In most cases, the best way to get human resources work experience is to enter into college or graduate programs in fields such as management or human resources, since students often do get opportunities to perform internships. It is also possible to get human resources work experience indirectly in a field that is similar, such as in counseling or regular business management. In all cases, individuals get their first human resources work experience by taking entry level positions, either as interns or assistants and normally must have completed some level of formal academic preparation.
People who work in human resources primarily are responsible for making sure that work environments enable workers to keep positive attitudes and to perform as effectively as possible. It is also common for human resources professionals to promote diversity and respect in the work place and to contribute to recruiting processes by collecting and storing job candidate information and to conduct some interviews. Human resources professionals are also responsible for negotiating salaries and contracts with employees and putting together benefits packages.
When it comes to getting human resources work experience, one of the most common ways is to enter a related degree program. Undergraduate students who major in fields such as human resources management often have opportunities to network with recruiters who are invited on campus to meet promising students. A student who gets a chance to participate in an internship can plan on doing much of the work of an assistant, such as performing data entry tasks, filing papers, and performing basic correspondence. More importantly however, human resources interns have the opportunity to learn firsthand how these kinds of departments are organized, which kinds of functions they perform, and what they can expect their regular days at work to look like.
It is also common for people who are earning degrees in human resources to meet with recruiters who help to place them in jobs after college. In most cases, this kind of human resources work experience is entry level. It is common for new professionals to start by tracking employee data and giving presentations to employees to convey information about benefits, policies, and basic procedural issues. This kind of human resources work experience helps employers to judge the proficiency and dedication of new employees.
Not everyone who works in human resources, however, has formal academic training particularly in this field. For example, it is common for people with backgrounds in fields such as management, counseling, social work, or psychology to go into the human resources field. The reason is that human resource professionals tend to have skills that are similar, in that they must be able to apply problem solving skills to interpersonal issues and calm disgruntled employees.