At WorkBright, we work with a variety of HR professionals. Some of our clients have been in the industry for decades, while others are getting started. Whatever brought you to HR, we are excited that you have decided to advocate for the people you work with through your new position. If you’re looking for tips for new HR professionals, we are excited to help you on your HR journey. We wanted to share some tips to help you become the HR professional you want to become. HR professionals are one of the most critical roles in a company. You safeguard the company and the employees who work there. Here are some tips to help you during your transition into a position as an HR professional.
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Tips For New HR Professionals:
- Remember Why You Were Given This Opportunity
- Get Up To Speed With How HR Work Is Done At Your Company
- Take A Class On HR Basics
- Build In Time To Find Your Own Organizational System
- Communicate With Current Employees To Find Their Needs And Wants
- Think About Your Experience As A New Employee
- Figure Out Your HR Tech Stack
- Look For Mentorship In Your Local Area And Online
- Create A Larger Vision For Your Role
- Understand The Bottom Line
1. Remember Why You Were Given This Opportunity
Before you can delve into your new role as an HR professional, you should keep your why in mind. Human resources is a complicated and often thankless role. You might not get the love you want from employees or the C-Suite. When you are in the trenches with this new opportunity, you’ll want something to hold on to.
Think back to the interview process. Did your hiring manager leave you any positive feedback that you can look back on? Maybe an email or even a text message? Perhaps you went to school for HR and got some positive feedback from a professor? You may even have something you shared in the past about why you decided to go after an HR role.
Find a way to showcase all of these words of encouragement. A big tip for new HR professionals: create a file on your computer filled with screenshots of all these positive messages. When you’re feeling low or have a bout of imposter syndrome, look back at those words.
2. Get Up To Speed With How HR Work Is Done At Your Company
You may have your thoughts about how HR work should happen, but you need to keep your department afloat as you get up to speed. You’ll have plenty of time to create and address policy changes later. Get up to speed on the current processes your company uses.
As you are getting up to speed, write down all the various parts of the process you’d like to change or find a better solution for. Writing these ideas down will ensure that you don’t lose sight of the changes you’d like to make in the future.
3. Take A Class On HR Basics
If you’re new to HR, you’ll probably want to start with an introductory class on human resources. Sites like LinkedIn Learning and Udemy are perfect for some essential HR skills.
If you have a bit more time on your hand, you might want to look into HR classes at your local university or community college.
Getting an HR certification might also help lend credibility to your new title. If you don’t already have a certificate, you might want to get certified by SHRM or HRCI.
4. Build In Time To Find Your Own Organizational System
Your predecessors at work probably had an organizational system they used and loved. As an HR professional, you need to be able to find files and access information quickly. The federal government won’t care if you just stepped into a position or if you’ve been there since the founding of the company. If you have an I-9 audit, you’ll still need to produce files within three business days.
Suppose you don’t take time to understand the current system and make necessary changes. You could put yourself in a challenging position if you were required to communicate with a business auditor.
The best time to rearrange and understand your systems is when you first get started. The issues will only compound as you use your organizational structure while not reconciling the old one.
5. Communicate With Current Employees To Find Their Needs And Wants
Here’s a tip for new HR professionals: you need to understand what you’re getting yourself into. Connect with current employees to understand:
- What issues they have with the company
- Why they love working for your organization
- What they’d love to have
Sending around an anonymous survey or having conversations one-on-one can help you address any of your company’s glaring issues.
Don’t forget to close the feedback loop! Give your employees insights on any quick changes you are making and what you’ll be addressing later due to their feedback. Closing the loop encourages continued and in-depth input from your employees.
6. Think About Your Experience As A New Employee
One of the best ways to make positive HR changes is by thinking about your own experience as a new employee.
For example, let’s think about the onboarding and hiring process.
If you are a recently hired HR professional, you have a lot of experience with your companies hiring and onboarding process. What points of friction did you find when getting hired and onboarded with your current company? What did your cohort or employees onboarding close to you experience?
Think about all those friction points. How can you fix those moments for employees coming after you?
No matter what you do in the HR process, consider what you and your colleagues experienced to determine how the company can do it better.
7. Figure Out Your HR Tech Stack
Whether you are a department of one or a full suite of HR professionals, you can’t do it all by yourself. HR teams are increasingly inundated with a ton of regulations and forms. Creating an HR tech stack to help you with essential HR tasks save you and your company thousands of dollars in fines, time, and wasted office space.
Creating a stellar HR tech stack isn’t easy, though. Be aware that this process can take a while, depending on your needs and company policies. Don’t be afraid to hop on a few demos and carefully go through the technology discovery process. Read content, watch videos, and look at product reviews. All of the work you do before making a decision will be time well spent.
Are you interested in employee onboarding software? Download our eBook on Remote Onboarding Best Practices. It’s filled with information on what to look for in an onboarding solution. There is also a printable worksheet that helps you compare and contrast any onboarding solutions you are considering.
8. Look For Mentorship In Your Local Area And Online
At WorkBright, we know the importance of employee mentorship. You might not be able to get that same mentorship, especially if you are the only HR professional at your company.
Luckily, there are so many places to look for mentorship outside of your organization!
We suggest looking for HR professionals in your area. You could join the local chapter of SHRM or connect with other HR professionals in your area on LinkedIn.
You’ll also want to consider following wider HR communities online. For example, r/HumanResources on Reddit or following hashtags related to your industry on Twitter.
There are so many places to gather and connect with HR professionals these days. As a tip for new HR professionals, you should never be working alone!
9. Create A Larger Vision For Your Role
As a new HR professional, are you doing the larger vision work for your position? Tackling HR tasks can be daunting, especially if you aren’t doing the work to create a more strategic process for your role and organization.
What steps do you need to take to get to the point where you’re not gasping for air? How can you thrive in your role and not just survive? These are the kinds of questions you’ll want to eventually ask and answer to create an HR role that is motivating and inspiring.
10. Understand The Bottom Line
The last tip for new HR professionals is critical for business success. Company executives and stakeholders care deeply about people, but they also need to protect the organization’s bottom line.
As you advocate for your HR budget, you must consider the monetary value of all the changes you are suggesting. You’ll likely need financial approval for all of the tools you want to add to your current tech stack. As you connect with potential vendors, ask the questions to understand costs, and compare that to the cost of your current process.
To make a change that sticks in your organization, you need to quantify and put numbers behind updates and new tools.
For example, what if you digitized your onboarding process, but you never explained the real cost of handling paper documents (putting packets together, printing, storing, error-resolution, etc.)? Without the full context of why you switched and how cumbersome handling onboarding via paper was, you might not continue to see the budget flowing through for your onboarding software year after year.
Taking a bit more time to gather and explain the data behind any move you make will help you in the long haul.
Conclusion: Strategic Tips For New HR Professionals
Congratulations on your new role as an HR professional. You are bound to do fantastic work for your organization and the people you serve! You don’t have to feel alone on your human resources journey. Thankfully, we are all surrounded by amazing people and resources online and in person. You will be more prepared than many past HR professionals, and you got this role for a reason. We are confident that you will excel in this new career opportunity.