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Ten Pieces of Advice for Graduate HR Professionals Starting Out

HIJOBSThis advice comes from Chris Snelgrove, founder of the Highlands-based online recruitment company, HIJOBS.

The world of human resources can be quite challenging at the best of times, but we all need to start off on the right foot, which is why we provide those of you who will soon be joining your first professional HR teams with ten suggestions which will benefit you highly.

Put People First

Interpersonal relationships should always be a priority. Never forget that the primary role of a human resources professional is to address the needs of employees in relation to the company. Having a human approach to all your dealings, internal and external will make you shine and earn the trust of your peers, junior and senior.

Listen Like You Own the Business

The phrase “act as if” is perfectly appropriate here. By treating the business as if it were your own, not only will you be better able to prioritise your actions but you’ll be able to gain a better vision of how the company should move forward. This will also let the owners know you are here to stay.

Do the Right Thing Even When it is Hard

Tough decisions are part of the profession and this should be accepted. There can be times when an action (while harsh) needs to occur to serve the greater good of the company. Be hard, but always remain neutral.

Keep Secrets

Discretion is an important function within the human resources community. There will be times when you may be required to keep hush and refrain from discussions, internal and external.

Embrace the Leadership Role

You will be expected to develop a mission statement and to relate these goals to the employees. Never forget that they look to HR professionals for guidance as well as for stability; both key metrics in terms of business growth.

Nurture Your Relationships

It will take time to develop trustworthy relationships with employees as well as upper management. Therefore, focus on building interpersonal rapport within the company as well as with external clients and partners when required.

Find a Mentor

No one ever claimed that the world of human resources was easy. One of the best ways to point yourself in the right direction is to discover an experienced mentor. He or she will be able to provide you with much-needed guidance and insight when they are required most.

Become Familiar with the Company

There are many internal components which comprise a modern business. Not only will you need to get to know the employees, but other areas such as finance, marketing and product development are just as critical. By appreciating these variables, you will be able to take a proactive stance and solve issues before they evolve into real problems.

Utilise Technology

Technology is your friend and it should be taken full advantage of. This will often include smartphone applications, webinars, conference calling programs and basic HR software packages. Streamlining what you can will make your job much easier in the long run.

Set Realistic Goals

There is nothing wrong with setting lofty goals, but make sure that they are realistic. It can often help to break these goals down into easily digestible milestones which can be achieved one step at a time. This is also an excellent way to gauge the effectiveness of a specific approach. If it needs modification, any changes will be easier to implement.