5 Tips for New HR Professionals

5 Tips for New HR Professionals
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Human Resources
5 Tips for New HR Professionals
From Bob Calamai, Dept. of Leadership and Human Capital Management, NYU - SCPS
As the business world has become ever-more connected and fastpaced, identifying efficiencies is vital to success for any company,
across multiple industries. With increasing interconnectedness, the
most important capital for the majority of companies in the
Information Age is human capital.
The new generation of human resources professionals will need to
evaluate their peers and colleagues to identify the most efficient way
to deploy their knowledge and abilities in service of their
organization’s goals. On top of that, demand for human resources
professionals is expected to grow about 22% by 2018, according to
the Bureau for Labor Statistics.
The following five tips are for new professionals entering this growing
New HR Staff Can Use These
Tips to Grow Their Careers
field who want to build their foundations in the human resources
Image Copyright Justin
profession. They also serve as reminders for seasoned professionals at Horrocks
any point in your career.
Deepen your business knowledge to enhance your contribution to your business partners in these seriously challenging times.
The efficient deployment of a company’s human capital cannot be achieved unless you understand the business that your company is in, and how your
specific skillset can help to identify the best way for your company to progress in their business goals.
In a technology organization, for example, this means taking the time to meet with the development team to learn how they create and sustain new
products, as well as the sales team to get a sense of how they organize their operations. The more knowledge you have of how your organization’s
managers work, the better you can assess ways to provide training programs that enhance their weaknesses or identify the talent that would best support
their initiatives and management style. Lastly, I’ve discovered in most situations, our line executives are willing to invest time with their HR leaders helping
them learn the business.
More About Strategic HR
• How to Do Human Resources Strategic Planning1
• Develop a Human Resources Department Business Plan2
• Create Value With Human Resource Measures3
Expand your network with social media and use it
As the saying goes, success is not about what you know, but who you know. For the human resources professional, this is even more apt; your professional
network will give you a leg up on identifying the best talent and training staff for your organization. Social networking platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn
have become indispensable tools for growing a person’s professional network, enabling professionals in many industries to organize, grow and maintain
contact with their networks much more easily.
In a way, using social media for professional growth echoes the days when a young apprentice would travel to a new city with a letter of reference – except
social media provides reference networks on a larger scale - enabling people to approach their professional contacts through platforms like LinkedIn to gain
introduction to influential people in their industries.
Of course, all of this is useless if you just place a profile online and don’t actually use the connectivity of your preferred networks. While the constant flow of
new information available every second on social networking platforms can be overwhelming, even a small amount of time spent reviewing contact news and
updates - say 10 minutes a day at least - can reap incredible benefits.
More About Using Social Networks
• Use Social Media for Recruiting, Screening, and Background Checks?4
• Manage Social Media Job References5
• Use LinkedIn for Recruiting Employees6
• How to Develop a Social Media Policy7
Mine your network for thought leadership and learn
From a knowledge perspective, who you know can also help you expand what you know. Groups on Facebook and LinkedIn can serve as supplements to
the traditional lunchtime professional seminar, in terms of both meeting new contacts and spreading information. Well-curated groups on both networks
enable a constant, fluid exchange of professional information. This will also help you quickly synthesize any trends or broader issues as you get access to
more people and information.
Just as you’d go to professional lunches with colleagues to identify problem spots and share experiences, (and they may be pitifully or productive in your
locale) discussion groups on social networks can provide an active forum to table real-world problems, and help you discover methods, solutions or
resources you might not otherwise find.
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5 Tips for New HR Professionals
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Be BOTH a value contributor and a game changer
Effective use of your mental capital and networking ability can be extremely useful to a human resources professional. The ability to discover the right talent
and address your company’s specific business problems are what you are judged on.
But there’s a difference between being an order-taker and a creative influencer on your company. In an episode of the television series Mad Men, the
reason for an account executive’s promotion8 is explained to a rival as, “the rare gift of making [clients] feel as if they haven't any needs.”
That same gift is true of the most successful human resources professionals. They anticipate the needs of their organizations’ department heads, ensure that
they are cared for, and provide creative solutions before there are any problems that need to be addressed. You will be more valued, and your job will be
more interesting!
GROW your thinking, your skills and your leadership like there is no tomorrow
Business around the world has changed dramatically over the 30 years that I’ve been in the human resources profession. And it won’t ever stop changing.
Those who treat their careers, in any function, but especially human resources, as a constant educational course, will be the ones who see the changes well
before they occur. They will be able to find the early adopters and influencers in their organization’s field and will be invaluable educators for their existing
As you approach a field where demand is on the rise, human resources professionals will need to distinguish themselves as true strategic partners for their
current or prospective employers. By treating their function as an ever-evolving area of study and taking advantage of the reach of social networking to
improve their professional network, new human resources pros can set themselves down the path of distinction.
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Links in this article:
1. http://humanresources.about.com/od/humanresourcesstrategic/tp/human-resources-strategic-planning.htm
2. http://humanresources.about.com/od/humanresourcesstrategic/qt/Human-Resources-Department-Business-Plan.htm
8. http://humanresources.about.com/od/glossaryp/g/promotion.htm
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