Human Resources Officer


    Human resources (HR) officers are responsible for hiring, developing and looking after employees. As a human resources officer you will develop, advise on and implement policies relating to the effective use of staff in an organization.

    HR officers are involved in a range of activities whatever the size or type of business. These cover areas such as:

    • conditions of employment;
    • equality and diversity;
    • negotiation with external work-related agencies;
    • pay;
    • recruitment;
    • working practices.


    Employers of HR officers

    • small and large private firms;
    • the public sector;
    • voluntary organizations, such as charities, which may employ both paid staff and volunteers.



    • working closely with various departments, increasingly in a consultancy role, assisting line managers to understand and implement policies and procedures;
    • promoting equality and diversity as part of the culture of the organization;
    • liaising with a range of people involved in policy areas such as staff performance and health and safety;
    • recruiting staff, which involves developing job descriptions and person specifications, preparing job adverts, checking application forms, shortlisting, interviewing and selecting candidates;
    • developing and implementing policies on issues like working conditions, performance management, equal opportunities, disciplinary procedures and absence management;
    • preparing staff handbooks;
    • advising on pay and other remuneration issues, including promotion and benefits;
    • undertaking regular salary reviews;
    • negotiating with staff and their representatives (for example, trade union officials) on issues relating to pay and conditions;
    • administering payroll and maintaining employee records;
    • interpreting and advising on employment law;
    • dealing with grievances and implementing disciplinary procedures;
    • developing HR planning strategies, which consider immediate and long-term staff requirements;
    • planning and sometimes delivering training – including inductions for new staff;
    • analyzing training needs in conjunction with departmental managers.



    A degree or diploma in a relevant subject such as HR management or business may be required. The following subjects may be particularly relevant:

    • business with languages;
    • business or management;
    • human resources management;
    • psychology;
    • social administration.

    There are various entry routes into HR but competition is generally fierce for all routes.



    • business awareness and management skills;
    • organizational skills and the ability to understand detailed information;
    • IT and numeracy skills, with strong IT skills required if managing/operating computerized payroll and benefits systems;
    • interpersonal skills to form effective working relationships with people at all levels;
    • a proven track record of ‘making a difference’;
    • the ability to analyze, interpret and explain employment law;
    • integrity and approachability, as managers and staff must feel able to discuss sensitive and confidential issues with you;
    • curiosity and a willingness to challenge organizational culture where necessary;
    • the ability to compile and interpret statistical data and communicate it in a professional and understandable manner;
    • influencing and negotiating skills to implement personnel policies;
    • potential to handle a leadership role.