How do I Become a Chief HR Officer?

Ken Black

The process to become a chief human resources officer, or HR director, is often a very long and difficult process. At the start, the most basic thing to do is to secure a good course of post-secondary education in the human resources field. Then, finding a job where you can hone and further develop those skills will help as you attempt to move up the corporate ladder. In seeking this type of position, career and education are both keys in ultimately being successful in your search.

A great deal of patience is required to become a chief HR officer.
A great deal of patience is required to become a chief HR officer.

Many colleges offer suitable course work for those seeking to become a chief HR officer, or any other type of position in human resources. These courses will teach the basics of employment law, recruitment, business management, and public relations. All of these areas are very important, if you are serious about human resources as a career field. At the very least, you should leave college with a Bachelor's Degree, though many also continue on for their Master's, if a top executive position is their ultimate desire

Once you have found a job, you should then familiarize yourself with as much as you possibly can with human resources. In particular, in order to become a chief HR officer, you will need to thoroughly understand issues such as outsourcing, downsizing, employee management, and business law. Depending on the size of the company, you may be offered the opportunity to specialize in one or more of these areas, but try not to become too narrowly focused, or you may not be seen as having the qualifications needed for a more general managerial role.

To combat that sense of having a limited experience in areas other than your specialization, try to move around in your roles whenever possible. This not only challenges you in your career, which ultimately could make it more rewarding, it also provides your employer with a sense of how broad your base of knowledge is. If the desire to become a chief HR officer is your ultimate goal, having multiple areas of specialization can only help.

The level of competition to become a chief HR officer could be very intense. Very few candidates are chosen the first time they interview. Therefore, understand that the process you undertake to become a chief HR officer is going to require a great deal of patience. If you have taken the time to develop your skills properly, you should eventually get your opportunity. Most HR officers are good at interviewing because they do it themselves when hiring, but for those who are not, brushing up on interviewing skills may help.

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