Q I am currently the finance manager of a small UK charity, having held that position for a number of years. Within the past year, I have also branched out into HR, and am now CIPD licentiate, and in two years I will have gained an MA in personnel and development. My employer is supporting me in this, but as we already have a good full-time HR manager, there is little scope for me to get involved in day-to-day HR, other than being a line manager. What jobs would you advise me to look at given my experience in finance and my desire to move into HR?
A Taking the decision to move into HR from an unrelated discipline is becoming increasingly popular.
This is partly because the profession is generating greater awareness and partly because this is seen as a healthy supply of added experience and skills.
Interestingly enough, HR and finance have already begun to learn to team up effectively, developing strategies to resolve operational problems – HR brings the tools, while finance delivers the analysis. In many instances, HR reports into finance, particularly in organisations with small HR operations. There is, therefore, a growing synergy between these two functions and they are not as unrelated as one may initially think.
As CIPD licentiate you have clearly completed one of the CIPD Professional Standards, and to be officially accredited is an incredible advantage. It is popular to undertake a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) when looking to move on to the next level or sidestep into a different field, as it can help you gain a broader business understanding.
A CIPD qualification is, however, generally perceived as the best way to get into HR. So it would be wise to complete as much training as you can, especially as your current employer is happy to assist.
While I appreciate there is already an HR manager, it would be wise to gain as much experience as you can within the business. Corporate exposure is as important as academic experience.
If you have truly taken the step to move into HR – and it seems you have – then you will certainly expect remuneration equal to your current role. There are a growing number of opportunities open to you from generalist roles through to ones that will focus on personnel and development.
We would advise you explore all opportunities with your current employer and ensure that you research well the discipline that would suit you most.
Alex Raubitschek, managing director, Ortus