Jobs in HR – Little-Known Factors That Could Affect Your Next HR Job

​If you’re feeling you CAN'T win BIG in your current role, either RESOLVE to step up your performance TODAY or move into a new HR role elsewhere. NOT TOMORROW. NOW.

Alan Collins
Writer, Blogger

Do you want to discover how to make your HR job Hunting more effective? Do you want to know the 5 ways in making your resume stand out from the rest and speak blatantly about you?

While looking out for jobs in the HR Department, one of the biggest advantages you get is that you can apply for an HR job in ANY sector. Be it in Manufacturing, IT, Financial institutions, FMCG, Service industry or even as a matter of fact Startups, unlike other roles (marketing, operations) that are kind of stereotyped in nature, you can join the HR Function in any sector irrespective of the industry you are currently working in.

Amazing, isn't it?

You can earn some brownie points at the interview table by sharing your knowledge of the industry you're currently working in. However, the final hiring decision will not be solely judged by your sector specific knowledge but primarily on account of how well you understand the business and display your people management skills and competencies in the interview.

An exposure in multiple sectors, adds credibility and diverse experience in your HR role and portfolio.

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But the secret is that even if there are so many jobs in the HR space, the vast majority of jobs in human resources are NEVER ADVERTISED and are either closed internally or through a reference.


Surprised. Even I was when I came to know about it.


Apart from hiring directly from premier MBA colleges, most of the HR managers prefer closing their HR positions either internally or through referencing from reliable sources. As mentioned, only a few jobs (around 30%) are floated in the market as most of the Hiring Managers are cautious while recruiting in the HR function. They want to be 100% sure that the person they are hiring has a strong ethical background and possesses good people management skills. Hence, even by chance you look at so many published HR jobs on various portals, only a few of them are closed from outside.


In this post (a part of our getting jobs in HR series) I’m going to share how using these simple yet effective techniques can help you win BIG and land up getting your next job in the HR function. Whether you’re just starting your career or you’re performing a senior or middle level role in HR, the techniques that I will share in these short series of blog posts will definitely go a long way helping you in future.


So without wasting more time, let’s quickly dive in.


My Story...


Let me share my own job hunting story with you. I still remember the frustration when I was out of college in 2006. My friends who passed out with me were too finding it hard to get a decent job. It was kind of knocking each and every door and forget about letting you in, nobody even wanted to listen to you. When I look back at my those good old days, I learnt and realised a fact that finding a decent start in the HR space was struggling then as a fresher and even now when you have gained a fair amount of exposure in the HR vertical.


What do you think? Do you feel that it is challenging to get a job in HR in any decent company? Please comment. I want to know your views.


Job Hunting - Modus Operandi

How do you normally approach the process?

  • You search and apply to jobs matching your expertise on LinkedIn or other job boards. You visit the career section of other organizations and submit your resume for a relevant role.
  • You directly contact companies or recruiters if they have any job opportunity for you

You repeat the process until you finally get a job or you are totally exhausted.



After putting so much of efforts and time, are you really sure that the job offer will be exactly what you were looking for? What is the kind of career you are looking to make in the HR vertical? Are you looking for government jobs in HR or are you open for corporate assignments as well? Do let me know your preferences in the comments section at the end of this post.


For this post, I will be touching upon important aspects of resume writing and making it stand out from the rest.


The Shocking Truth about Resume Writing


I understand it takes time and efforts to update your resume and it takes a hell lot of time if you're doing it for the very FIRST time. It becomes even more demotivating that after spending hours on perfecting your resume you still don’t know where to start. Randomly you post your resume on various job portals and then just wait for God (some recruiter) to call you. Also, recruiters who call you often don’t understand your work profile or the oppurtunity they want to offer, doesn’t make you feel excited. You connect with various people (online as well as offline) and then you don’t hear back from them.


Depressed? You’re not alone in this world.


Most of us follow the above listed methodology and few of us are successful in getting the right job.


So, what does this mean to you as a job seeker.


Are there no jobs in the HR function?


Is the hiring for HR jobs in the industry been frozen?


Are people in the HR role, not moving or changing companies?


Share your thoughts by commenting on what can be the possible reasons for such a scenario in the industry. Let me hear your problems.


While the companies are expanding globally and huge investments are been made, managing people is one of the top most priority for any CEO. Hence, to manage his people effectively, all CEOs are looking for good HR thought leaders and practitioners for taking care of their workforce.


But then why are these HR jobs not visible to everyone? Are all the companies closing their HR jobs internally, which I believe is not possible. 



