The summer is often a time for reflection and many people look to choose jobs when autumn draws in. Perhaps you’re wondering whether it’s time for a sideways step, promotion, or just time to research new opportunities or learn something new.
Part 1 and 2 of our HR roles mini-series covered a wide variety of HR roles and this, our third and final part will explore some more.
What’s clear is that the HR profession offers great diversity which may often be underestimated. So whether you’re well-established or new to HR it’s well worth considering all these roles for what may best suit your interests, passions, and skills.
A handy guide to different HR roles – Part 3
Reward is often tied into other HR roles. In a smaller organisation it may be part of general HR, and it certainly overlaps with employee engagement, recruitment/attraction, employer branding, talent development and retention, if not more.
Getting the reward right for any organisation is crucial. It needs to be commercially viable for the business, it may need to be competitive depending on the market, sector, and availability of skills, and it certainly needs to be sufficient to attract and retain the talent you need.
Reward roles therefore will involve;
Understanding of the law and regulations governing pay and benefits in the UK.
Benchmarking. Research and analysis into what other businesses in your sector are offering and consideration of your employer brand e.g., whether you are perceived as a generous company, or a low payer/uncompetitive in the market.
Analysis. Looking at how reward is best structured in your business, how it ties in with your company culture, how it links to performance, and then applying this analysis to pay reviews.
Problem solving. Particularly where complex pay/bonus/reward schemes may operate, to iron out queries and issues from other HR team members, line managers, or employees.
Creativity. Reward is not all salary based, it’s about benefits, perks, looking at the whole well-being of staff as well as the financial aspects.
Constant monitoring and flexibility. Reward strategies will need to change in line with skills shortages, sudden increased competition, the needs of the business e.g. introducing new products or services, the financial strength of the business, staff turnover and feedback, long term plans and succession planning if for example there are a lot of staff coming up for retirement.
Understanding of pensions. Sometimes this may be a separate niche role, but if it’s tied in with a reward role you’ll need to be comfortable with this often complex subject.
Within reward, there are a number of different roles, from Administrator and Co-ordinator, up to Director level positions.
Large-scale change can have massive implications for the performance and well-being of employees, and in large organisations doing this on a big scale, change needs to be carefully managed.
Change may occur due to restructuring to stay competitive or accommodate new products or services, due to merger and acquisition, due to new leadership and business direction or focus, or through a review of performance and skills. Change may even be needed due to government legislation, political events like Brexit, or unforeseen events such as the pandemic which saw businesses having to embrace remote working and digital transition with no notice or planning.
Working in change management can be an exciting challenge, often it will involve delivering a business’s change agenda which may be vital to the long-term strategy, performance, or even survival of the business, but may impact the lives of the workforce.
Working in Change Management will involve;
Analysis. Looking at the goal and strategy, and working out how this change will impact on the workforce and what will be required from them, analysis and mitigation of risk such as losing staff, performance implications, or resistance to change.
Communication. This is vital to engage and motivate staff in understanding why change is happening and to support it through their behaviour, attitude, and continued performance. Also, the ability to communicate with leadership teams or external change consultants who may be involved.
Training and development. Looking at any new skills, particularly regarding technology, and ensuring staff are empowered and equipped to change their working practices, or take on new systems or roles.
Support. Listening to people’s concerns, ensuring there are channels for feedback, which may be valuable in terms of managing the change.
Measuring and monitoring. Being aware of the implications of change, how well it’s being implemented, and whether it is achieving the desired outcomes.
Managing workforce changes. Change may involve redundancies, outplacement, TUPE, depending on the nature and scale of the change, all of which will need an understanding of the laws and regulations.
Maintain or building a new company culture. Ensuring existing values are upheld and looking at the culture you want to build in the new organisation.
With change almost a constant in many businesses to stay competitive, these roles can offer great variety and be challenging but very rewarding.
