Human resources

Human resources professionals are highly valued in organisations. Careers in this industry influence corporate structure, strategies and policies.

Previously focused mainly on administrative tasks, like recruitment and hiring, managing company benefits programs and managing employee relations, HR careers are now strategically embedded within the business. Due to the growing importance of HR professionals, careers in the field are highly sought after.

Human resource careers comprise of a variety of duties and tasks dealing with the human capital, namely the employees of businesses and organisations. They administer programs, manage issues or complaints, establish company policies and run performance assessments. There are human resource generalists and human resource specialists who provide expertise in training employees, developing and facilitating pension plans and ensuring legal compliance of employees and business practices.

As companies realise the growing importance of recruiting and training the best candidates for positions in their fields, corporate culture and benefits programs become increasingly important. Attracting the most qualified employees can increase business productivity and strategies to give companies a lead over their competitors. Multinational corporations also create an important role for human resource professionals to manage the workforce and supervise employee regulations in various countries. This makes effective human resource professionals vital to the company to ensure the best and most cost-effective employees are on their team.

Human resource positions have a significant impact on an organisations overall success and profits and are represented in management teams. Much of their work is now focused on developing strategic plans as well as functionally managing company talent. Individuals pursuing a career in human resources should obtain a bachelors degree in human resources or business administration. Many human resources professionals start out as human resources assistants or with smaller companies where they can gain experience performing many different roles and tasks. There is room for creativity and innovation in the field to analyse and develop optimal policies and practices.

Related degrees

Related subjects

Professional associations and industry bodies

Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI)

Australian Institute of Management 

Australian Institute of Training and Development 

Career Development Association of Australia 

Career Industry Council of Australia 

Recruitment & Consulting Services Association

Skills and personality

  • Ability to work for long periods of time in an office environment performing administrative tasks and managing and administering programs
  • Analytical skills to evaluate the performance of the company and individual employees as well as company programs and benefits
  • Excellent coordination and scheduling abilities
  • Extremely organised and able to handle large amounts of paperwork.
  • Innovative and analytical to examine company performance and circumstances and develop innovative strategies for improvement
  • Problem solving capabilities working with employee complaints and issues
  • Proficiency in computer information systems and office equipment
  • Research and evaluation skills, creating employee performance assessments and also recruiting potential hires
  • Strong communication skills to work well with management and employees
  • Thorough attention to detail and understanding of required personnel and services