It’s common knowledge that HR professionals are constantly evaluating their talent management and attraction processes for the benefit of their organisation. But how often do you turn this around and look at how you can develop your own skills, experience and expertise to further your career? As I mentioned in my last blog, the role of an HR professional is changing and businesses are increasingly looking for talent and resourcing teams to deliver more.

In line with this, individuals need to make sure they are gaining the relevant skills to not only deliver the value companies are looking for, but also equip themselves with a strong CV for future opportunities. So if you’re looking to further you’re career in HR, what action should you take?

Gain wider business exposure

We’re all aware that the HR function needs to be aligned to the wider strategies of the organisation, and to do so, individuals need to be clued up on the business environment in general. In order to create this link with rest of the company, HR professionals need to look at what opportunities there are to gain general business skills that can be used in their day-to-day roles.

For example, when divisions are developing growth strategies, look where there is scope to sit in on meetings and assist with planning. This will not only aid talent attraction processes, but it will also look good on your CV. Having this close involvement with different line managers will also help individuals to gain a better insight to the how the organisation runs. This also helps bring the business and talent conversations together, something many HR professionals are still striving for.

Document innovation

In this constantly evolving business environment, businesses are looking for experts who can drive positive change, and the HR team is no exception. As a function that is constantly required to deliver more and demonstrate value, it’s vital the individuals are able to express how they have added value in their role and what makes them different from the rest of the talent.

Take for instance, the on-going search for a link between HR initiatives and bottom line impact. How have you driven a possible solution to this for your organisation? What key learnings did you take from this that could benefit other organisations? If you can’t think of any innovative ideas you’ve presented to the team, ask yourself what you could do to improve efficiencies in your role, but also develop your skills and add that extra value to your CV.

Build your own network

HR professionals tend to have a large network anyway, but these are often used for sharing best practice examples and advice. While utilising such a network is beneficial for developing your current role, consider how this can be duplicated with potential new employers. Identify networks of business leaders, both on and offline, and use these to raise your profile. LinkedIn is a fantastic tool to use for this. Research relevant groups to join, companies to follow and individuals to connect with to ensure you’re constantly growing your network.

Lead discussions publically

If you’re in charge of resourcing or attracting talent, you’ll recognise the value of being visible to potential employers – particularly in today’s crowded jobs market. It’s important that HR professionals bare this in mind too. Once you’ve built up your network, take part in and start discussions, share your knowledge as you would with the wider HR community and, perhaps more importantly, engage directly with decision makers in those organisations you would like to work for.

Partner with a specialist

If you are actively looking for your next career move, look at which specialist recruiters can help you. As with any other profession, it’s always worth partnering with an expert who knows your sector and your job inside and out. Review the roles they have placed and what contacts they have, after all you want to know you’re profile is reaching the right people. Any good recruiter will be able to help you with building your personal brand, so always seek their advice where necessary.

Remember, the HR profession is all about people, but it is also a career, so don’t neglect your own skills.  

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