By | Ben Eubanks | Human Resources Professional, Speaker, and Blogger
I’ve written many times about my entry into the HR profession. One of the things I’ve always prioritized is creating resources to help people get into HR and move toward their strengths and interests. Over the last year I have answered countless emails from people needing career advice and support (some of them answered publicly here on the blog).
It’s difficult to answer every request, so after talking with a few people I have decided to start a podcast series on We’re Only Human that features content focused on HR careers. I recently started crowdsourcing the topics for this series, and a number of people pointed out critical things that they think new or aspiring HR pros need to know.
For example, consider some of the comments below:
I don’t think enough gets said to HR career seekers about the knowledge, experience, and skills you get and the knowledge, experience, and skills you need at a small company vs a midsize company vs a large company. Titles often appear similar across postings but duties and skills required are vastly different based on company sizes. –Marquesa Ortega
I had a hard time applying what I learned in school to my HR career. It took a couple of years to close that gap. I found it difficult to know how and when to apply what I had learned since it’s not as obvious in the context of work. There isn’t a quiz at the end of the day. You have to always be considering when to use what you learned. That’s something I would have liked to learn about so maybe others would too. –Andrea Lato
There needs to be more awareness of the knowledge-skills gap for HR folks. I have hired dozens of HR practitioners right out of school who have acquired quite a bit of knowledge (some with 6 years that includes a Master’s in HR), but lack the skill set to be effective, without quite a bit of upskilling and training. In terms of skills, I am talking about: tech selection and procurement, writing a business case, tech implementation, change management Comms and training, content/copy writing for external and internal Comms, data collection, data analytics, basic Stats, design thinking, marketing skills for recruitment, branding (for building an employer brand), Machine Learning, evidence based practice, and I can go on and on… The solution: let’s be honest up front and let the next generation of human resources pros know that their career will be a lifelong learning journey covering the skill sets mentioned above, along with many others, and that they should embrace being a Polymath. It is indeed an exciting time to be joining the ranks of HR! –Robert St-Jacques
The “curriculum” for this series is almost finished, and I am starting to reach out to different experts to help us all learn about how to improve our careers. The goal for this series is to ensure a diverse set of perspectives, so at a minimum, half of the “instructors” that are interviewed will be minorities so that the advice will be applicable to everyone, not just a select set of listeners.
Let Your Voice Be Heard
If you’d like to add your own thoughts for the upcoming podcast series on HR careers (what do you want to know OR what advice would you give?), we would love to wrap them into the show. Just click this link and record yourself sharing your best tip for improving your HR career. If you give your name and city/region I would be glad to give you credit for your ideas. The best ideas will be short (30-60 seconds max) so we can incorporate them into the show.
We will pick from the best ones and send out a gift pack to the winners, but if we’re being honest, the real winners will be those that listen to the series to gain some knowledge, improve their leadership capabilities, and thrive in an HR career!
Getting a Head Start: Perspectives from the HR Community
As a head start on this career development journey, I asked some people I respect on Twitter to share their ideas that can help the next generation of HR leaders. Those comments are below and represent a wide variety of perspectives and viewpoints, and I’m thankful for each person for being willing to share their ideas with all of us. If you enjoy any (or all) of the ideas, be sure to like, retweet, and follow the individuals below. You’ll be better for it.