Interested in a career in HR but where do I start?

(19 Posts)
prettyinpink90 Sun 02-Feb-14 21:24:59

I am really interested in retraining for a career in HR but have no idea where to begin? I don't have a degree, is this a absolute must? Is there anyone who is currently working/has worked in HR who can advise on which route is best to take?

flowery Sun 02-Feb-14 21:40:28

Not necessarily a problem not having a degree. What's your background?

prettyinpink90 Sun 02-Feb-14 21:49:49

flowery My background is mainly administrative and I'm currently working as a project administrator for a construction company but don't feel there are many opportunities to further my career so looking to retrain. My current employers HR department is based in an office 5 hours away so no chance of getting any experience where I am.

flowery Sun 02-Feb-14 22:05:53

A solid admin background is a good start. When I decided I wanted to go into HR I was a retail manager with zero office experience. I spent a year temping to fill that gap before starting to apply for HR roles.

Have you checked out the CIPD website to find out about training and qualifications. I'll be honest and say it's changed loads since I did it so you'd be better off reading up there.

Studying while working is best IMO, because projects and other study aspects can be related to the working environment you are in, rather than just being theoretical.

Have you had a look around locally for HR admin jobs? Seen what they are looking for in terms of experience/skills?

Is there anything in your current or previous jobs that you could sell as being a bit HR-y?

prettyinpink90 Sun 02-Feb-14 23:10:24

Thanks flowery. I'll certainly have a look at the CIPD website and have a read up. Most of my previous roles have been in construction supporting the operations teams so unfortunately there's not much I could sell as being HR-y.

I'll have a browse through HR admin job vacancies too. Hopefully my administrative background will help me to get into my first role.

Thank you for your advice!

prettyinpink90 Sun 02-Feb-14 23:38:12

flowery do you mind me asking what role you're in?

flowery Mon 03-Feb-14 06:34:03

You're welcome smile

I own an HR consultancy working with small to medium sized businesses and also work with other HR professionals who want to set up their own consultancy.

OodlesofOodles Mon 03-Feb-14 07:42:34

Ooh interesting thread. It's on my possible career list too.

MotherGirth Mon 03-Feb-14 08:31:26

I asked a friend about this a whole ago. She said a CIPD qualification could probably be done as an evening course. She also suggested a Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector course too. These are offered PT locally.

prettyinpink90 Mon 03-Feb-14 13:24:31

Which CIPD qualification would I need to start with? I presume the foundation level? Would it be possible to complete the course without working in a HR role?

DragonMamma Mon 03-Feb-14 18:07:40

When I originally did my Certificate in Personnel Practice (which I think is now the foundation level CIPD qualification), when first starting out in HR they advised it would be difficult to do it in a non HR/management role because IIRC, there was a lot on case studies in your current workplace. I don't think it would be impossible though.

We were discussing working in HR in my office recently and not one of us had any plans to do it, we all fell in to it and the qualifications came later (and paid for by our employers).

prettyinpink90 Mon 03-Feb-14 20:14:23

Thanks dragon. I'll have a look around online at current job vacancies and see what skills they require. I'm guessing it would be a better option to get into an entry level role before applying to study CIPD then?

MrsKranky Mon 03-Feb-14 20:24:37

I've worked in HR for two years now and am starting my CIPD course in September. I did loads of admin roles before spending three years in recruitment and then moving in to HR admin & now HR assistant. I applied to do the certificate in HR practice (used to be CPP) and had a chat/interview to asses my suitability for the course with the tutor. They don't really accept you on the course without working in an HR environment, but it's the tutors decision ultimately and they do make exceptions.

HermioneWeasley Mon 03-Feb-14 20:37:31

Those who are interested, do you mind if I ask why? What do you find attractive about a career in HR?

WeightyKaty Mon 03-Feb-14 20:47:24

If anyone is interested in a full time HR admin role in London then pls PM me. HR experience is not required you just need excellent attention to detail and good admin experience.
Salary dependent on experience and we have really good benefits including 15% pension.

As for the question re qualifications, I started in hr 4 years ago and just finished my MSc. I'd say for entry level you don't need anything but to move in to advisor/generalist level then you need to at least be studying towards associate level with the CIPD.
I think HR is a great career and I really enjoy it, no day is the same.

Redcliff Wed 05-Feb-14 16:38:04

I also love working in HR (like lots of people fell into it). I have often taken on HR admin with 0 HR experience but a strong admin background and they have often been my best hires. A strong sense of customer service, admin skills and a willingness to help out/muck if needed is much more important for me. I would also second studying while working is best. I know some people on my course struggled as they didn't have the sort of access to information (and study leave) that I had. Good luck - I am sure your get something.

prettyinpink90 Fri 07-Feb-14 10:50:42

Thank you for all of your advice! I have a good admin background so will ensure my CV is up to standard and start looking for a HR administrator/assistant position. I appreciate the advice in regards to undertaking CIPD and will look to start my studies once I am in my first position.

Yumsnet Fri 07-Feb-14 11:10:37

If you haven't so far, look into HR specific recruitment agencies too, as well as the bigger, more general agencies. When I was working (been SAHM for 5 years) there were lots around (may have changed now).

Also check out websites like hrzone and hrreview.

fascicle Sat 08-Feb-14 08:31:54

You might already be doing this, but useful to do some reading and get a feel for HR:

www.personneltoday.com/

www.cipd.co.uk/

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