So where are all these jobs going and how are companies recruiting HR people when they are not advertising their positions in the market.


How to take charge of your job hunting Process?


My Approach...


I took a different approach in addressing this concern. Back in 2006, I started my HR career in a startup taking care of business development and recruitment for them. Even though I was doing fairly well with them, I was always longing to be on the other side of the table. In my initial days, I changed jobs frequently which made me look like a "job hopper" but my focus and intentions were clear. To work in the core HR department in a corporate. I finally got a break in HR in 2008 and where I am today is all on account of focussed and dedicated efforts in the RIGHT direction.


So, what all things we should do so as to find our dream job in the HR domain? Stay tuned as in my subsequent posts, I will be revealing more techniques on this subject. 

But for now, let's work and get our basics right.  


Master these 5 techniques to create a killer resume for your next job in the HR Function


1. A single copy of your resume would not cater to address all the Job requirements in the HR function.

Applying to all HR jobs with the same uncustomized resume is a total waste of time.

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For example, my current role is of an HR generalist or an HR Business Partner. If tomorrow I am looking for a Talent Acquisition role, I may customize my resume to highlight areas where I have significantly contributed in recruitment and hiring. If another day I am applying for a talent management role, I may not send the same copy which I made for my TA role.

Sounds logical? 

If you are aware of the role, try and present your credentials in a way that your resume is in line with the requirements mentioned in the job description

Note: A single solution will not be applicable to solving multiple problems.


2. Impress your recruiter by giving him what he wants


According to a research, recruiters hardly spend 30 seconds while going through resumes. To get their attention in these 30 seconds of time frame, you need to provide meaty information that quickly gets their attention. By making customizations I am not telling you to fake on anything. Its all about placing the most relevant information at the right place thereby helping or enabling the recruiter to quickly make decision as to whether or not to shortlist this resume for the next level.


Always consider your resume a mere knock on the door. Whether you will be invited inside totally depends on how good you are at creating a GREAT first impression.


3. Craft your resume for your next HR job in such a way that it portrays you as a solution provider.


Most of the companies today has what we call as “Job Descriptions”. Before applying to any job, read the JD carefully and then think and analyze as to what typical problems will be faced by an HR manager in such a role. Whether the JD is related to recruitment or training or any other role, the JD will help you to visualize as to what probable problems the company is facing and how you can be their LIFE SAVER.


The reality is no one is interested in listening to what you did way back when. They want to hear everything that you can do to help them TODAY. Right here. Right now.


People are looking for problem solvers and if you can’t articulate or present yourself as to how you can contribute in enhancing retention, improving revenues, cutting down on costs and making the company competitive, it would be better for you to sit and relax at home.


4. Avoid the biggest turn offs in resume writing 


Laszlo Bock, Head of people operations at Google shares the ways to correct the biggest mistakes he sees on resume made by people.

Laszlo Bock Head People Operations, Google

I have seen A LOT of resumes. Some are brilliant, most are just ok, many are disasters. The toughest part is that for 15 years, I've continued to see the same mistakes made again and again by candidates, any one of which can eliminate them from consideration for a job. What's most depressing is that I can tell from the resumes that many of these are good, even great, people. But in a fiercely competitive labor market, hiring managers don't need to compromise on quality. All it takes is one small mistake and a manager will reject an otherwise interesting candidate.


In his intriguing post here on Linkedin, he shares how to avoid common mistakes in resume like typo, length, formatting and the most important about lying.  Continuing on the similar lines, he wrote his second post in which he addressed key questions that were raised by readers in his first post. Read both his posts to get hands on advice from the People Manager of the company which is considered to be the 'World's Best Places to Work'

5. Try and quantify your achievements so that it can be measured


In continuation to his last post, Laszlo Bock shares his personal formula for writing winning resumes here. He suggests a simple formula in making your accomplishments stand out. Present each of your achievements as:

Accomplished [X] as measured by [Y] by doing [Z]

Makes sense? Definitely when it comes straight from the horse’s mouth.

Start mentioning your achievements with an active verb, numerically measuring it, giving it a baseline for comparison and detail out what you did to achieve your goal. Check out his post and learn a more logical way of presenting information in your resume.


So, just to summarize and conclude on what we've discussed in this post:-

1

Make Your HR Job Hunting process effective by:

a) Understanding the job market and why these jobs are not advertised online

b) Finding a job in HR is a systematic process

c) You need to have a focussed approach while applying for HR jobs

2

Make your resume stand out from the rest so that it gets recruiter's attention

a) One size doesn't fit all - customize your resume as per the desired role and DO NOT blast the same copy to all the recruiters.

b) How to showcase yourself as “Captain America” and that you will be the best bet for any hiring manager.

