Can you go from recruitment to HR?
It’s perfectly possible to transition from a career in recruitment to a career in HR – and people do. A lot of the skills and experience garnered from working in recruitment are transferrable to HR.
However, there are a few factors that may impact how difficult this transition will be for you. For instance, whether you are an in-house or agency recruitment professional, and also how much experience you have – ie. are you just at the beginning of your career or do you have several years’ experience under your belt?
If you are working in-house in a recruitment function it may be easier for you to move to an HR role, perhaps by shadowing HR colleagues informally over a period of time and then applying for a more junior role in the team when one arises.
If you are an agency recruitment professional, however, the path into HR may be slightly more complicated for you. A potential route would be to transition, if possible, into a more administration-based role within the agency, and then once enough experienced has been gained try to move into an HR administrator role within a business with a large HR team. This then leaves the potential to move up the ranks.
How do I start a career in HR UK?
Traditionally, school-leavers who want to work in HR will initially gain an educational qualification in human resource management (a college diploma or university degree), and following this will look for an entry-level role and then ‘work their way up the ladder’, so to speak.
If they don’t want to gain an academic qualification it may still be possible to secure an entry-level HR role depending on what employers are looking for. However in order to progress it may be necessary to undertake a professional qualification whilst working.
Some may find they fall into HR “accidentally”; for instance, if they are working in another function and an HR opportunity arises internally that they decide sounds interesting and they want to go for.
And some may decide to make a change later in their careers. Entering the HR professional with some decent experience under your belt is certainly no bad thing.
What are HR recruiters looking for?
As mentioned above, as a minimum, many employers may look for an HR qualification – either academic or professional – particularly when hiring for more senior HR positions.
Qualifications aside, those recruiting for HR positions will look at skills and experience.
Some of the HR knowledge and skills required include:
- HR management (HRM) knowledge and experience
- Knowledge of recruitment and selection
- Administrative experience
- Cultural awareness
- Appreciation of mental health and wellbeing
- Employee experience expertise
Soft skills are also incredibly important when it comes to working in HR. Whilst HR professionals are expected to understand and be able to implement HR practises and legislation, it is also important for them to possess the necessary soft skills to succeed in the profession.
Some of the soft skills needed to work in HR include:
- Time management
- Problem Solving
Is HR in demand in UK?
HR jobs are increasingly in demand in the UK, reflecting a broader growth in businesses across the country. As the economy picks up post-pandemic, both international and domestic employers are looking to expand their presence throughout the UK.
There has also been an increased awareness of the importance of HR and how it contributes to a business at a commercial level. As such HR now has a prime seat at the leadership table, with significant influence in setting and accomplishing strategic business goals.
Organisations’ drive to attract and retain the best talent has also created demand for HR professionals working in the following areas:
- Recruitment / graduate recruitment
- Compensation and benefits
- Learning and development