Many people are eager to start a career or a business initiative in Human Resources, as it is a fast-growing field with many lucrative opportunities. Career analysts expect the number of HR jobs to rise in India with advance of globalization efforts and HR consultants are growing in number.
There are several ‘accomplished’ HR professionals with a wide variety of educational backgrounds – Human Resources, Engineering, Sales & Marketing, Commerce, Science, Applied Arts, Psychology etc. However, I do agree, most of the entry level HR positions require candidates with a minimum of a three-year Bachelor’s degree, it need not necessarily be in Human Resources alone. Yes, a bachelor’s degree in Human resources, Personnel management or some other related subject will offer the best training for building a HR career.
This is not to imply that the current HR professionals without degrees are unsuccessful. Many HR professionals have developed successful careers in Human Resources without degrees too. If you would like to pursue a managerial position or specialized career in HR, some schools offer business degrees that are more focused on a certain area of Human Resources. The options are wide open, with respect to specialization within HR field of education. And yes, in the light of today’s competitive job market, HR related jobs need necessary academic credentials to further the interests of the company!
But, a HR Consultancy needs to be run by ‘capable’ management professionals with requisite experience at managerial level, more than any ‘specialist’ degree – if they have prior work experience in the field in which they wish to recruit. For eg., A recruiter with sales and marketing background will have enough knowledge to recruit sales and marketing professionals. Other positions like – Customer care/ Team leaders at Call centers, Front office or Receptionists, entry level Accounts’ positions – require the recruiter to check on candidate’s communication skills, learning ability, attitude, ability to work in a team etc – other than subject knowledge and it does not require any ‘special’ recruiting skills. A well experienced Professional can handle that.
HR Consultants should possess requisite leadership qualities and an analytical mind (essential!) to excel in this profession. They should also possess the ‘business initiative’ and an attitude to learn! Regular reading of HR magazines and keeping oneself updated with current developments in the industry really helps! In addition, there are several internet portals specializing in HR domain and such ‘virtual’ HR discussion forums help a HR Consultant, by engaging him in a value-added discussion!
(The Author is Director/Proprietor, Rambuna Consultants, specializing in recruitment services, corporate training and new business start ups assistance)