An HR Assistant is a junior-level support role, assisting the HR function of a business. It is a great position to gain administrative experience with a clear career path.
An HR Assistant works closely with the people in a business so you will need to have an understanding of and discreet attitude toward all employee-related issues.
In this article, we look at ways to become an HR Assistant and the qualifications and skills which will help you progress along the way.
Why Become a Human Resources Assistant?
An HR Assistant is a generalist role and will involve supporting different HR functions across the business. This can give you great exposure to a variety of operational functions, as well as allow you to liaise with people at all levels. Some typical duties can include:
- Starter and leaver administration
- Coordinating induction days
- Maintaining and updating personnel files
- Assisting with maternity, paternity and adoption administration processes
- Monitoring probationary periods
- Holiday and sickness reporting
- Issuing offer letters and contracts to new starters
- Liaising with finance regarding monthly payroll changes
- Administering employee benefits
- Assisting with annual salary reviews
- Taking minutes in meetings
- Assisting with recruitment and setting up interviews
- Taking up and responding to reference requests
- Assisting with any ad hoc HR projects
How to Become an HR Administrator in the UK
You don’t usually have to have studied an HR specific degree to secure a role in HR. Some companies will prefer a 2.1 graduate, and subjects such as business management, economics, finance or psychology may improve your chances. That said, not all companies will require a graduate calibre candidate, and instead will look for relevant work experience to show skills and commitment to the HR career path.
Registering with the right recruitment company, such as Oriel Partners, can also improve your chances of finding the right HR Assistant role for you.
What Qualifications Do You Need for HR?
There are certain HR related qualifications you can complete to increase your chances of securing a role in HR. There are relevant modules that will form part of an undergraduate degree and there are also postgraduate qualifications, such as courses accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
If you want to gain experience while earning, then an apprenticeship scheme could be the way forward and this will show how committed you are to the HR career path and give you valuable work experience and HR assistant training.
If you don’t have any experience but still feel this is the career path for you, don’t panic! There are ways to still secure your dream role with no experience. Have a look at our blog article on How to Get an Admin Job with Zero Experience.
What Skills Do You Need for Human Resources?
All HR roles will require someone who can remain professional and discreet at all times as you will have access to high level and sensitive information. Therefore, it is important you can show examples of this skill.
Being a people facing role, having an approachable personality will be important as well as being able to articulate yourself clearly, being able to lead by example and remaining calm under pressure will all be important skills to succeed in the Human Resources role.
Below is a list of bullet points describing the skills or personality profile that an HR Assistant could need to have or aspire to:
- Proven previous administrative experience
- Numerate with excellent attention to detail
- Must be a team player with strong relationship building skills
- Advanced Microsoft Office skills
- Polished and well-spoken
- Confident at speaking to people at all levels
- Educated to A-Level or above
When applying for an HR Assistant job, refer to our HR Assistant CV advice to make sure you stand out. And once you have secured that all-important HR Assistant interview, you will need to prepare thoroughly in order to give yourself the best chance of success. With so many interviews still being held virtually, make sure you follow our virtual interview tips to make sure you’re preparing to ace your interview.
HR Career Progression
Many companies set aside a budget for personal development for their employees and so it is always worth asking about this and utilising it if available. The CIPD qualification is an obvious course to look into when wanting to enhance your HR career but there are also many long-distance learning opportunities available, depending on what you enjoy and what you want to upskill.
To progress within the HR profession, experience is going to be very important and the HR Assistant role is the first step in giving yourself the best opportunity to develop your career for the long term.
Looking for An HR Assistant Role in London? Oriel Partners Can Help!
If you are looking for an HR Assistant role, we would love to help. Oriel Partners is a boutique recruitment agency and we work across all industry sectors, both corporate and creative. Take a look at our job board to see a list of the current active vacancies we are working on.