Here are the key factors that influence career advancement in HR.
Organisations have changed and transformed. The job of an HR professional has also changed. The technological advancement has led to the application of technology in HR jobs, and all HR professionals are expected to be well versed with it. Other than technical qualifications, there are certain personal factors that impact the HR career.
The 2017 ExpertHR survey on HR Career finds out the personal and organisational factors that influence advancement in HR career. Around 60 per cent of the HR professionals surveyed mentioned operational experience as the most important factor in career advancement, followed by business acumen (45.4 per cent) and comprehensive knowledge of employment law (35.6 per cent).
There are some barriers to career advancement, which every HR professional faces. The top three personal barriers are the lack of business acumen (34.1 per cent), operational experience (33.1 per cent) and consultancy skills (22.1 per cent).
Talking about the organisational barriers in career development in HR, 48.5 per cent of the respondents say that perception of HR by the organisation is the topmost barrier followed by lack of clear HR strategy (40.9 per cent) and limited HR budget (36.1 per cent).
Majority of the HR professionals say that the profession has a good prospect in the future. 76.9 per cent are quite confident about future job prospects in HR in the next 10 years. Their confidence stems from the perennial need for HR to take responsibility for and lead on people management and employment law compliance issues; businesses increasingly recognise the value of HR and the rise of analytics and HRIS creating new opportunities for HR.
There were some respondents who lacked self-assurance when it came to future job prospects in HR. The reasons they cited were—lack of opportunities for older workers within HR, the devolution of traditional HR responsibilities to line managers and the limited availability of part-time roles and/or flexible working within HR.
When asked whether they would opt for HR again if they could start their careers all over, surprisingly only 56 per cent said ‘Yes’, while 16 per cent said they would not choose HR again and 28 per cent did not know what they would do. Mid-level HR professionals are significantly less likely than those at senior levels to say they would choose HR again.
The top three advices from the surveyed professionals for aspiring professionals to succeed in the HR profession are—Understand both people and business, and how each influences the other; obtain some HR qualifications, as many employers view them as essential; gain a wide, generalist experience of HR before specialising.
To succeed in the HR profession, one needs to be prepared to meet constant change and challenges with a positive attitude. One needs to be an avid learner and be updated of the changes in the laws, regulations and policies.