Job title… There is not always a clear-cut difference between the titles HR adviser and HR officer, and the two are often used more or less interchangeably. 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. As such, an HR adviser can, but does not always, command a higher salary.
To succeed… You will be CIPD or part CIPD-qualified, with a minimum of two to three years’ generalist HR experience. You will have built up an in-depth understanding of current employment legislation and best practice. Communication skills are vital, as are strong interpersonal and organisational skills. Diplomacy and confidentiality will also be crucial. Many larger (particularly multi-site) companies will also ask that you hold a current driving licence.
What is involved… You will be the first point of contact for general HR and recruitment advice, offering support and guidance to staff at all levels. Much will depend on the size and nature of the organisation, but some of the following will be expected:
- Managing the administration of (and offering advice on) all aspects of people management, from employee relations issues to maternity and paternity.
- Working closely with the HR manager on the implementation of HR policies and strategies.
- Monitoring absence.
- Working on the production, reporting and reviewing of management information relating to key areas such as absence, discipline and grievance, so that issues may be addressed and improvements made.
- Recruitment support – both advising managers and managing recruitment up to a certain level.
- Managing the annual salary review process with the HR manager.
- Maintaining accurate staff records, including holiday and absence, on the relevant HR business systems.
Prospects… Very good, as there is a shortage of high-calibre candidates across the region. This role also offers excellent opportunities for development. Over time, you will be able to increase independence and responsibilities. This can then lead to opportunities at senior HR officer/adviser or HR manager level, or into more specialist areas of HR.