What was your most effective job hunting strategy?

What I've shared above is my experience on how to get jobs in the HR department. I believe I’m still on a learning journey on this topic and would love to hear what you’ve learnt on this topic. Feel free to share your views with an example of what you’ve done with a link and share your lessons in comments below so that we all can improve on our mission to get jobs in the HR department.






Quitting could BOOST your Salary

Finding a new job may be the only way to get a big pay raise, according to a new research. The study also revealed companies with held employees’ promotion in favour of someone from outside the organisation – who often gets paid more. But it turns out that external hires don’t do nearly as good a job as people who are promoted from within.It indicated that companies might be better off hiring or promoting from within, a magazine reported.
Boost your salary
“Companies should understand that it can often be harder than it seems to bring in people who look good on paper,” said Matthew Bidwell, management professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and author of the study. “In addition, there is a suspicion that ‘the grass is always greener’ attitude plays a role in some companies’ desire to hire from the outside. Managers see a great CV and get excited about playing ‘Let’s Make a Deal,’ even when it’s hard to know what weaknesses the external hires bring with them,” he stated.

Bidwell found that hiring from the outside has two major drawbacks. Chief among them is that it generally takes about two years for new hires to adjust to new responsibilities within an organisation. Additionally, hiring managers reported that they typically pay these hires more, between 18 and 20% more, to lure them away from their current position. However, those who made it past the first two years were promoted more quickly than internal candidates. Even if external hires are qualified for the job, Bidwell noted that success is not guaranteed.

“This is not a free lunch for the external hires. There is a much greater risk of being let go during those first few years, mainly because they may not develop the necessary skills and thus will not perform as well as expected. Then, too, they might decide to leave voluntarily,” Bidwell said.
While being passed over for a position within an organisation for a person from outside the organisation may frustrate employees, Bidwell does not recommend quitting as a move to improve your situation. According to Bidwell, that is nothing more than a way to show disloyalty toward your organisation and potentially be fired. “If you like where you are, stay there,” Bidwell said.

“You think you can go to another job and perform well, but it takes a long time to build up to the same effectiveness that you had in your previous organisation. While the pay may be less, your performance is better, and there is more security,” he added.
Any inputs???

Top 15 Salary Negotiation Tips

Irrespective of whether you are a novice or a seasoned pro, whether you love the art of salary negotiation or dread it, the truth is – you need to know salary negotiation tactics and how to avoid disaster to obtain the offer you deserve and that coveted job. From the moment you make initial contact with any company or organization you wish to work with, you are in negotiation. You may not be discussing money openly, but you are making a permanent imprint on the minds of the hiring authorities. Throughout your job search you need to seriously consider several questions about your financial value and future income. What, for example, are you worth? How much should you be paid for your work. How can you best demonstrate your value to an employer?

HR Manager2

Salary negotiation is something at which HR Managers managers are usually a lot more proficient than the people they hire are. Here are my Top 15 Salary Negotiation Tips which will help you to bargain for a better deal.

1. Never discuss on the salary part until there is an offer on the table. You are in the strongest negotiating position as soon as the offer is made. Delay discussing salary until you’ve been offered the position.

2. Know your value. You must know how you can contribute to the organization. Establish this in the mind of the HR and hiring manager. Make a list of what you have to offer. Know what you have to offer the future employer. Make a list of your skills, abilities, talents, and knowledge. Be prepared to show your employer what capability you bring to their company. Make sure you have some firm basis for added compensation, i.e., skills, abilities, and value to the company.

3. Prepare well. If you are ready and well prepared, you’ll be confident and poised for success. Maximize on your past experience. Understand what you have achieved. Bring your past experiences to the table as a tool when negotiating for your salary.

4. Know your market. Prior to going into employment negotiations, you must know the average salary paid for similar positions with other organizations in your geographical area. Understand your geographical area strengths and weaknesses. Salary ranges vary dramatically across the nation and even from rural to urban areas.

5. If possible try to get the salary range that the company you’re interviewing with will pay or what former employees were earning.

6. Define your personal needs and requirements before going into negotiations.

7. Also keep in mind the fringes and perks, such as Incentive plans, Leave Policies, health benefits, pension plans, and so on as the “total” salary package. How badly does this job need to be filled? Find out what you are worth to the employer and how badly (or not) they need to fill this position with a qualified candidate. This gives you more negotiating power.

