How does this differ from HR officer roles? HR adviser is a term used to cover a number of generalist HR positions, and organisations often use the term interchangeably with HR officer. Where a distinction is made, the role of adviser tends to be the more senior, with more responsibility in areas such as complex disciplinary and grievance procedures.
What you need to succeed… is a degree and CIPD (and sometimes even part-CIPD) qualification, with a minimum of two to three years’ generalist experience.
How to get into it… It is usual to start out working as an HR assistant and build up your skills and experience while studying for the CIPD qualification.
What will you do?… Reporting directly to the HR manager, you will provide professional HR advice and guidance to staff and management. You will typically be involved in recruitment up to middle management level, employee relations (including supporting disciplinary and grievance procedures), employee reward, reviewing and developing policies and procedures, and administering any restructure and redundancy consultation.
What differentiates this from HR adviser roles in other sectors?… You may be required to liaise and work in partnership with trade unions. Public sector roles will require a more thorough knowledge of employment and trade union legislation than might be the case in other private sector roles.
The public sector is also well known for offering a more generous, ‘soft benefits’ package, leading the way in terms of the provision of flexible working, including flexi-time and time off in lieu for overtime worked. This creates a big difference from the commercial sector in terms of culture and working environment.
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