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Human Resource Management is the organisational function that deals with issues related to compensation, hiring, performance management, organisation development, safety, wellness, benefits, employee motivation, communication, administration, and training.

Human Resource Management is also a strategic and comprehensive approach to managing people and the workplace culture and environment.

Effective HRM enables employees to contribute effectively and productively to the overall company direction and the accomplishment of the organisation’s goals and objectives.

Human Resource Management today, involves moving away from traditional personnel, administration, and transactional roles, which are increasingly outsourced to adding value to the strategic utilisation of employees and employee programmes. A HR personnel acts as a harbinger of change within the office.

How do you get into HRM
It’s easier to break into a career in Human Resources if you plan your education chart — qualifications and work experience that suit a career in Human Resources. The income and opportunity prospects, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, are favourable for the next decade or two.  Human Resources as a professional career demands integrity, confidentiality, and a high level of interpersonal interaction capability from its practitioners.

Education and training
Human Resource Management is taught as part of the MBA curriculum at B-schools across the country. Many colleges also offer HR courses at the graduation level. MBA in Human Resource Management is a two-year course taken up after graduation or an equivalent degree.

Admission to an MBA course is generally held on the basis of a written test, group discussion and a personal interview. Separate tests are conducted by different institutes like CAT by IIMs, MAT by All India Management Association, and XAT by Xavier Institute, SNAP by Symbiosis International University etc. Besides, there are executive MBA (HR) programmes offered by some institutes which require a minimum level of experience.

There are HR professionals with a wide variety of educational backgrounds. However, many HR positions require candidates with a Masters degree in human resources, industrial relations /personnel management. Such a specialisation will also be highly regarded amongst hiring managers.

This is not to imply that current HR professionals without degrees are unsuccessful. Many HR professionals have developed a successful career in Human Resources without a formal HR degree. Times are changing in all professional fields, however, if you’re starting out or thinking about switching to a career in Human Resources, it would be of great advantage to obtain a degree or a certification in Human Resources.

Large companies sometimes offer workshops and classes that broaden an existing professional’s HR skills. By completing a professional certification course, candidates have the opportunity to switch careers, and at times, also increase their growth and earning potential. Some examples of certifications include the certifications from XLRI, Symbiosis International University, IIMs, SHRM etc.

Finding work
Just like any other profession, finding a career in HR is easiest for those with a college degree/ professional certification in the field. But students with related majors in such areas as Business, Sociology, Psychology, and Social Sciences are also considered, especially for more entry-level jobs. There are many HR positions available and there will be more opportunities in the future.

If you’re still a student, or just out of college, an internship in an HR department can provide the relevant experience you need for an HR job search. If you are looking at making a career switch, look internally at opportunities that might be available within your own organisation as that’s the best place to leverage on the goodwill earned and confidence gained from the management team.

Some businesses also first look for candidates from within the company. If your company has an internal requirement for a HR position, they are likely to post it on their online job board or internal job postings.  Check regularly for your chance to get your foot in the door.

More and more candidates for HR jobs are finding their way into HR careers via professional networking and online social networking sites too.

Career prospects
The main task for Human Resource managers is the efficient use and development of available skills and talent of the employees within the organisation.  HR is responsible for the development of human potential and the assets of any organisation irrespective of the industry.

This is a function that cuts across all industries and thus is highly required in most, if not all organisations.  These sectors may vary from public and private sector industries, banking and financial institutions, corporate houses and multinational companies.  

The remuneration that a fresh graduate can expect would be anywhere between Rs 3–7.5 lakhs per annum at an entry level. At a managerial level one can expect anywhere between Rs 10- 15 lakhs per annum and Senior Managers have compensations upwards of Rs 25 lakhs per annum.

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