It is commonly regarded that ‘it’s the people that make a business’. For this reason it is vital to attract the best talented people, retain and motivate them to the best of their ability so as to allow a business to successfully develop. The role of the human resources department (also sometimes referred to as the personnel department) is to manage the employer – employee relationship in order to this goal of delivering performance through people and help drive a business forward.

There are various roles available including HR administrator, HR advisor, HR Officer, HR manage, HR director, business partner, and HR consultant. The tasks that will undertake vary immensely but will for example include day to day people management, hiring and firing of employees, training, payroll, pensions and employee benefits, disciplinary meetings, staff appraisals, organisational development, employment law, reducing staff turnover, cost effective recruitment, Health and safety, maintaining on-going employee relationships. As a rough guide, a HR Officer could expect to earn in the region of £25k, a HR manager approx. £40k and HR Director anywhere from £70k+ (dependent on location, experience and firm size).

The qualities that a HR person should have include being a ‘people person’ who is capable of communicating at all levels and gaining the trust and respect of their colleagues, but also being able to challenge the norm when required. Other qualities are integrity, confidentiality and the ability to motivate colleagues through leading by example.

Qualifications and professional body membership in Human Resources is available through the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

The range of recruiters is far reaching and covers all major industries and sectors. The different roles available will tend to depend upon the size of the business and number of staff and the locations. The roles on offer with a particular firm vary depending upon its size. In general, the greater the number of employees and their location(s) be it on a local, national or international basis means that there tends to be more specific roles in large firms whereas smaller organisations tend to have a more generalised ‘all encompassing’ one that will provide broad experience in all areas.