Human resources (HR) officers look after hiring and developing employees, and welfare of staff.

What does a human resources officer do?

HR officers' work would usually involve:

  • hiring staff – advertising and interviewing
  • working with other managers to plan future staff needs
  • keeping employee records
  • providing staff training and development
  • making sure staff have the right pay and benefits
  • arranging staff services, such as welfare and counselling
  • dealing with complaints and discipline procedures
  • promoting equality, and health and safety
  • advising on matters such as pay negotiations, redundancy and employment law
  • developing HR policies and procedures
  • writing staff handbooks
In large organisations, you may specialise in one or two of these areas. In smaller companies you would usually deal with all aspects of the job.

What do I need to do to become a human resources officer?

You should have a good standard of general education, good computer skills and previous experience of office work. Employers may prefer you to have, or be willing to work towards, qualifications in human resource management, for example, those offered by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

You could start as an assistant administrator in a company's HR department, and study part-time for the CIPD Level 3 Certificate in Human Resources Practice whilst you are working.

You may also be able to take the CIPD’s Level 3 Award in Human Resources Essentials or the Certificate in Human Resources Practice at a local college before looking for your first job in HR and personnel.

Related skills

  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Interpersonal skills
  • IT
  • Organisation
  • Time management

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

You could work in any organisation with a human resources department, particularly larger companies and public sector organisations, such as the NHS, education and local authorities. You could also work for a specialist HR consultancy.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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