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Should I have a career as a HR manager?

BY: Brigitte Schwartz|27 February 2019
BLOG| My future career

As an emerging leader, you need to know how to manage people. A huge part of this is how to attract and retain talent. In the context of Industry 4.0 and all the uncertainty of the digital age, now, more than ever, we need to change our approach to HR with the help of the right courses.


What measures can we put in place now to ensure that we have a succession pipeline of high-performers with scarce skill sets later? How do we manage “temporary” talent – aka, the non-permanent freelancers who join the team on a contractual basis? What’s the role of AI and automation in streamlining HR efficiencies? How can we consciously be inclusive by eliminating unconscious bias from hiring decisions? What’s the fairest way to track and reward performance? How do we make the workplace more flexible and accommodating? How can we make teams more diverse?


These are all questions for HR professionals to consider – especially those in management roles, like an HR Manager, Chief Human Resources Manager, or Chief of Staff. If you’re fascinated by human capital in a business, these are all roles you could aspire to. Let’s explore what that could mean professionally.


What does a HR manager earn?

According to PayScale, the average salary for an HR Manager is currently R345 125 p.a.


What personality traits do I need to be a HR manager?

Good intuition and a high capacity for empathy and emotional intelligence, plus strong organisational and analytical capabilities. You need to be an excellent communicator with a genuine interest in people and the promotion of their wellbeing. You need to be very diplomatic, an excellent negotiator, and scrupulously ethical and fair.


Industries in need of a HR manager:

Most businesses – big or small – have the potential to benefit from having an in-house or outsourced HR team on hand. For many companies, it’s a business imperative to have a strong HR department in order to attract, retain, and groom talent for key roles, now and in the future.


Bodies or associations HR professionals should belong to:

If you are considering a career in human resources, then it is worth reading up or even attending some of these industry events, as well as attend courses. These could be excellent places to network and maybe even scope for job possibilities:

The South African Board for the People Profession (SABPP):

The professional body for HR practitioners in SA.

The Human Resources Development Council (HRDC) SA:

A national advisory body intended to increase human resource development to transform SA.

HR Works:

Directory of HR practitioners in SA.


Trends in HR:

Top trends for HR professionals or for anyone interested in people management practices to be cognisant of:


1. Employee engagement becomes more than lip service:

Companies wanting to rank as top employers in order to attract top performers must ensure that their internal culture is an attractive one. This means offering clear growth prospects, regular employee recognition, wellness in the workplace, mentorship, and ongoing upskilling opportunities.


2. Hiring practices will evolve:

Unconscious bias has long been identified as the enemy to fair hiring practices. Going forward, conscious inclusion will be a top trend, with human resource professionals leading the charge in integrating tech, systems, and processes to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity and fair application experience. The way companies find talent will also change, with social media and apps inevitably playing a role.


3. AI meets HR:

Many of the day-to-day mundane, repetitive tasks will be taken over by AI. This means HR managers and their teams will need to get well-versed in AI-powered technologies and software solutions.


4. Set sights on social capital:

Human Resources Today predicts that Organisational Network Analysis (ONA) tools will grow in popularity as companies seek to understand the complex relationships between individuals and teams. For example, who are the people who have the most influence over their colleagues? Who is most at risk of a burnout?


5. Skills, skills, skills:

In the United States, many companies are no longer as interested in an individual’s qualification as they are in his or her scarce skill set. Those who specialise in in-demand, hard-to-find skills are already flourishing in the digital age. Companies are recognising that they’re not prepping their workforce adequately for Industry 4.0 and are placing a serious emphasis on re-skilling and up-skilling staff, plus hiring new talent for key roles. Hence the rise of continuous learning.


Typical jobs in a HR team:

There are so many! A few include Business Advisers, Life Coaches, Management Consultants, Operational Researchers, Recruitment Consultants, Career Advisers, Recruitment Specialists, Training and Development Specialists, and Chief Learning Officers.


Organisations such as Google place huge importance on their people – they need to attract and retain the best talent in the world in order to stay on top. People are a strategic priority and planning around them is their organisation’s priority. As a result, Google is one of the most successful and innovative businesses on the planet. In the past, human resources was considered a non-essential function of an organisation, but now, it has risen in importance and the chief “people” officer sits on the board of many companies around the world.


Human resources is an exciting field which is definitely on the up and up! Contact us to find out about the courses we provide in this field.


SGI Managing Talent and the Workforce 

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