How to become a HR professional

Becoming a HR professional is an appealing career route. In this job, you’ll rise in seniority as you recruit employees, carry out impeccable DBS checks on them, maintain a harmonious working environment and generally manage the staff in a company. But how do you enter this career path? Below we explore how you can become a HR professional and the responsibilities that will follow.


There are several different routes into the HR world. If you’re a self-starter who quickly displays an aptitude for the role, then you might be able to rise without a degree. However, with the industry becoming ever more competitive, a degree or recognised qualifications can give you an edge. Qualifications can range from an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in HR management, to apprenticeships and training schemes giving you hands on experience. Once you gain a foothold in the industry, it’ll also be crucial to get a CIPD qualification in order to pursue high ranking positions.

Work experience

Even with the appropriate qualifications you’ll need to display enthusiasm and experience. One of the best ways to do this is via work experience. Try sending out emails to various HR departments asking if you can carry out work experience or shadow professionals to gain a taste of the industry.

Roles and responsibilities

As a HR professional you’ll be responsible for carrying out administrative and managerial tasks relating to the company’s staff and the workplace. One of the first steps for any HR professional is to set up and master HR systems in order to efficiently work through documentation and admin. This will allow you more time to focus on the responsibilities of working in HR. These include: administering the payroll system, hiring employees, assisting employees with career development, performing employee appraisals and investigating internal complaints.

Everyday tasks

Aside from the general roles and responsibilities of a HR professional, there are some common everyday tasks to expect too. If the company is in the middle of a recruitment drive there’ll be plenty of interesting work to get on with. This can range from interviewing applicants to contacting references and performing background checks. HR managers, or more senior professionals, tend to oversee this process. Senior figures will also focus on using their emotional intelligence daily. They might have to resolve issues between management and employees or deal with any disciplinary procedures. On top of all this, there will be overarching goals such as building and maintaining behavioural policies in the company.

Becoming a HR professional can be extremely rewarding. You’ll be spending your daily working life helping to improve the workspace, and there are plenty of opportunities to rise through the ranks.