Home After School Understanding a Career in Human Resource Management

Not sure what you want to become but know you like working with people? Human Resource Management may do the trick. Here’s what you need to know about what it’s like to head into a career of Human Resource Management. 

When an employee sits in an office, it’s important to have encouraging people around to look out for them. Human Resource Management is just that. They make sure everyone is happy. There are many career opportunities and services you can pursue where your main focus is to help others. But if you’re looking to care for, encourage and look out for people in the work space then Human Resource Management is a career that hits the nail on the head.

“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” 

– Sam Walton

What is human resource management?

Well, simply put, you care about people. You specifically care about people in the work space environment. Perhaps you enjoy the sweet satisfaction of finding solutions to problems which benefit and create a positive experience for the people around you? Or perhaps working with people and caring for their needs in a working environment is something you can see yourself doing. If you’re nodding your head right now, you’ll want to keep reading.

Human Resources is an extremely broad career field. Generally HR is a department found in a business to help it run smoother. In addition to that, the HR department is involved in many different functions which keep a business running smoothly.

Ultimately there are 3 main focuses in Human Resources:

  • People Management
  • Performance Management
  • Organisational Development

As a HR manager, you would oversee that one of these, or all of them function, correctly. This all depends on the size of the company you work for.

Main responsibilities

HR managers are typically responsible for the following:

  • How can I improve the working environment?

You make sure the working environment is safe, productive and filled with harmony. 

  • How can I improve the work ethic?

You think of ways to improve the work ethic among employees. 

  • How can I recruit the best employees for the organisation?

You think of ways to help with the recruitment plans

  • How can I best communicate with employees professionally?

You constantly come up with ways to communicate with employees and ensure employees are happy. 

Before you decide to jump the gun and head into this profession, remember to ask yourself what your interests are and what career opportunities speak to you. Do you enjoy dealing with people and can you see yourself organizing staff?

What skills are essential for this career?

When you’re working with people, it’s pretty clear that there are some skills that you need to consider. People can be difficult. People can be glorious too. But one thing is for sure – we’re all on the journey of life together and the more we can help each other out, the better we can work towards creating a positive difference. With this said, one of the essential skills of an HR manager is to have people skills.

We chatted to Storme Magee, Trainer and Facilitator at Rethink Education, who shared some gripping insights into the essentials of an HR career.  

Storme shares,

“As a HR manager, your job will entail interacting with people deeply on a daily basis. You need to have a strong personality but also easily get on with other people. While you need to be stern and confident, you also need to know when to back down and put your own opinions aside for the better of your company.”


What it comes down to are the following skills:

  • Organisation
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Multi-tasking
  • Negotiation
  • A Passion for people

As a manager, you need to be able to delegate. If you are a perfectionist, it may challenge you to get out of your comfort zone and trust other people to complete a job. Management also requires you to have an insight into what your employees around you are doing.

In this career field, it’s important for you to stay on track with your deadlines. You cannot get confused or miss any deadlines as that will affect your entire department and essentially the business as a whole.

Wisdom to share

Collaborating and gaining wisdom from others is always beneficial for everyone involved. Here are some important pointers you need to remember before heading into this field.


Go out and job shadow

The best thing you can do for yourself is to figure out whether or not this is the field for you. Go do some job shadowing.

“If you’re considering HR but don’t feel fully committed to it yet you also feel that you don’t have anything else that you’re too interested in right now, then that is also okay. Like I’ve said, what’s great about HR is that every business requires one. Therefore you will never be stuck in one industry for the rest of your career. 

Choose your studies wisely

Depending on where you wish to work one day, choosing where to study can be quite important. HR falls under a larger umbrella called industrial or organisational psychology (universities tend to call it this). Make sure you choose an institution that is reputable with the industry or company you wish to be in. 

Managerial roles also require experience. Therefore HR Manager is a position that you would walk towards rather than walk into straight after studies. No matter how qualified you are, experience is the biggest key to success in this career.

Study human resource management at Central Technical College

When looking for an institution to study HR, make sure you apply for a course at an institution that is accredited. Central Technical College (CTC) is an accredited institution where you can study Human Resource Management.  The college is a reliable platform on which you can obtain a diploma in HR Management. CTC is situated in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Pretoria. Hurray, more options for you!

Find more information about the course here.

Requirements for a National N Diploma in HR Management:

All you need to register for a Diploma in HR Management is a Senior Certificate or National Senior Certificate or a relevant qualification.  

 EduConnect 2cents

Ultimately in the end, as human beings we all want to be loved and accepted. You can show your love and acceptance to the world by starting in the workplace and creating an encouraging, positive environment. Even if HR doesn’t spark your fancy, you may be interested in other areas of management. Check out other articles in our Advice section or browse career options here

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