A Career In HR: 4 Important Things To Know

HR is the heart that pumps blood to all sectors of a company. It offers a rewarding career path that requires extensive training in various people skills.

This article that we’ve prepared for you is to have a clear idea of what goes on in the HR department and how you can get started on this career path. 

1. What does a typical day in HR look like?

Before we get started, you’ll first need to understand the nature of the job and what goes on in the department on a daily basis. When people talk about HR, we think of them as a department who does recruitment, pays employees their salaries, or deals with employees in general. HR has more to do with that and there are even more specialised roles than you think. A typical day in HR generally depends on what you do, but we’ll jump into the specifics in the next point. 

HR is responsible for handling the complex and extensive world of employer-employee relations. It is exactly what it sounds like, a resource for employees, the heart of the organization that keeps things going. From hiring new employees to helping employees thrive at their workplace, it’s all about creating long and meaningful relationships with the people around you. 

A lot goes on in this exciting department. It’s as if you’re putting out a wildfire at work. Don’t take it the wrong way, it may be hard sometimes, but it can also be tremendously rewarding. The end goal is always to make the people around you be on their feet and achieve goals together.

2. What does the career path look like?

Let’s dive into what roles you can start with. You might not know this but in HR, you can either be a generalist or a specialist.

If you’re clueless on which career path is the right fit for your professional skills, this will help decipher the differences between a HR Generalist and a HR Specialist:

HR Generalist

A HR Generalist can be considered a training role in becoming an HR manager. This role basically does everything. You will have the ability to explore different responsibilities and do a little bit of everything. Think of it as you’re going into a management trainee program. This role will have to run the daily functions of a HR department, including recruiting, organization development, compensation and benefits, and enforcing company policies and practices.

HR Specialist

An HR Specialist will specialize in one of the above-mentioned tasks but will have deeper expertise in these areas. Here are a few common areas that an HR Specialist will focus on:

  • Recruiting

Recruitment is all about filling vacancies. Unlike Talent Acquisition, it is more short-term in which a recently open position has to be filled up immediately. Hence, they oversee an organization’s recruiting process and manage the hiring process from start to finish. A career in HR recruiting could lead to an HR Manager or HR Director position.

  • Talent Acquisition 

TA Specialists focuses on long-term planning. They scout for the most qualified candidate for a specific full-time position to potentially achieve a lower turnover rate. The career path for this track could lead to positions like Talent Acquisition Director or Manager.

  • Learning & Development 

L&D Specialists are in charge of providing support to employees through different types of training. They create, deliver, and arrange training programmes to boost employee and corporate productivity. Many people who take this route wind up as Training Directors or Organizational Development Directors.

  • Payroll Specialist

Payroll specialists are mainly responsible for keeping payroll systems up-to-date and processing paychecks on time and in the right amount. A career path in this position could ultimately lead to a position as a Payroll Coordinator, Payroll Data Analyst, and a Payroll Manager.

  • Employer Branding Specialist

Employer Branding Specialists work to persuade candidates that your company is the ideal next step in their careers. They are in charge of driving up the attraction and engagement of candidates through communication. Many in this track eventually become HR Managers.

3. Do you need qualifications to be in HR?

To help kick start your career in HR, it is common for someone to start with some sort of certification. For those who are looking to get certified other than attaining a Bachelor’s Degree, you’re in luck because here are 5 great learning online resources for you:

  1. Alison.com

Alison.com is one of the world’s largest free learning platforms for education and skills training. This course covers everything you need to know about the basics of HR. This certification is recognized by top employers and would look great on any resume or CV.

  1. Coursera

This course is offered by University of Minnesota. It is designed for anyone interested in using human resource management principles to get more out of their workforce.

  1. Oxford Home Study Centre

This course has proved useful to those new to HR or those long established in the field with an eye to the multinational workplace or a career abroad. This free online course covers three main areas: HR management, fundamentals of recruitment, and staff training and development.

  1. MIT OpenCourseware

The free HR online course covers the history of work as well as studying how organizations adapt to stress and change. Many of the required readings are available as downloadable PDFs.

  1. Open Learn

This free online HR course emphasizes a full and fair recruitment process that results in satisfied employees and appreciative employers who have followed the law. This free course from Open Learn results in a complementary statement of participation upon completion. 

4. How much does a person in HR make in Malaysia?

When it comes to salary growth, you can expect it to increase reasonably with the level of experience.

(Source: Payscale)

A new HR Specialist will typically make RM42,000 with experience between 1 to 4 years. The salaries increase significantly to RM60,000 for those who have worked between 5 to 9 years. HR Specialists can look forward to earning as much as RM70,000 annually with 10-19 years of work experience under their belts.

(Source: Payscale)

A new HR Generalist with less than 1 year experience will typically make RM33,000 a year, and RM38,000 with experience between 1 to 4 years. The salaries increase significantly to RM46,000 for those who have worked between 5 to 9 years. HR Generalists can look forward to earning as much as RM91,000 annually with 10-19 years of work experience under their belts.

Regardless of which HR career path you choose, be sure you do your research on the field before applying for any roles. When you’re ready, start your HR journey with Hiredly.