Organisational Development is integral to performance and success. It’s about making sure all staff in that organisation are appropriately skilled and effectively managed to deliver their roles, not just now, but as the organisation evolves and faces hurdles and change. To fall behind with organisational development could mean losing staff – and business – to competitors, but doing it effectively will build resilience, capability, and strength in the face of challenging times.
Organisational Development roles will overlap with several other HR areas and disciplines. OD means looking at the big picture, and what is needed to improve performance and develop the right culture.
Organisational Development may include;
Reviewing the roles and skills the organisation needs to be competitive, to grow, to improve performance, to achieve its strategic objectives. This will likely involve reviewing, updating, even rewriting job descriptions to keep them relevant.
Reviewing existing teams in terms of numbers and structure to make sure they are delivering what the organisation needs. This review may lead to restructure, or sadly in some cases, redundancies.
Full scale skills and performance review in line with the goals of the organisation. Do staff have the technological skills for what may be needed now or in future years? This may involve investment in training and/or L&D to build capability. If some teams or areas are underperforming, coaching or line management training may be required.
Building or developing the organisation’s culture. Working out what this is, creating a set of values, and aligning recruitment with it will need not only a bird’s eye view of the organisation, but a detailed look at the whole attraction and recruitment process. This will incorporate the employer brand, pay, and benefits, through to onboarding, and then employee engagement and communication to maintain motivation and strong performance.
Organisational Development and the responsibilities within it can differ from one organisation to another, and academic theories around it vary widely too. But with change almost a certainty these days whether political, due to the pandemic, or the fast pace of technology, OD is a key part of keeping organisations resilient, high-performing, and competitive.
Systems are involved in virtually every aspect of working life, so it won’t be a surprise that they exist in HR too. For HR, especially in a large organisation, systems will be used for payroll, for workforce monitoring and data including D&I, for pensions and benefits, for workforce planning, for performance management, and for recruitment, attraction, and talent management. If you are working in any area of HR, it’s likely you’ll be using one of these systems. But if you specialise in systems, you’ll be playing a more detailed role than just using them.
A senior HR systems role may include;
System design. Working out what your organisation needs from a system, often working with the HR leadership, is the first stage to ensure you have systems that deliver what you need. This will involve communication with anyone involved in using a system from HR staff to line managers, as well as looking at business objectives to establish the outcomes you want – as well as budget of course. This may also mean reviewing existing systems and getting feedback on what works, what doesn’t, and why.
System selection. There will be many different solutions on the market for every system you may need and understanding them fully will be key to not making an expensive and unpopular mistake. You’ll need to be able to write a specification, compare and analyse different solutions. Some may cover a whole raft of your requirements, some will take care of niche aspects of HR, some will be more suitable for larger or smaller organisations, and you may also want to consider what support and training is supplied and what reporting you need.
System engagement and training. Bringing in new systems, unless an existing one is extremely unpopular, can be met with a wall of hostility. After all, most people are comfortable with what they know, and new systems often experience teething problems. Engaging and communicating as many impacted staff as possible from the off will make for a better reception and a smoother transition. This may involve written communications, workshops, or roadshows as necessary.
Managing and mitigating risk. You’ll need a proper transition plan and an understanding of the loss of any performance or working time if a system implementation doesn’t go smoothly. You’ll also need to identify skills shortages or issues, building in time to support anyone using the systems as required.
Analysis. Some Systems Analyst roles will be responsible for not only the performance or your systems, but for taking the data created from systems and running reports and analysis for other HR professionals and the business leadership. This may include recruitment costs and efficiency, staff attrition in different areas of the business, workforce data such as diversity, performance analysis, and pay analysis.
Within HR systems, there will also be administrator roles, where you’ll be responsible for inputting data, maintaining systems, running reports.
The choice of HR role is there, the only question, is what is the right one for you?
We carry a wide range of roles at different levels, so keep an eye on our vacancies to find your perfect role.Back to the lastest news