8. Salary negotiations must be win-win negotiations. If they’re not, everybody loses in the end.

9. Be Flexible; don’t get hung up on trivial issues, and always seek compromise when possible. Anticipate objections and prepare effective answers to these objections.

10. Don’t be afraid to negotiate out of fear of losing the offer. Most employers expect you to negotiate as long as you negotiate in a fair and reasonable manner. Always negotiate in a way that reflects your personality, character, and work ethic. Remain within your comfort zone.

11. Never lose control. Remain enthusiastic and upbeat even if the negotiations get a little hot. This might be your first test under fire. Play hardball only if you’re willing to walk away from, or lose, the deal.

12. Be sure to get the offer and final agreement in writing. You should feel comfortable asking the employer for 24 to 48 hours to think about the deal if you need time to think it over.

13. Never link salary to personal needs or problems. Compensation should always be linked to your value.

14. Listen carefully and pay close attention. Your goals will most likely be different from the goals of the employer. Try to understand the employer’s point of view. Then plan a strategy to meet both the employer’s concerns and your needs. For instance, the firm’s main focus might be “base salary.” Yours might be “total earning potential.” So a win-win solution might be to negotiate a lower base salary but a higher commission or bonus structure.

15. Understand your leverage. Know if you are in a position of strength or weakness and negotiate intelligently based on your personal situation. End salary negotiations on a friendly and cheerful note.

What Are the Advantages of Doing MBA?

The importance of MBA degree lies in the fact that it is the confirmed ticket to the corporate world. Many more aspirants are taking new and advanced courses in MBA to accelerate their career growth so that they inculcate the much needed management expertise and business acumen. A mere mention of an MBA rank adds value and weight to one’s resume which gives an edge over others who are not. 
 
Going back to the old days having a graduate degree was considered a big achievement in itself. This mindset dominated for long however talking in the current context and tough market conditions, only one degree isn’t enough to get your dream job. An MBA degree seems to be an apt solution to make your resume stand out from the rest of the crowd and add wings to your career growth. Attachment of an MBA tag or program  today have a value proposition understood by everyone. The education industry has undergone a major transformation for the number of oppurtunities it offers to students allowing each one to pursue the career of their choice which is close to their respective aptitudes and interests. The number of people applying for MBA programs comprising of national as well as MBA international programs are from two to one year mba programs. The employers look for differentiators when they are look out for talent. And possessing an additional degree is a definite differentiator. Secondly, given the unprecedented decline in availability of jobs for fresh candidates due to the global slowdown, students see this time as a great opportunity to hone their existing skills or even add a few. And having an MBA degree in addition to your regular ones is certainly the way forward.
 
Does an MBA Degree ensures a job especially in the current economic upheaval?
 
Placements for MBA graduates from premier institutes continue to be quite attractive even now. However on account of the downturn, companies are forced to tighten their budget and the number of available jobs continues to shrink with firms starting to get more selective in terms of where they hire from. The MBA tag alone does not bring with it any guarantee of a job; where one gets the degree from is also a factor that influences the decision making process of the employer.
   
An MBA degree ensures the employer of the candidate of having a basic level of competency. The slowdown has affected all job opportunities at different levels, and it has affected students with MBA degrees too. However, the impact is not as high, as by and large, more MBA graduates do have a job offer as compared to a student with a bachelors’ degree alone.  
  
However, is the slowdown a good time to quit the job and go in for higher education?
Going for a higher education anytime is a wise decision, irrespective of the ongoing slowdown and is a practical approach that will bear positive results in the future. When the economy is booming, people who are already working may be too busy to think about getting a degree or going to a technical school, but when the economy is slow and people are re-evaluating their priorities, education, especially in terms of an extra degree does hold a lot of significance and becomes a consideration. However, one needs to evaluate his/her priorities, for example, family life, age, financial status, etc. to take this kind of a decision.
 
Why the upsurge in enrollments? 
For starters, a tougher job market forces people to strengthen their resume. Slower growth within the ranks in their organisations during a downturn also means that there is a lower perceived opportunity cost of taking two years off to pursue an MBA. As the job market becomes tougher, an MBA allows one to differentiate themselves from the crowd. It always helps to add to one’s skills, irrespective of what career stage s/he is in. However, skills can be added while working on-the-job, or through a formal, full-time program. If given a choice, it makes more sense to earn-while-you-learn.
 
