Gator Career Chat: Careers in Human Resources (Event Recap and Recording)

On Thursday, March 21, 2024, the Career Connections Center hosted a virtual panel event on careers in human resources. The panelists provided insight about the day-to-day of their roles, and how they’ve leveraged their educational background and technical skills to launch successful careers in Human Resources.

CLICK HERE to access the event recording.

Event Summary

Sarah, a career pathways coach, led a discussion with HR professionals about career paths, the changing role of HR, and the essential skills required for success in the field. The panel emphasized the importance of technology, technical skills, and human capital in HR practices, as well as the value of gaining experience through internships or volunteering. The team also discussed the significance of networking, the potential benefits of project management courses, and the importance of reaching out to career coaches for support.

Exploring the Evolving Role of HR in Business

Caitie, Layla, Makayla, and Erin, all working in the field of human resources (HR), shared their career paths and perspectives on the changing role of HR in the business world. They agreed that HR encompasses more than just compliance, with a growing emphasis on employee experience and business value. The discussion highlighted the increasing use of data in HR, from workforce analytics and engagement data to more exploratory research studies. The team’s interest in HR was largely driven by their passion for improving employee well-being and job satisfaction, as well as their recognition of the field’s potential for wider impact.

Essential Skills and Qualifications for HR Success

Sarah initiated a discussion with the panelists, Layla, Erin, and Makayla, about the essential skills and qualifications required for success in their respective roles in HR. The panelists shared their insights, highlighting the importance of a graduate-level degree, understanding of statistics, coding skills, and soft skills like communication, problem-solving, strategic thinking, and equity and inclusion. They also touched upon the need for project management skills and the significance of humanizing the recruitment process. Furthermore, they discussed their daily tasks, challenges, and what they love about their roles.

Embracing Technology in HR Practices

The team discussed the increasing role of technology in human resources (HR) practices. Caitie highlighted the need for HR professionals to embrace change and ambiguity in their roles, especially in relation to technology. Layla and Makayla shared their experiences with technology streamlining HR processes, including the use of chatbots and AI, but also noted the importance of human contact in some cases. Erin shared her reliance on HR systems like Workday and Microsoft Power BI for data accuracy and trend analysis. The team also discussed the use of technology for skills assessment and AI for analyzing survey responses. The session concluded with a call to embrace technology and not be afraid of its impact on HR practices.

Emerging Trends in HR Sector Discussed

The panel discussed emerging trends in the HR sector, including the importance of technical skills and human capital. Makayla emphasized the value of gaining as much experience as possible, suggesting internships or volunteering for smaller organizations to stand out. Erin highlighted the need to stay abreast of workforce trends, while Caitie discussed the shift towards more systematic HR roles. Catherine asked about the benefits of internships and whether it’s better to apply to entry-level jobs. The panel advised her to focus on getting HR experience on her resume and to expand her reach when applying.

Networking, Building Relationships, and Project Experience

Sarah led a discussion on networking and building relationships in the human resources industry. Erin and Layla emphasized the importance of finding networking opportunities that suit individual preferences, with Erin suggesting exploration of HR organizations and Layla recommending LinkedIn as a tool. Sarah highlighted the value of networking in the current job market. The team also discussed the potential benefits of project management courses and real-world project experience for students. The session ended with Sarah encouraging students to reach out to her or other career coaches for support throughout their career journeys.

By Sarah Blackmon
Sarah Blackmon Career Pathways Coach -- Human Services, Consulting, and Education