STEP 1: WHAT'S Human Resources ALL ABOUT?
- AKA: HR
- Overview: HR is responsible for hiring and retaining talent, so they cover everything from recruiting to managing benefits.
- Example project: Hire five Java programmers.
- What you do all day: Find talent, develop great programs/benefits for existing talent
- Roles: Sourcer (finds candidates), Recruiter (leads candidates through hiring process), Learning and Development/Training (trains existing hires), HR Business Partner (liaises with specific teams to handle all HR needs from recruiting to exit interviews), Operations (handles all of the HR systems)
- What they look for: People with strong social skills (to represent the company well) and organizational abilities (to manage complex HR processes)
- Example job: Technical Recruiter, Facebook
STEP 2: WOULD YOU BE A GOOD FIT FOR HR?
Ask yourself if you'd love doing these kinds of things all day:
- Finding and attracting top talent
- Interviewing candidates
- Negotiating with and persuading candidates to join your organization
- Training people
- Working with managers to support their HR needs
If your answer is "Yes" to the majority of activities, you'd likely be a good fit for HR.
STEP 3: WHAT SKILLS DO YOU NEED FOR HR?
For each major activity, I've listed the most common keywords from across dozens of job descriptions, as well as a sample resume bullet:
· Finding and attracting the top talent
o Keywords: talent pipeline, sourcing channels, online research, networking, talent search, identify talent
o Sample Bullet: Increased pipeline of top candidates 125% by adding Twitter and Pinterest to our sourcing channels
· Interviewing candidates
o Keywords: evaluate candidates, candidate assessment, hiring process, hiring discussions, hiring committee, interview training, partnering with hiring managers
o Sample Bullet: Implemented standardized assessment process across the organization, leading to a 25% increase in hiring committee agreement
· Negotiating with and persuading candidates to join your organization
o Keywords: offer, negotiation, compensation, close candidates, selling offers
o Sample Bullet: Closed 80% of candidates with competitive offers, 15 points higher than any other recruiter
· Training people
o Keywords: learning and development, training, curricula, classroom instruction, e-learning, learning solutions, people development, learning design, performance management
o Sample Bullet: Developed new manager training curricula that led to a 15% uptick in staff retention
· Working with managers to support their HR needs
o Keywords: trusted advisor, partner with hiring managers, HR strategy, program design, HR business partner, HR generalist, employee relations, change management, coaching, conflict management, thought leadership
o Sample Bullet: Provided thought leadership to seven C-level executives, helping oversee a 75% increase in headcount over four years
STEP 4: WHAT HR TRAINING DO YOU RECOMMEND?
If you want to brush up on any of these skills, check out Catherine Mattice Zundel's Strategic Human Resources course on Lynda. I like two things about this course in particular:
- It's not focused on HR minutiae. Instead of worrying about weird technicalities with health insurance or benefit administration, it shows you how to become a powerful HR partner at a strategic, high value level.
- It covers the whole gamut of things that matter in HR - from recruiting to training to building an amazing employee culture.
Plus, you can complete the whole course in a day - and you've got a whole month to take it for free. So definitely a great way to get started in this field!
STEP 5: HOW DO YOU ACTUALLY GET A Tech HR JOB?
To help you convert your passion and skills into an actual job, I've put together a step-by-step course that covers how to:
- Design a resume that will mark you as an insider to tech recruiters
- Make sure you find every single great tech job across multiple sites
- Get a referral at just about any tech company - even if you don't know anyone directly
- Prepare for every kind of tech interview question with point-by-point formulas