While an MBA is certainly a differentiator in today’s job market, a degree alone does not ensure accelerated career growth. Some of the ingredients for a successful career continue to remain constant: a go-getter attitude, excellent team management skills, and most importantly, one’s ability to innovate. Today’s job market demands professionals with abilities beyond just the knowledge of the subject and an MBA degree is certainly the way forward. Distance Learning MBA Programs from reputed institutes are also gaining importance. There are also part time classroom courses available in case one is reluctant to leave his current job status to pursue higher studies.

Why is an MBA degree important?
 
MBA as an education – makes one understand the language of business. 

MBA as a degree – makes one equip with enough analytical skills to be able to take appropriate decisions. 

MBA as a career decision – fosters excellent career growth opportunities.

 Ideally, the benefits that one can derive from an MBA education is much higher when the student has prior work experience.

How to Prepare For The Job Hunting Process?

This question is frequently been asked by many people who are looking to pursue a career change. I would say that there is no scientific approach wherein you follow steps from 1-2-3 and bang you have the perfect job in your hands. Job search is like a recipe wherein the ‘desired job’ is the final product while your positioning/uniqueness, process, diligence, firmness, presentation & performance, overall personality and pricing act as vital ingredients for the recipe. You been the chef can only cook or prepare a good recipe if you execute the search skillfully and use the above ingredients appropriately. Let’s check how to effectively use the above ingredients in a savvy job-search so that the odds work in your favor.

job_hunting process

Do a Self Assessment:

Identify the attributes which differentiate you from others. As competition grows day by day, it’s essential for an individual to recognize what makes him unique and what are things he needs to work on. Today’s employer wants to know the capabilities and drawbacks of the aspirant so that he can deduce whether or not to hire him for his organization.

A Solution To A Problem:

Every customer, even you, when going out in the market are looking for solutions to their problems. You would immediately pick on something that satisfies your current requirement. The same principle is applied to Job Hunting. The prospective employers are assessing their needs and then figuring out which applicant will address them best from the others. And the better you match, higher is your chance of getting a call. Also if you can gauge the employer’s needs and then promote your skills against those requirements, your chances of connecting are higher than when you concentrate only on your abilities without the customizing it for the current scenario.

Show Me Your Work:

All said and done on the aspects your resume must portray on the strengths and skills; however nothing is comparable to your actual performance. You must know the art of presentation and how you can prove the employer that you are their Best Man. Show proof of your competencies, deliverables, knowledge and creativity to the prospective employer. Show them a handy proof in terms of a report, newspaper cutting or anything else which clearly demonstrates and depicts your hold on your subject knowledge and ability. You should never leave any opportunity where you can show the employer how you are different and acquires a competitive edge in the market place.

Be Patient:

You must be watchful and focused in your job hunting activity. You efforts must be effective in a way that gives highest return on investment. You should be socially active in building your links and communities online so that you can seek advice, introduce and get information from the contacts. Never ask for a job upfront, rather try to get a colleague to help you in this by sending a recommendation which carries a lot of weight and your chances of getting hired also increases. I can be a helpful resource as I myself got through my current position through a friend in the same organization. It really works as it has a backing and ‘OK tested’ kind of proof from the person who has already built credibility in the organization.

Overall Personality and Body Language:

Companies today are looking to hire smart people. They not only want credentials but also a person with overall good personality. The way you move, talk, approach a prospective employer etc helps in gaining credibility in your selection, so focus on generating a dialogue, sharing experiences and thoughts and responding to the employer query appropriately.

How Much Will I Get Paid?

Compensation is the guideline to where you fit in an organization, how much responsibility/authority you merit. The company has an assigned budget for a particular position and seldom have they gone beyond the limit. In case you prove your self exceptionally good in the interview might force the hiring manager to revisit his budget, however such cases are rare these days. Don’t raise the issue of salary during the interview. Just assure them that if on mutual agreement, you’re a good fit, the financial details can be worked out. And when you talk of salary, frame it in terms of a range, not a single figure. But try to impress upon the employer that you can recoup the expense of bringing you on board through generating business and increasing sales.

Developing trust is very very essential at this point of the job hunt. After a successful connection with a prospective employer, you can develop a trust that can lead to discussions about an employment. Getting to this point requires correct marketing of yourself. And to accomplish this, follow these steps, though putting a distinguishable, unique value proposal is the key to your success. But even after that it takes time for things to click and for employers’ decision to commit to you. So keep up this campaign until you sign the dotted line. I hope that the strategies above will generate better and faster job leads than any other search methods. To your successful job hunt……..cheeers!!!