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How to become a HR Advisor

Published: Sunday 21st February 2021

Make no mistake about it, working as a HR advisor is an incredibly important role in the modern business environment. Following a human resources career path means you could be involved in recruitment processes, disciplinary procedures, promotion/salary negotiations, and providing training courses. There may also be times when you lend an ear to other staff members if they wish to discuss their problems, make a complaint or disclose a form of discrimination. 

As a HR advisor you will provide data-backed support to hiring managers and senior management, to help the business grow in the most efficient way possible. You will advise senior staff on the best course of action and be an integral part of decision making in the business. You may also be involved if any legal issues arrive and would assist lawyers to help build a case.

HR Advisor on the phone while looking at notes

What qualifications and skills do HR Advisors need?

You don’t necessarily need any HR advisor qualifications. It is entirely possible to start out in a trainee position and work your way up. There will need to be some evidence of transferable skills and a positive personality from a previous job or experience in most cases. Being a successful HR assistant is more difficult now than ever, and comes with more pressure.

It’s more likely given the rise in importance of HR advisors that a related degree will help your application. A degree in HR is certainly the most direct, but degrees in business, management, psychology and social administration are also viable. If you decided to move into a HR management position you could gain an accredited qualification from The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Some desirable HR skills and requirements might include:

  • Excellent written and spoken communication
  • Problem solving abilities
  • Conflict resolution
  • Caring, understanding and supportive
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Up to date with the latest employment law
  • Calm under pressure and criticism
  • Approachable and confidential 

Where can a HR Advisor work?

HR advisor speaks with a staff member at her desk

Becoming a HR advisor may see you face some stiff competition. Most businesses with over 50 members off staff will have some form of HR representative. But the long-term job security coupled with a growing salary and benefits means there isn’t a lot of movement in the sector.

You also need to decide what type of business you want to work for. It might be that you have a particular interest in sport, science or technology. You can use your interests to help you find a better matched job. You can expect to find many HR advisor jobs near you, especially in big cities. But be sure to sharpen your interview skills and present yourself as a positive can-do person.

What are the career prospects of a HR Advisor?

HR is a great career for a number of reasons, more positions are becoming available and those in the role are becoming more influential in the place where they work. Career progression is available and there are also opportunities to up-skill and move sideways into other departments within a business. 

Salaries often begin at around £22,000 for a HR advisor. Although this could vary depending on the company size, sector you work in, and your own experience level. If you decide to take on a CIPD level qualification then this will certainly help you enter human resource management. Furthermore, you could unlock salaries rising up to as much as £100,000 when working as a HR director for example.

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