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How Do I Become an HR Executive?

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  • Written By: Crystal Cook
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 09 May 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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It usually takes several years to become a human resources (HR) executive. A bachelor's degree is required and, in some cases, a master's degree also is expected. Internships can help you gain the work experience you need, and many people begin as entry-level employees and work their up to become an HR executive. You will need excellent communication and administrative skills and the ability to handle high-stress situations as they occur.

When you plan to become an HR executive, you should keep in mind the requirements of your preferred future employer. Some employers require at least a bachelor's degree in human resources, while others will accept a liberal arts degree. The classes you take should focus on human resources, business administration, and social and behavioral sciences. A master's degree in business administration can be an added advantage when seeking to become an HR executive.

An internship is one way to start your career in human resources. While you are working toward a bachelor's degree, you can perform an internship with a company and gain credits toward your degree while also gaining valuable experience. Most internships are unpaid but can lead to a permanent position with the company once you graduate. This is usually entry-level employment but, occasionally, a company will consider the work you did as an intern and reward you with a higher position.

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Many people begin their human resources careers as entry-level employees. This generally means you would be handling the telephones, doing data entry, and completing other administrative tasks. As you gain experience, you will receive more on-the-job training. You could be training to conduct interviews with applicants or in an area such as benefits distribution. You will be supervised during this training, and how you do likely will determine your future role in that or another human resources department.

You may need to perform several functions when you become an HR executive. You will need administrative skills, organizational skills and an understanding of the company's needs. You should have good communication skills and be able to train and develop new employees and perform effective interviews. Setting salary pay grades that are in line with similar companies and the market rate is another responsibility when you become an HR executive. Stressful situations, such as when you have to cut positions, can arise and you will need the skills to handle those situations with diplomacy.

With enough experience and training, you will be able to become an HR executive. If you are working for a large company, this promotion will often put you in charge of a division within the human resources department. This can allow you to specialize in a certain area, such as salary and benefits, and the training you received as an intern can help decide what division you lead. If you are working in a small company, then you likely will be in charge of the entire department.

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