What I know now that I wish I’d Known when I started my CareerGina Yoder
February 1, 2013 — 2,470 views
- You may think that HR is about corporate morale, and advocating for employees. It’s not. HR’s primary responsibility is to minimize the company’s legal liability as an employer. When the business is legally secure, employees are treated fairly. Employees who feel they are treated fairly rarely file lawsuits.
- There are many sides to HR, including recruiting, benefits, wellness, morale, conflict resolution, compensation, metrics, leadership training, organizational development, safety, performance management, policy, legal compliance, internal investigations, recognition, career development are some that come to mind. It’s uncommon to enjoy and excel at all the different facets of HR. It’s OK to specialize. But be familiar with the other subjects, too.
- It’s not always easy to be HR; you get it goin’ up, and you get it goin’ down.
- It’s really hard to maintain confidentiality sometimes.
- It takes a lot of courage to “council” someone higher up the corporate ladder than you are. But you must do your job if the situation arises. And it will, at some point in your HR career.
- You’ll never know all there is to know about HR. You’ll probably never even know most of what there is to know about a single aspect of HR. That’s OK. To be successful in HR, you need only know where to find the information you need, when you need it.
- HR is a field best suited to people who love to learn. Everything about HR is constantly evolving: new laws; court rulings that change old laws; new HR metrics, and new ways to use old metrics; talent pools and recruiting methods that change with the local economy and technology; new company benefit options; complex humans and the issues they expect your help to resolve. Be prepared to “learn on the fly” as new situations present themselves.
- Make sure you always have excellent HR resources at your fingertips (network with other professionals; join HR-specific professional groups on LinkedIn; subscribe to HR newsletters; attend training seminars and conferences; partner with associations such as SHRM, The Employer’s Council, and your company’s Benefit Broker firm) to stay on top of your game.
- Having a great mentor is more valuable than you realize. Find one now. And be one later.
Gina Yoder has been the HR Manager at Access since early 2008. She has over 15 years experience in employment law and human resources. Gina is a longtime SHRM member, learned legal studies at Monterey Pen. Coll. and her HR Cert at the Univ of Utah.