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How to get into HR in Ireland

A career in HR Management requires a range of essential soft skills and industry knowledge.

If you want to learn how to land a HR job in Ireland, read on to discover what you’ll need to succeed at the interview.

In this article, we’ll cover the following questions:

  • What skills do you need for an HR job?

  • Do I need to be qualified for a job in HR?

  • How can I get a job in HR?

Working in HR can sometimes be challenging, but also hugely rewarding - and it could be the perfect fit for you.

What skills do you need for an HR job?

The skills you need for an HR job are rather broad and diverse. First of all, you need to make sure you have competency in the soft skills required to perform well. HR professionals are not only expected to understand the latest HR practises in Ireland, but also possess the necessary soft skills to succeed.

  • Organisation skills are crucial to HR roles. This is because the HR team must ensure the effective management of documents and data. You also need to be good at organising your own calendar and meeting deadlines, for meetings with colleagues and executives, training new employees or organising company events.

  • You will also need excellent communication skills. As HR is a people-focused function, you will be directly involved in managing the workforce. This would involve HR professionals resolving conflicts and upholding company standards, while communicating effectively with their colleagues.

  • This, of course, is all wrapped up in confidentiality. A vital part of the role of an HR professional is to offer confidential, unbiased advice and handle sensitive information in a professional manner.

Other soft skills such as teamwork, problem solving and leadership can only improve your prospects of landing one of the best HR jobs in Ireland. If you have evidence of these skills, be sure to include them on your CV.

Do I need to be qualified for a job in HR?

Having professional training and industry connections under your belt can only help you land a great HR salary.

Most employers consider graduates of any subject for HR jobs. However, a degree in the following subjects may improve your chances of landing a top spot:

  • Business management

  • Economics 

  • Finance

  • HR 

  • Psychology 

No matter your qualifications you can always top up your knowledge or experience with professional courses. There are a huge number of HR courses available online, helping you work towards a professional qualification.

A professional qualification allows for a certain degree of flexibility. If you are already employed, your organisation might already offer professional qualifications, and may give you the chance to transfer over on successful completion of the course.

Professional training and networking is hugely beneficial, and considering a professional level diploma would be extremely helpful to people looking to pursue HR as a career. 

How can I get a job in HR?

To win an HR job, it is vital to upskill, expand your network, and make sure your CV is up to date. You don’t need to be qualified to start - but it helps. Here’s an example pathway to HR you can take which requires no prior experience:

1. Look for internal opportunities or roles: If you’re already employed in an organisation with a human resources department, talk to your manager about your interest in the area and see if they can assist you in transitioning into the field. Taking on more responsibilities, such as assisting with payroll or leading a training session, to gain hands-on experience is a must. If you can get a supervisory role, don’t forget that this is valuable HR experience too, given that human resources involves managing people.

2. Earn a qualification: Talk to your manager about the possibility of your organisation supporting you in furthering your learning, and take on a part-time course in HR. The flexibility of an online course allows you to work alongside your study, and implement the management skills that are important parts of the role.

3. Try volunteering: It’s also possible to gain valuable experience by volunteering for a non-profit or community organisation in the capacity of an HR Executive. By helping to organise other volunteers, coordinate events and manage communications, you’ll be supporting their HR efforts and contributing to a good cause. Volunteering experience always looks good on a CV, and many charitable causes are sorely in need of organisational help.

4. Leverage your network: When you work in HR, you work with people. If you have a natural talent for this, you might already have a wide network you can reach out to in order to find a job in the field. Use professional social networks such as LinkedIn to form connections and reach out to others in human resources. If you share valuable content and engage in an authentic way, they’ll keep you in mind for any job opportunities which may arise.

5. Polish your CV: Of course, a good CV is essential to any job hunt. Tailor your CV to every position you apply for, and remember to update it with the skills and experience that relate to HR. Even if you do not have experience in an “official” human resources role, it’s a good idea to highlight some of the skills you have gained through work or other experiences that make you a top candidate for a job in HR.

Once you have the soft skills and qualifications you need in place, looking for an HR job in Ireland is relatively straightforward. It’s a competitive market which is growing, and there is always a need for passionate HR professionals. Specialist HR recruitment companies exist to help match you with a company you’ll love, as well as regularly updated online job listings. Always ensure your LinkedIn profile and CV are up to date, as you never know when the next opportunity is around the corner.

If you feel you have what it takes to get started in HR, but are worried you may not have the education to back it up, then look no further than our Professional Diploma in HR Management - the perfect springboard into all topics HR related. Don’t miss a beat, and sign-up today.