Where to start my HR career?

Hi everyone, I’m Sasha (currently close to finishing off my Level 5). I have been looking into entry level job roles to start off my HR career but most if not all have asked me for previous experience. Can someone guide me in terms of where to start looking for some work experience? It would mean a lot, thankyou!

  • Hi Swarnim,
    Prior to me getting into HR, I had looked for entry level HR roles and every single one wanted experience, I could not even get an interview.

    I found my way in through a general admin role, in a smaller company where people 'wore quite a few hats', I made myself available for any lower level HR tasks and in time, took on more and more.

    Eventually, the manager of the team moved on and I took on their workload and subsequently developed a much stronger HR function within the Business.

    I have spoken to quite a few people who found their way in through general admin / office roles of smaller Business'.

    Just one idea, good luck ! :)
  • Don't give up, because you will get there, and your level 5 will certainly get you noticed. As Hannah said, an admin job offering low level HR would be good to start building your portfolio of experience.
    I have my level 3 and whilst I have over 3 years experience in HR, it was for a small organisation and very sector specific. When I started looking for a new challenge, my experience didn't make me stand out and it took me a long time to get that offer. But I did get there, and I was very honest that I don't know everything. However I said, when it comes to HR you will never know everything in this everchanging world with all of these legislation updates, so every opportunity is a learning opportunity. I also spoke of the importance of reflective practice. You will get your big break. Good Luck!
  • Very much what Hannah says. I recommend looking for general admin roles, as these are the ones most likely to be HR adjacent. If you let your supervisors know that you have an interest in HR (and relevant qualifications) they will be more likely to push HR-adjacent admin work your way as lots of people hate it. This will allow you to accrue relevant experience and also put you first in the queue for any business that decides it needs a dedicated HR person, either interim or permanent.
  • Rhys

    | 0 Posts

    CIPD Staff

    25 Mar, 2024 10:02

    Good morning, Swarnim

    In case you weren't aware, there is a job board that you're able to access as a CIPD Member which details any roles we come across. There are sections for volunteering, career advice etc.

    It can be found here: https://pmjobs.cipd.co.uk/

    Hope this helps!

    - Rhys
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    25 Mar, 2024 10:25

    In reply to Rhys:

    Thanks, Rhys.
  • I started out with general admin roles, volunteering to take up any Lower level HR tasks as they come up. This helped me build experience for entry-level HR roles that require experience. Hope this helps.
  • Hi Sasha, you have some great tips here and landing the first role is tricky. How can you do an entry level role and have previous experience of the role? That's a head shrinker and we in HR should be doing better in providing the framework for talent to come into the profession.

    I'd position any current job experience you have around people competencies and showcase and highlight the work you have done in your studies too. The CV and the inyterview phases are where you can max out the skills and experience you have picked up so far and transfer them to the role you are applying for.

    You also could explore other roles as a stepping stone. Ones that give you access to people, the people skills you need for a pure HR role and pick up the experience for an entry level role that way. Sometimes, when the options look narrow, we have to think more creatively.

    I speak as someone who didn't start in HR so have never done that traditional - entry/ admin/ advisor/ BP etc career path.

    Wishing you good luck.
  • Ah, the dreaded entry level role that requires experience! How they can claim it's entry level but require experience is beyond me...

    Definitely look for an Administrator position as these are low level and should be easy to get into. My first HR role was an Administrator and a fixed-term role as they needed someone for 9 months until their office closed, that turned into permanent employment down the line and I was with them for just over 2 years! A fixed-term role that's around 6 months might be what you need to get the experience to move into another role when the contract ends or it might even go permanent.

    Good luck!