It’s been an interesting couple of years for human resources professionals in the UK, with the pandemic turned the role of HR completely on its head. Over the last few years remote working models have become the new normal, workplace safety and employee engagement has been thrust into the spotlight, and a nationwide return to office movement took place.

Although the last several years have been challenging, the HR function has evolved massively, and this has created amazing opportunities for HR professionals. There are more HR roles available than ever, something we highlighted in our most recent HR Salaries and Skills Guide. Our data shows there were over 70,000 jobs adverts posted over a 3-month period, just within the UK HR sector. 

With the function expanding, and businesses really recognising HR’s value, now is the perfect time for HR professionals to work out exactly what they want and accelerate their careers in 2022. Here are some of our top tips:

Map out your career goals

The first step to excelling in any career is to work out what your long-term career goals are. Once you know that, you can map out exactly what you need to do to get there. Having clear objectives and career goals comes from asking yourself key questions such as:

  • What do you find most fulfilling about your current role?
  • What do you dislike about your current role?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 
  • What type of company do you want to work for? 
  • How much responsibility do you want to take on? Do you want to make a lateral move, or get a promotion
  • Are there any key gaps within your HR knowledge you could work on?

Answering these questions will help you identify the core goals you want to hit in your career, and create a roadmap for how you’re going to get there. For more expert advice on outlining your career goals, download our Job Applicant Toolkit today.

Always stay ahead of the curve

If you want to hit your career goals in 2022, you need to be fully up-to-date with industry trends. One way to do this is by regularly reading industry publications to stay up to date. Publications such as HR News, Personnel Today and People Management are a few good places to start. You could also look at following other HR professionals and leaders on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter.

This is also important if you’re looking for a new role. When businesses are interviewing potential HR candidates, they’re not only checking if your experience matches the day-to-day responsibilities of the role - they’re also checking to see whether you’re passionate about the HR sector and if you’re switched on to wider industry challenges, trends and tools.

Find a mentor

No matter where you are in your professional career, everyone can benefit from having a mentor. Having someone with different experiences and skills to that can help guide you professionally and help you reach your full potential can be invaluable.

Some companies offer internal mentoring schemes, so make sure you ask if this is available to you. If not, set one up yourself! Find someone in the business who you think would make a great mentor and ask if you can set up regular catch ups with them. You should also consider shadowing members of your own, or even external, teams to gain exposure to different roles.

Work on relevant HR skills

To excel in your career, it’s important to know your strengths and weaknesses. If you have gaps in your skillset, figure out what you need to do to work on those areas – that could be signing up to online courses, shadowing someone else in the business or working on extra qualifications.

Here are some of the most in-demand skills businesses are looking for in 2022:

  • Talent acquisition
  • Change management
  • HR systems implementation
  • Mergers and acquisitions activity
  • Organisational effectiveness
  • Performance optimisation
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Corporate social responsibility

Top tip: If you’re looking to make a career move this year, make sure that your CV clearly reflects your HR abilities as well as any experience you have in some of these in-demand skills.

What next?

Now that you’ve worked out where you want to be and what you need to do to get there, the next step is making sure your CV is up to date. Once you’ve done that, submit your CV to us and one of our expert consultants will be in touch if your skillsets match one of the open roles they’re working on.

Here at Michael Page Human Resources, our expert consultants regularly help candidates find great roles where they can work in whatever way they prefer.

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