“Human resources is underrated and misunderstood by many,” states Genaea Pink, the People and Culture Manager for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Human Resources (HR) is a multifaceted industry where a typical day doesn’t really exist. Expect to be challenged on a daily basis and have the interests of your company and its employees at the core of your workday.
A Typical Day?
You have to be prepared to take a range of different challenges in your stride. The idea of HR is to have the right talent in the right roles and keep employees developing within those roles as the business grows. Ms. Pink explains that her role is to “ensure we are attracting and retaining the right talent to enable us to reach our business objectives. This involves consistently working with business leaders to ensure that the job design and structures are correct, people are consistently being challenged and developed, and that we are also meeting the needs of our employees”.
Wondering How to get into Human Resources?
There are a range of studies available, depending on which aspect you would like to specialise. Many students focus on a Bachelor of Commerce in Management and look for internships in an organisation or industry they enjoy and can relate to. Ms. Pink recommends using postgraduate study to “specialise …in a particular area after you have had some exposure to a career. The industry experience will add depth to your study.” As far as training on the job, Ms Pink mentions there are so many different scenarios within Human Resources. Most of what you must deal with is on-the-spot and adapting to challenges thrown your way.
Future in Human Resources?
The demand for HR generalists and specialists continues to grow with the number of companies demanding those employees. The roles are diverse, dependent on the size and the industry. Fortunately with such diversity, the sky is the limit with what you can achieve. “I am incredibly fortunate in that I love my current role. This is mainly due to the unique culture of the business and also a fantastic leader who allows me the freedom to run with my role. I am completely engaged with what I am currently doing and can see that the opportunities for now are far reaching.”
What to Consider?
HR isn’t for the faint-hearted. The hours can be long and you need to have the confidence to communicate with people at all levels of the business. Ms. Pink has leant me a little insight “HR can be a lonely place in terms of socializing as you are privy to a large amount of information and cannot get too close to people. You do however form some great business partnerships with key leaders in the business and become close knit with your own team as that is where you can discuss some of those confidential matters”. She highlights characteristics required for a job in HR as resilience and adaptability. Difficult decision-making under pressure-conditions is part of the job and not everyone is cut out for that.
Last Words of Advice
You need to have a passion for strategic thinking and an awareness of the business’ best interests. Ms Pink recommends beginning your career in a generalist role to ascertain the areas of most interest to you. There are roles for a range of different personalities. “It can be an exciting and rewarding career for the right person that can lead on to many other business avenues.”