

  • People Management and Development
  • Irish and European Law
  • Designing and Delivering Training
  • Employee Relations
  • Recruitment Strategies
  • Health & Safety
  • Communication Skills
  • Business Research Methods

Human Resources students also take classes in general business subjects such as Accounting, Economics, Marketing, and IT. There are a number of postgraduate qualifications available in HR. Therefore, students with degrees in business or related areas can choose to specialise in HR at postgraduate level.

Options After Qualification

All medium-sized companies need an HR manager or department. As a result, HR graduates can work in a wide range of business sectors. Larger companies and organisations offer graduate programmes that take people straight from their college courses and provide on-the-job training in preparation for a full-time HR role.

Some people wanting to break into HR join a recruitment agency to gain experience. The civil service also hires people with HR qualifications. HR experts often study for professional certifications throughout their careers. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is the professional body for HR in Ireland, which runs many courses in personnel and training. The CIPD also validates a number of postgraduate-level certificates and MBA programmes. The field of Human Resources offers plenty of scope for career advancement; many graduates move into areas such as industrial relations, employment law or training and development.

The Work

HR people are usually involved in every stage of an employee’s career, from hiring to firing and retiring. In a small company all personnel issues would be the responsibility of the HR person. Larger companies generally have an entire HR department, with different people assigned to various tasks, such as employee development or recruitment. Some companies outsource their HR tasks to a specialised HR agency.

HR managers are heavily involved in recruitment and try to find the best candidate for each role. This involves advertising vacancies, compiling a shortlist of possibilities as well as conducting interviews and/or selection tests. They agree salaries, draw up contracts and conduct training and orientation.

Furthermore, employee training, performance assessments, pay negotiations, and employee grievances or discrimination charges may also fall under the remit of the HR department. A career in human resources is rewarding as you are often directly assisting people in getting the most out of their jobs. It can also be financially and professionally rewarding, as successful HR managers earn high salaries and often move into senior management roles.

Personal Qualities & Working Environment

Being well organised and communicative is a must in becoming a capable human resource manager. An approachable manner is also beneficial, along with experience with computers and figures. HR departments tend to consist of people who have a head for business along with good organisational skills and who have a good head for problem solving.

The Jargon

Multi-Skilling: Is the increase of the skills base of the workforce, usually bringing in new technology

Added Value: The cost and contribution made by employees involved at each stage in the process of producing a product or providing a service

Outsourcing: When a company pays an outside agency to carry out a business task on its behalf

Benchmarking: Measures standards of performance against others doing similar work

Further Resources

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in Ireland (CIPD)

Irish Business and Employers’ Confederation (IBEC)



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