It’s no secret that HR professionals are masters in delivering constructive feedback, coaching, mentoring and helping employees fulfil their full potential. So much so that they often spend the lion’s share of their time focusing on advising others that they do not allocate enough time to focus on their own professional development.
However, a demonstrable track record of continuing professional development in HR doesn’t just help professionals get ahead in their current role – it can also help to secure future employment, as employers increasingly look for applicants who not only have knowledge but are actively pursuing further learning.
In this blog, we show you how you can reflect upon your learning needs, create a plan of action, and ultimately achieve the desired results.
Top tips for continuing professional development in HR
At the end of the day, you need to reflect upon your learning and development needs in order to determine a continuous professional development strategy that works best for you. Below, we list our top tips to get you started on the path towards professional development:
1. Pursue multiple avenues for continuous learning
While there are certainly a wide range of accredited avenues available for you to continuously pursue your professional development, you should aim to learn from as many sources as possible to ensure you have your eye on the wider picture. You can do this by signing up to sector-specific publications, attending seminars and following webinars delivered by industry leaders and networking with peers. This will not only broaden your perspective regarding all things HR, but also boost your knowledge which you can then put into practice later down the line.
If you are lucky enough to be in an organisation with an online learning system, then maintain focus on two or three topics that will assist your development – for example, personal branding, change management, the art of delegation etc. If not, you can find such support online via YouTube, LinkedIn or professional sites. You could also pursue a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). These are often free and will allow you to join an interactive and stimulating global community of learners whilst you hone your skills in, for example, project management or any other skill you wish to add to your set.
2. Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty
Few people would dispute that the best way to learn any new skill is through hands-on experience. For this reason, you should take initiative and ask for more exposure to certain projects in addition to your existing role, and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Actively look for ways to get involved in various HR processes that will polish up your skills for progression, such as managing a specific employee relations projects or implementing an innovative people management system. This is a good way to get out of your comfort zone, share your knowledge and practices, and to meet other people with similar interests and commitment.
3. Record what you have learned for later review and evidence of continuous learning
Whether you use a notebook, spreadsheet or note-keeping app, you should find a way to record what you have learned, spend time reviewing this and reflect on how you have put it into practice. The more you learn and reflect, the more you will develop a learning mind-set and it might even become a habit for you to build CPD activities as part of your customary planning. You should also keep a portfolio of evidence by filing away any receipts for learning materials and courses you may have invested in, or by containing attendance or completion certificates from events you have attended.
Where to go from here...
For HR Administrators and Assistants
- CIPD foundation/intermediate level in Employment Law
- Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Degree (HND) in Human Resources, Psychology, or a business/management related degree
- Short internal or external training courses in subjects such as Payroll Management, Training Delivery and Conflict Management, amongst others
For HR Officers and Advisors
- CIPD advanced level in Employment Law
- CIPD intermediate/advanced level in Human Resources Management
- CIPD intermediate/advanced level in Leading, Managing and Developing People
- CIPD intermediate/advanced level in Leadership and Management Development
For HR Managers
- CIPD advanced level qualification in Employment Law
- CIPD advance level in Organisational Development
- Ashbridge Business School qualification in Strategic Human Resource Management
- Ashbridge Business School Masters degree in Organisational Change
And finally, it’s important to remember that learning and development shouldn’t come to an abrupt halt once you reach the level of HR Director. In an every-changing business environment, you will find that many HR Directors will undertake training courses which primarily focus on the strategic side of business, as well as various personal development courses, such as public speaking abilities or networking skills etc.
Although the skill-set may change dramatically at this level, the need for ongoing education and career-boosting qualifications will not.
Looking to further your HR career?
Whether you’re an engaging leader, diplomatic mediator or driven by numbers and analytics, we at Search are recruiting HR professionals at all levels. Our recruitment specialists will work closely with you to determine the best course of action in regards to your career, offering insight and advice for continuing professional development in HR. To find out more about how we can help you, why not give us a call? Alternatively, you can find our full list of vacancies by clicking the button below!