6 reasons why people love working in HR in summary:
- Despite the HR profession battling a negative image, it’s a growing profession that can provide an enjoyable and rewarding career path.
- Key reasons why people love working in HR include the interactions they have with people within their organisations, the variety of their work and the opportunity to positively influence the careers of others.
- In addition, HR professionals also love how they get the chance to build and nurture company cultures, solve complex problems and constantly learn new skills whilst on the job.
With a remit that touches virtually every area of a business, one department has a role like no other – the HR department.
Often regarded as the backbone of any successful business, HR professionals are the architects of workplace culture, employee wellbeing and organisational growth. But, contrary to popular belief, working in HR is more than just managing paperwork and policies; it’s an incredibly dynamic and rewarding profession that appeals to individuals for many reasons.
However, despite the vital role it plays, HR does have something of a bad rap – especially to those outside of the profession. For example, when we asked the HR Ninjas – a thriving community of over 30,000 HR professionals – if they thought HR had an image problem, an overwhelming 83% said yes, it did!
When we asked what they thought were the driving forces behind this negative reputation, the most popular cause (highlighted by 45% of respondents) was the fact that, for many, employees only really interact with HR when something’s gone wrong. Respondents also felt that HR were perceived as overly bureaucratic and misunderstood by other employees.
On the face of it, then, it seems like working in HR wouldn’t be the first port of call for a rewarding career. However, that assumption could not be further from the truth…
The true appeal of working in HR
Despite the bad rap, HR is one of the fastest growing professions in the UK. According to the CIPD, the HR profession has grown by 42% in the past decade (from 2011 and 2021) compared to just 10% for the general workforce – so it’s a profession people want to be part of, and one that’s clearly in demand.
So, why do people love working in HR? Let’s look at some of the key reasons provided by the HR Ninjas community…
1. Working in HR means you get to interact with and engage people
Despite a bad rap stemming from less-than-favourable interactions with employees, many people professionals genuinely enjoy their roles because they get to work closely with those very same individuals. This was confirmed by our poll with the HR Ninjas community, where 38% of respondents said interacting with people was the best part about working in HR.
HR practitioners have a unique opportunity to impact the lives of employees in various ways, from recruitment and onboarding to career development and even conflict resolution. That interpersonal dimension of HR work can be deeply rewarding and one that is difficult to replicate in other professions.
If you’re a people person who loves engaging, helping and interacting with people, HR can certainly provide a fulfilling career.
“There is so much positivity HR can bring to a business simply by being present and just pulling up a chair and talking to staff and managers…” – Felicity, HR Manager
2. HR professionals love the variety of their work
It might sound a little stereotypical, but it’s often the case that no two-days are the same when working in HR.
Each morning will often bring forth a new set of inquiries, employee interactions, and organisational demands – all requiring a unique blend of problem-solving skills, empathy, and strategic thinking to complete. From conducting interviews to managing employee recognition programmes, HR professionals often must turn their hands to a huge variety of undertakings!
HR can also be incredibly unpredictable. External factors can influence operations and require HR teams to pivot their strategies at a moment’s notice (take the COVID-19 pandemic, for example). Plus, employee concerns, aspirations, and the constant pursuit of excellence keep HR professionals engaged; challenging them to be agile problem solvers and proactive advocates for both individual employees and the collective success of the company.
3. HR professionals can positively influence people’s careers and lives
Along with getting to interact with people regularly, HR professionals also revel in the chance to positively influence people’s careers and lives. This is because they’re instrumental in all aspects of the employee lifecycle: including talent acquisition, employee development, and fostering positive workplace cultures.
HR professionals are the ones who shape company policies, promote diversity and inclusion, and provide vital support to a workforce. As a result, the average HR department plays a key role in enhancing professional growth, job satisfaction, and overall personal wellbeing – now where else can you have such influence?!
“I can go into our HR software platform and within minutes, I can get a greater understanding of what’s going on with a person. This means I can have better conversations with them and can help them create better solutions: helping them feel better about what might be going on and how we can help.” – Jamie McKeenan, HR Manager. Read the full case study.
4. Working in HR requires plenty of problem solving
When you realise the breadth of what HR really do on a daily basis, it can be easy to understand why they’re widely considered behind the scenes heroes. That’s because HR professionals are the go-to troubleshooters within a workplace dealing with virtually everything workforce-related: from hiring hiccups to office dramas.
That variety of work we mentioned earlier on allows HR professionals to be very creative in how they approach situations, and this is another part of the job which is very appealing. Whether it’s untangling a messy conflict or figuring out the perfect talent retention strategy, they’ve got their problem-solving capes on, making sure everyone’s work life is as smooth as possible.
5. HR is central to building positive company cultures
HR teams are the architects of company cultures. And, as our own research into them discovered, a positive company culture is something many workers cherish – it isn’t just marketing spiel.
HR teams love developing company cultures because it’s not just about developing policies and procedures; it’s about creating an atmosphere where people want to roll out of bed and dive into the workday, and somewhere they want to stay for the long term.
HR professionals enjoy building a culture that boosts morale, encourages collaboration, and makes a workplace feel more like a second home (minus the beds, of course). It’s all about turning the workplace into a spot where everyone wants to do their best and maybe even have a bit of fun along the way!
6. HR is a place you can constantly learn new things
Lastly, the variety of HR’s role means people professionals always feel challenged and regularly have the chance to learn new things. In fact, working in HR offers continual learning and professional challenges virtually every day! This is because the dynamic nature of HR, characterised by the need to keep up-to-date with evolving employment laws and navigate diverse workplace scenarios, presents an ongoing intellectual journey.
The profession thrives on the intricacies of problem-solving, transforming each challenge into an opportunity for growth and contributing to an atmosphere where adaptability and continuous development are paramount.
Paul Bauer is the Head of Content at Cezanne HR. He’s worked within the employee benefits, engagement and HR sectors for over four years, and has won multiple industry awards for his work.