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What does an HR Professional do?

By Rachel Burkot
Updated Jan 28, 2024
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A human resources (HR) professional deals with the hiring processes within a company. This role in a business was originally limited to the administrative functions that come with hiring new employees, such as recruiting, interviewing and working out benefits, but the role has expanded to include consulting with employees who are higher in the company. These consultations often involve extensive strategy and planning for making smart hires for the corporations. An HR professional is commonly found at the forefront of an organization, making suggestions on hiring policies and other company procedures.

It is also the responsibility of an HR consultant to maximize employee productivity within a company. This can be done through training and development. An HR representative leads employees in skill sharpening sessions, which helps them determine their strengths and where those strengths can best be applied within the company. The HR professional is also responsible for making sure the employees are comfortable within the organization and that their satisfaction with the job is displayed through their work ethic and the initiative they take. HR consultants also ensure that the employees are working under safe conditions.

HR careers involve a great deal of communication with other people, so an HR professional should be outgoing, sociable, and friendly. This person must also be reliable and loyal to the company snce he or she is the face of the organization. The HR professional should clearly have the business’s best interests at heart when making hires because this person represents the company in the eyes of everyone he or she interviews. HR consultants should be able to handle any questions that job candidates throw at them, and they should always be poised and calm, even in high-pressure situations. A good HR professional should be able to think on his or her feet.

Human resources jobs are not found within only one industry because every organization hires employees at one time or another. Depending on the size of the company, however, an HR professional may be responsible for the entire hiring process and new employee training within the company, or he or she may join an entire department of HR representatives. This department together would manage the hiring needs and processes of the company, so an HR professional should be able to work either independently or with a team. Within a team, an HR manager may function as the overseer for a group of HR professionals, including an HR assistant, often someone who is new to the field.

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Discussion Comments
By indemnifyme — On Oct 26, 2011

@KaBoom - I see what you're saying. I personally find it hard to work for a company that I don't believe in, but we all do what we have to do.

Anyway, I did a bit of checking and it seems like this is actually a very in-demand job. The human resources field is actually growing at a faster than average speed. So good news for budding HR professionals.

Also, it seems like you can have several different types of educational backgrounds and get hired for this job. Since there aren't a lot of bachelor's degrees specifically meant for HR, a lot of companies will hire you if you have a degree in an interdisciplinary field.

By KaBoom — On Oct 26, 2011

I think for this job, you would really have to like your company. There are some jobs that you can do effectively, even if you don't really like where you work. I don't think this is one of them.

As the article said, you pretty much function as the "face" of the company. And you make a lot of crucial hiring decisions. In order to do this, I think you would really have to believe in the company and feel dedicated to your job.

By summing — On Oct 25, 2011

I have a good friend who works in HR for Hilton Hotels. She has worked in human resources for other companies but she is hoping to make a career of it with her current job.

Obviously she loves HR and all the challenges that come with it. But her motives are not exactly that pure. Hilton hotels are all over the world, so if you work for them you have the potential of working on almost any continent and in any major city.

She is hoping to get a spot in Hawaii and then who knows beyond there. I can't say that I blame her. It beats being stuck in one place your whole career.

By letshearit — On Oct 25, 2011

Can anyone recommend some good HR professional training courses that someone new to the field should be taking?

I am thinking about a career change and have been working as a retail manager for a few years. I would love to move up in the company and start looking into courses for HR professionals so that I can get certified in the field and find a job that is better paying.

I know that there are many associations of HR professionals and it is my dream to join them someday. I really feel like working on the hiring team at our company would be a much better fit for me.

By SauteePan — On Oct 24, 2011

@Moldova - This is definitely a business in which you have to be involved with professional associations and have professional certifications to go with it if you want to make money.

Most human resources managers that have HR professional certifications can earn a lot more money than those that don’t. You can even get the certifications online and from what I hear they are well worth it and don't take too long to get.

By surfNturf — On Oct 23, 2011

@Moldova -My friend was an HR trainer and she was also a member of ASTD or the American Society for Training and Development. I went to a couple of meetings with her and this group was really dynamic.

Many of the members of this HR professional association were professional trainers that also had consulting practices on the side. They were always coming out with new and innovative ways to train their users. A lot of these trainers were former teachers that decided to make a career change.

By Moldova — On Oct 23, 2011

I have a lot of friends that work in human resources and a lot of them got their initial human resources experience while working in the staffing industry.

Many staffing companies offer recruiting positions that involving filling jobs for the client companies. With a job like this you have to screen resumes and interview prospects in order to fill potential jobs that are available. You also have to check references and prepare potential applicants for job interviews.

If the client decides to hire the applicant you also have to negotiate on behalf of your applicant. I worked in this industry for many years and I also had to find new places to recruit applicants and I had to join many HR professional associations in order to stay abreast on the industry.

You do really have to like people because you are constantly talking to clients and applicants.

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