Like many employees across Ireland during COVID-19, you may find yourself laid off or working remotely, this can be an extremely challenging and worrying time for some people.
Suddenly our daily routines have shifted, we are no longer surrounded by our work colleagues & friends and this can feel isolating. Unemployment levels have increased and there has been a natural increase in competition for roles, so how can you be one step ahead when applying for your next HR job?
Upskilling and improving your HR skills is the way to go. Whether your training is free, or fee-related, investing in your professional development will benefit you in the long run. Use this extra time to your advantage. Be proactive and improve your HR skills, or even better learn some new ones.
Below are a few steps you might need to undertake to begin your upskilling journey.
Research – What area would really benefit me to upskill in?
When it comes to HR professionals, there are many skills employers look for in a suitable candidate that you may not have been taught or you may need some brushing up in. Here are some examples of skills all HR professionals should be familiar with:
Spreadsheets (Advanced Excel, Google Spreadsheets, etc.)
Presentation software (PowerPoint)
HR Systems (Core HR, Workday, Sage)
Microsoft (Word, Outlook)
Soft Skills Training
HR professionals also need excellent people and communication skills. Good people skills are extremely useful when it comes to Employee Relation issues and management in the workplace. The main areas and modules of soft skills training for HR employees full under Interpersonal Communication.
Whether you have been laid off or are working remotely, it can be helpful to look at HR job boards and check the types of requirements employers are looking for. This will show you the skills and competencies employers are looking for and that you might need to upskill in.
Resources for HR Professionals – Where to look for HR knowledge
Once you determine the human resources skills you want to upskill, you need to know where to find the resources. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, online courses are your best option. You can find tonnes of e-learning platforms on the internet which can cater for most upskilling needs.
A HR Qualification
If you don’t already have an HR qualification, the CIPD course is very well respected and is a requirement for most organisations when they’re looking for the right HR candidate.
There are many colleges in Ireland you can enrol in to complete this course. Below is a link that will provide you with CIPD course available across Ireland.
Online Excel Courses & Microsoft Office Courses
Advanced Excel is a common requirement for any HR role and is a great transferrable skill for just about any office-based job. There are lots of Excel courses available, so do your research, read reviews and pick the one that suits your skill level best.
The Shaw Academy hold a 16 week online excel Diploma course (Free for the first 4 weeks) and you can choose to opt-in at an Intermediate or Advanced level.
There are also some excel courses available to learn the basics. IACT provides an Excel course that introduces you to the platform. In it, you’ll learn the basic essentials – how to open, close and save files, how to enter formulae into a cell, build basic charts and format a spreadsheet. Again, the IACT also offers short term inexpensive MC Office courses such as – Outlook, Powerpoint, Project Training, Publisher, SharePoint, Visio, Word.
Podcasts for Upskilling
Podcasts can be a great way to pick up new skills and stay on top of HR trends, following HR related hashtags is another great way to keep on top of things. For example #HR#HumanResourcesand #Management The below podcast are just two from a wide selection, we also have our own in Cpl which you can listen to here.
Future of work – Upskilling
An interesting podcast which focuses on different upskilling courses that benefit all sectors, the challenges and time-consuming aspect of upskilling (how to time manage), the importance of employers that invest in providing upskilling for their employees & the importance of challenging the mind and staying productive.
Upskilling yourself – How to learn new skills
This podcast focuses on areas such as – upgrading your career, what does upskill mean and where to start? Knowing your strengths and where your gaps are, how to find the right learning experience to help you upskill, how to upskill while working & the importance of leaders and managers upskilling too!
This is an uncertain time for everyone but look at your free time as a silver lining and utilise it correctly. You have a real opportunity to improve your career and develop soft and hard skills that will benefit you into the future.