HR Entry-Level Job Guide: Jobs, Salaries, and Strategies to Get Hired
Human resources (HR) refers to the department or function within an organisation that is responsible for managing and developing its employees.
This includes various activities such as recruiting, hiring, onboarding, training and development, performance management, compensation and benefits, employee relations, and compliance with employment laws and regulations.
The main goal of HR is to create and maintain a productive, engaged, and satisfied workforce that can help the organisation achieve its objectives.
This involves understanding the needs and aspirations of employees, identifying areas for improvement, and implementing strategies to foster a positive work environment and promote employee growth and development.
Some of the critical roles and responsibilities of HR professionals may include the following:
- Developing and implementing HR policies and procedures that align with the organisation's goals and values.
- Recruiting and selecting candidates for open positions using various methods such as job postings, online applications, and interviews.
- Designing and delivering training programs to enhance employee skills and knowledge.
- Conducting performance evaluations and providing feedback to employees to help them improve their performance and achieve their career goals.
- Administering employee compensation and benefits programs, including salary and wage administration, health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off.
- Ensuring compliance with federal, state, and local employment laws and regulations, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
- Handling employee relations issues, such as grievances, disputes, and disciplinary actions.
Overall, HR plays a critical role in shaping the culture and success of an organisation by attracting and retaining top talent, developing employee skills and knowledge, and fostering a positive work environment that promotes growth and innovation.
Entry-level HR Jobs
There are several entry-level HR jobs that individuals can pursue to start their careers in this field. Here are some examples:
- HR Coordinator: HR coordinators provide administrative support to the HR department and assist with scheduling interviews, processing new hire paperwork, and maintaining employee files.
- Recruiting Coordinator: Recruiting coordinators help with the recruitment process by posting job openings, screening resumes, scheduling interviews, and communicating with candidates.
- HR Assistant: HR assistants perform various tasks, including data entry, responding to employee inquiries, and assisting with payroll and benefits administration.
- HR Generalist: HR generalists work on various HR activities, including recruiting, training, compensation, and employee relations. They may also assist with policy development and implementation.
- Benefits Administrator: Benefits administrators manage employee benefits programs such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off. They may also help employees understand their benefits options and assist with enrollment.
- Payroll Administrator: Payroll administrators are responsible for processing employee paychecks and ensuring that payroll taxes are withheld and paid correctly.
These entry-level HR jobs can provide individuals with a foundation in the field and an opportunity to gain experience and skills to help them advance in their careers.
Many organisations also offer opportunities for training and development to help employees grow and progress in their roles.
How to gain an entry-level HR Position
If you are interested in gaining an entry-level HR position, here are some steps you can take:
- Obtain a relevant degree or certification: Many entry-level HR positions require a bachelor's degree in HR, business, or a related field. Consider pursuing a degree or certification program that will provide you with the skills and knowledge needed for a career in HR.
- Gain relevant experience: Look for opportunities to gain experience in HR-related tasks, such as recruiting, employee relations, or benefits administration. You could also seek internships or volunteer positions in HR departments to gain hands-on experience.
- Develop your skills: HR requires strong interpersonal, communication, and organisational skills. Look for opportunities to develop these skills through training programs or workshops.
- Network: Attend HR events, join professional associations, and network with HR professionals in your community. This can help you learn about job opportunities and connect with people who can provide guidance and support.
- Apply for entry-level positions: Look for job postings for entry-level HR positions and apply for those that match your skills and experience. Tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight your relevant skills and knowledge.
- Prepare for interviews: Be prepared to answer common HR interview questions and demonstrate your knowledge of HR practices and regulations. Show enthusiasm for the position and the company.
Remember that gaining an entry-level HR position may take time and effort. Be persistent, continue to develop your skills and knowledge, and seek opportunities to gain experience and make connections in the field.
Qualifications for your HR Career
Several qualifications can be helpful for a career in HR. Here are some examples:
- Education: Many HR positions typically require a bachelor's degree in HR, business, or a related field. Some organisations may also prefer or require a master's degree in HR or a related lot.
- Professional certification: Professional certifications, such as the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) or the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), can demonstrate your expertise and knowledge in HR. These certifications are offered by organisations such as the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and require passing an exam and meeting specific education and experience requirements.
- Experience: Many HR positions require previous experience in HR or a related field. Look for opportunities to gain experience through internships, volunteer work, or entry-level HR positions.
- Skills: HR professionals should have strong interpersonal, communication, and organisational skills. They should also understand HR practices, regulations, and trends well.
- Continuing education: HR professionals should stay up-to-date with changes in the field and continue to develop their skills and knowledge. Look for opportunities for continuing education, such as attending conferences or taking courses.
- Networking: Networking with other HR professionals can help gain insights into the field, learn about job opportunities, and build professional relationships.
Remember that the qualifications needed for a career in HR may vary depending on the organisation and the position.
It's essential to research the requirements for the positions you are interested in and seek opportunities to gain the necessary education, experience, and skills.
Career job scope and salary
The job scope and salary of a career in HR can vary depending on the specific role and organisation. Here are some examples:
- HR Coordinator: HR coordinators provide administrative support to the HR department and assist with scheduling interviews, processing new hire paperwork, and maintaining employee files. The average salary for an HR coordinator in the United States is around $47,000 annually.
- Recruiter: Recruiters are responsible for sourcing and hiring candidates for open positions within an organisation. They may also be involved in screening resumes, conducting interviews, and negotiating job offers. The average salary for a recruiter in the United States is around $55,000 annually.
- HR Generalist: HR generalists work on various HR activities, including recruiting, training, compensation, and employee relations. They may also assist with policy development and implementation. The average salary for an HR generalist in the United States is around $62,000 annually.
- HR Manager: HR managers oversee the department and are responsible for developing and implementing HR strategies and programs. They may also be involved in recruiting, training, and managing employees. The average salary for an HR manager in the United States is around $90,000 annually.
- Compensation and Benefits Manager: Compensation and benefits managers are responsible for developing and managing employee compensation and benefits programs. They may also analyse data to ensure the organisation's compensation and benefits packages are competitive. The average salary for a payment and benefits manager in the United States is around $117,000 per year.
It's important to note that salaries can vary depending on location, industry, and years of experience.
The job scope of an HR career can also vary depending on the specific organisation and role. HR professionals may work in various industries, including healthcare, finance, education, and government.
Some may also work for HR consulting firms or as independent contractors.
Overall, a career in HR can offer a range of opportunities for growth and development.