Often, the only interaction you had with HR after being hired was when you signed your disciplinary forms after getting into one form of trouble or another, or if there was trouble with your paycheck. Those days are gone due to a struggling economy. These positions have been combined with other departments, creating new and innovative career opportunities in many different fields.
If you are looking for an HR position in the traditional sense, you are going to struggle, especially when looking in a major metropolis. Today’s economy has dictated downsizing which has resulted in combining positions, and HR is no exception. HR is and always has been a vital department in any successful big business, but the world has not so much combined their roles as they have expanded what HR was already doing.
HR has always been the payroll center. Whether it is HR jobs Chicago-based firms need or HR jobs in London-based positions, people in this department have the same challenges and duties. It makes perfect sense; they handle time edits, employee vacation requests, sick time, and the like. Payroll itself is just another form of accounting; therefore, it makes sense that an individual in HR should have some type of accounting background and should also be able to help in the overall accounting operation of the facility.
While the directors of HR for companies may not be able to function as controllers, they very likely will be able to do some daily tasks of a an employee who was eating up forty hours a week of pay, and can then either turn that position into a part-time position or eliminate it all together.
Another area HR is growing into is the marketing of their businesses. More and more job fairs are popping up as competition gets stiffer in the work place. More people are out of work than have been for a long time, and it takes a skilled person to not only distinguish the best candidate but also to market his or her facility or business in the proper manner to make the best individuals want to come to work for the company. Again, while the HR department will not fully work in this area, they are very likely to assist in brainstorming sessions and in establishing a positive marketing plan to grow a business successfully.
HR staff members are the ideal candidates for this job. They need to be exceptional at networking. The nature of their job dictates that they be comfortable in all social arenas. They are now being used in roles of ambassadors as well. If you have a business in Chicago, why not send your HR associates to a convention in Houston or abroad to London to check out the competition? HR workers will have the opportunity to talk not only to customers, but also to the associates that are working in these cities to see what is working for them and what kind of staff members they are seeking to fill their positions. They can even use some of this interaction to act like a hiring interview. They would transition the same interviewing principles they use when looking for a new candidate when discussing these situations in a networking environment.
The hospitality industry is a perfect example of this. Your HR director used to serve in limited functions. They conducted initial interviews, payroll, maintained disciplinary files, and conducted orientations. They are also often involved in training. This role has expanded into an integral part of the operation. Now the director of HR is sometimes on the executive committee which the leaders and policy setters of the facility comprise.
It was mentioned earlier that HR holds orientation meetings. Training meetings are just another aspect of that. This has freed up the operations managers to spend more time on the floor and focus on customer satisfaction. It is a win/win situation for everyone involved, since the HR manager is probably one that is more comfortable in a teaching environment.
All of this has created an atmosphere that has improved the overall image and changed the role of the HR manager in today’s job market. This interaction with other departments has actually humanized the position and made it more worker-friendly. The individuals working in this department are now more visible and have become more accepted in the worker population.
Whatever city you are in, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, or abroad in London or Paris, to become a successful HR Director, you are going to need to be a well-rounded individual with not only a background in HR, but in several other fields as well. Many HR jobs are seeing major changes in these positions; they are diversifying just like every other area of business to stay on the cutting edge and manage changes.
You are going to want to give yourself every edge when seeking a position and be one step ahead of your competition so now is the time to get active and get more involved in all aspects of your operation. It will only help your situation, whether you are looking for a new position, or are merely looking to move up within your current organization.