How do I Become a Personnel Officer?

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  • Written By: Jill Gonzalez
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 30 April 2020
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In the field of human resources, a personnel officer is primarily responsible for hiring, firing, and interviewing employees, among other human resources functions. To become a personnel officer, most candidates will need to possess a bachelor's degree in human resources, business, or marketing. Some positions, however, will only require an associate's degree. In some cases, employers may even be willing to interview candidates who have a combination of education and experience. This can be very beneficial for people who do not have a bachelor's degree, but who do have several years of practical work experience.

To become a personnel officer, it is important to have some experience recruiting job candidates, as this is generally the primary focus of the job. Recruiting experience can be gained through work for the military, employment agencies, and a variety of different human resources positions. Candidates who have experience as a human resources assistant, specialist, or generalist typically have an excellent chance of acquiring a position as a personnel officer, once they have a few years of experience.

People who want to become a personnel officer need to have an aptitude for dealing with many different types of people. The ability to persuasively talk and actively listen to others is generally a very critical quality for personnel officers to possess. Candidates who are not adept at tactfully dealing with other people are usually not very successful in this particular career field.

For the most part, people who want to become a personnel officer need to be familiar with human resources policies and procedures. In some positions, these individuals may be responsible for creating, changing, or updating the policies or procedures of the company for which they work. They may also be asked to participate in safety training, orientation for new employees, or benefits administration. The variety of tasks that personnel officers are asked to complete largely depends on the size of their employer. As a general rule, big companies tend to have a greater number of human resources personnel, while small companies are more likely to employ fewer people, who are responsible for carrying a larger amount of the workload.

Anyone who wants to become a personnel officer should be prepared to stay informed and current on local, state, and federal laws pertaining to employee issues and regulations. Often, people who hold these positions are asked to complete training classes once or twice a year to help them remain up to date on legislation that is applicable to the companies they work for. These classes may be referred to as continuing education, and are usually paid for by employers.


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