How do I Become an HR Officer?

Carol Francois
Carol Francois
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone

Many people who enjoy working with people and are good with details want to become an HR officer. The primary role of the human resources (HR) officer is to ensure compliance with human resources policy in all human resource related activities. This includes posting job descriptions, reviewing resumes, completing the initial interview, and orientation for new staff. The most important step for anyone who wants to become an HR officer is to receive training on company policy, human resources software, and any other tools used within this department.

Providing advice and support to department supervisors and managers forms a large part of the HR officer’s work. In a centralized administrative structure, the HR officer is responsible for reviewing forms and updating the human resources system with information. In a decentralized structure, he or she performs an advisory and oversight role, providing reports for management and accounting.

These reports cover total staff costs, including employer costs for benefits, pensions, or government deductions. Summary reports of certain types of transactions are common, as are detailed reports of absence tracking, workplace injuries, discipline issues, and any union grievances. Through a regular review of these reports, the HR officer can inform senior management of trends, issues, and long-range risk.

In order to become an HR officer, most firms require candidates to have completed a post-secondary training program in human resources. These programs are available at both the college and university levels. Additional certification is available from a range of human resource professional associations. Post-secondary career center staff can provide advice on which associations are relevant in your area.

Once you become an HR officer, the primary focus is on the details and working in a deadline-oriented environment. Human resources is closely related to payroll and deadlines and very important in this sector. The human resources officer is usually at the center of a team of related central administrative staff, such as payroll officers, financial analysts and accountants. The ability to work as part of a team, while maintaining a high degree of confidentiality is critical in this role.

Ensuring compliance with company policy, government rules, employment law, and other related contracts is part of the human resource officer’s responsibility. He or she must stay current, reviewing both proposed and approved changes. Out of date policy or inconsistent application of these policies increases the company’s risk of legal challenges and lawsuits.

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      Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone