One of the advantages a Human Resources (HR) program has over any other is no matter where your career ends up you will always have to interact with people. The fundamentals and principles you learn through HR has the ability to make you a better employee, supervisor, manager, owner… heck, a better person.
Studying human resources you are exposed to gain a working knowledge of: Strategic Planning, Leadership/Management, HRIS HR Technology, Recruitment, Terminations, Administration, Metrics, Performance Management, Training and Development, On-Boarding and Orientation, Succession Planning, Exit Interviews, Mentoring, Health and Safety, Position Descriptions, Recognition Programs, Benefits, Disability Management, Conflict Resolution, Retention, Compensation, Policies and Procedures, Satisfaction Surveys/Culture Surveys… to name a few.
The majority of students are hung up on receiving a position that contain the words ‘Human Resources’ in their job title. But, the wonderful thing about studying and implementing ‘Human Resources’ is that you can do it in any position and at any level.
I make this point at the beginning of any course I instruct as approximately 50% of my students are professionals brushing up their education and 50% are wanting to get into HR with no previous experience. My advice is, regardless of your position, to start doing what you learn in class right now!
At the end of one of my class a student (let’s call her ‘Eve’) came up to me. This is how our conversation went.
Eve: I’m a waitress and I deal with customers all day, how am I supposed to practice HR with my customers?
Adam: Who screens your resumes, selects candidates, interviews and orients them?
Eve: My manager, and he does a terrible job. He is always busy so he just hires whoever.
Adam: Why don’t you offer to help screen some resumes so only the candidates you feel would be a good fit will be hired?
Eve: What? I don’t get paid for that!
Adam: You are missing the point, you have no experience, only a good educational foundation, if you don’t use it you’ll lose it, start applying what we are learning in class now and help out your manager. How else are you going to get practical experience?
Eve: … (stunned silence)
By the end of the course, Eve was screening resumes, interviewing candidates, training and onboarding. She became a better employee with her existing company and was gaining practical experience for her upcoming dream job in human resources.
Another advantage of an HR education is you get to learn the inside scoop on how people get hired. Getting a job in the current market can be very challenging. I have seen many students struggling with this and have created a web series to help. With informative topics like The Modern Resume, Interviewing, Networking and Accessing the Hidden Job Market, there’s a lot of important information you need to find your next job. You can access it here: goo.gl/aaKrdG.
These are among the advantages an HR education has over any other program. You can essentially apply it anywhere, anytime, in any job. It’s up to you how to find the best way to use these skills to forward your career.
- Guest Author Adam Czarnecki
Adam Czarnecki, CHRP is a member of the Senior Management team of a heavy duty truck dealership group in Alberta where he is responsible for HR, H&S and IT. He is a past HRIA Board Member and a HR instructor at the Mount Royal University.