Working in HR
Working in HR

Working in Human Resources

Working in human resources (HR)

Working in human resources (HR) is a rewarding and dynamic career. This career path can include a wide range of responsibilities and offers opportunities to make a positive impact in the workplace. HR professionals are responsible for managing the recruitment and retention of new employees, ensuring compliance with employment law, and providing support services to staff.

As the HR function has developed, responsibilities around wellness programs, DEI and other positive contributions to employee wellbeing have grown in importance.

Working in HR requires a combination of interpersonal and technical skills and a deep understanding of the organisation's culture and values.

HR can be challenging but rewarding, especially when you see your work positively impact colleagues' well-being and the workplace in general. With the right attitude and commitment, a career in HR can be incredibly fulfilling.

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Lisa Broderick - Director

Lisa has worked with a diverse portfolio of clients across Ireland, the Middle East and Australia. She returned to Ireland as a Director of our Cork business (Tech, Engineering, FS, Accounting, Office Support, Commercial) in 2017. Her role now includes leadership of our HR, Office Support and Marketing recruitment teams based in Dublin. With 18 years of recruitment experience and a previous business background, Lisa has a strong focus on culture, delivery and a customer-centric attitude. Lisa helps Cpl and our customers to attract and retain the best people.

Lisa Broderick - Director

What are the best pathways to a career in human resources?

For most positions in human resources, you will need a bachelor's or master's degree in HR, or a CIPD qualification. The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) accredits and awards HR certifications. CIPD qualifications are equivalent to postgraduate/master's degrees and are the only way to become a Chartered CIPD member.

Based on experience, you could land an HR role without a degree or HR qualification. For entry-level positions, some companies will consider candidates with a clear interest in HR, a background in administration and transferrable skills. However, it is recommended to pursue HR training to advance within the field.

​What are the top soft skills needed for a career in human resources?

To become a human resource professional, you need strong communication, organisational, and stakeholder management skills. You should also be able to build and maintain relationships across the organisation.

You should have a friendly personality and be able to deal with sensitive, confidential information every day. Teamwork, being a core individual contributor, and prioritising tasks are also important soft skills needed to excel in HR.

What benefits can human resources candidates expect to be offered?

Depending on the sector and size of the organisation, healthcare, pension contributions, bonuses, maternity leave, and life insurance are typically offered.

What is the difference between SMB and enterprise benefit offerings in human resources?

Where possible, Small and Medium Sized Businesses (SMBs) offer the above benefits. Enterprise-sized companies can also offer additional benefits, including dental insurance, Restricted Stock Units (RSUs), wellness allowances, unlimited annual leave, and income protection.

1205 survey respondents

What flexible working arrangements can a human resources candidate expect?

In the HR industry, most clients offer at least two days' work from home (WFH) and 3 days in the office. Larger enterprise companies have been offering fully remote working options. However, this is becoming less frequently available.

Some roles require employees to be fully onsite. These roles tend to be less favourable to employees and candidates who highly value flexible working arrangements.

How does company size affect human resources salaries?

While larger organisations often offer higher salaries and more competitive packages, their roles are often not as broad in the scope of responsibilities. However, this depends on the industry and the level of the position.

How do years of experience affect human resources salaries?

In HR, experience is important, but so is your background and how far you have progressed in previous positions.

Your salary will increase as you advance from HR administrator to HR manager or business partner. However, a direct correlation between salary and years of experience is more apparent in the technology, financial services, and pharmaceutical industries.

How does higher education or other learning and development affect human resources salaries?

Often in HR, you can make up for lack of education with experience. Nevertheless, high-level qualifications can make a difference. In many cases, a specific HR qualification, such as qualifications in employment law, train-the-trainer, or IPass, is a plus.

What are the expected salary growth levels in human resources?

  • SMB: The starting salary for HR admin levels tends to be around €28k-35k, and with experience, it can increase up to €100,000 annually.

  • Enterprise: Salaries for HR admin positions start at €30k-35k, and based on experience, can rise to €150k+ annually over time. Depending on the industry and scope of the role, executive-level positions in HR can reach over €120,000-€150,000+ annually.

Ready to begin your human resources career?

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