Job profile

Human Resources Officer

Human Resources Officer Job Profile

Human Resources Officer

As a Human Resources Officer, you will ensure the organisation you work for has the right workforce to meet business objectives.

While working in HR, you will selectively hire people with the relevant experience and skills, in addition to finding staff development opportunities, providing training, and ensuring disciplinary measures are handled correctly.

In some organisations, your work may also involve setting conditions of employment, ensuring there is diversity and equality in the workplace, negotiating with external staffing agencies, and improving working practices and staff retention. You may also be responsible for assessing which staff members are suitable for pay raises and bonuses.


As a Human Resources Officer you will need to:

  • Understand business objectives and create policies in support of them. 
  • Create and circulate job adverts complete with accurate job descriptions and candidate specifications.
  • Oversee the recruitment process by reviewing applications, shortlisting the best candidates, taking an active role in interviewing candidates, and corresponding with unsuccessful applicants. 
  • Hire, train and retain the workforce. 
  • Ensure that candidates are eligible for work, considering working visas and citizenships. 
  • Plan training programmes, oversee staff inductions and create staff handbooks.
  • Advise staff members on pay and other working benefits they are eligible for. 
  • Undertake administration duties.
  • Create and manage fair staff redundancy programmes. 
  • Ensure staff welfare needs are met.
  • Administer payroll and conduct salary reviews. 
  • Improve the culture of an organisation by promoting diversity and equality. 
  • Strategically plan for longer-term staffing requirements. 
  • Implement policies on equal opportunities, performance and absence management, and disciplinary procedures and advise on the implementation of them. 
  • Liaise with line managers, other departments, and trade union officials. 
  • Maintain employee records. 
  • Advise management on employment law. 
  • Deal with staff complaints. 
  • Oversee the fair implementation of disciplinary procedures. 


  • Before moving into HR officer roles, it is common to gain experience in HR administration; the starting salary for a human resources administrator is £18,000 – £23,000. 
  • The average salary for a human resources officer is £24,000 – £35,000. 

After gaining experience as a human resources officer, there is the opportunity to move into HR manager and HR director roles, which pay £35,000 – £55,000 and £55,000 – £80,000, respectively. 

Working Hours

Most Human Resource Officers work Monday to Friday, 37-hour weeks; however, weekend and shift work isn’t unheard of. Overtime may be required to meet deadlines during busy periods. Flexible, job-share and part-time positions are also available for experienced HR officers.

What to Expect

  • Your work will be office-based unless you are working for government departments or a large organisation in charge of warehouses, factories, or retail outlets. 
  • Freelance, consultancy and self-employment opportunities are possible for HR officers with specialised skills and knowledge. However, this work tends to be on a very short-term basis. 
  • HR officers are needed throughout the UK; however, the best opportunities are typically found in major towns and cities where company headquarters are commonly found. 
  • Depending on the structure of the HR department and the type of organisation, there are national and even international opportunities for travel.


HR work is open to graduates of undergraduate degrees and foundation degrees from all fields of study. However, candidates with an educational background in business, management, human resources management and psychology can fare better in the competitive job market. 

If you are enrolling in a higher education course to improve your career options, it is always worth checking if the course is accredited by the CIPD as CIPD accreditation is preferred by certain employers. 

Some organisations, typically larger ones, run graduate schemes which allow graduates to move into HR placements following the completion of the scheme. Other organisations run apprenticeship schemes which combine part-time study with paid work.


As a Human Resources Officer, you will need: 

  • Management skills.
  • Business acumen. 
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • The ability to work effectively with staff at all levels. 
  • Numeracy and IT literacy to handle digital payroll systems. 
  • An understanding of employment law. 
  • Long-term planning and organisational skills.
  • Approachability, integrity, and empathy. 
  • The confidence to challenge working cultures in an organisation. 
  • Teamworking and negotiation skills.
  • The ability to analyse statistical data and present it clearly.
  • The ability to make executive decisions and juggle a varied workload under pressure. 
  • Cultural awareness. 
  • Leadership potential. 

Work Experience

Due to the level of responsibility involved in the typical human resources officer job role, relevant work experience is vital. Many human resource officers get their foot on the career ladder by undertaking administration roles in HR departments or other general office work. 

For students in higher education, it will be highly beneficial to embark on an industrial placement or a summer internship or work as a volunteer in student-run organisations or groups. Any experience in coaching, training, teamwork and managing a budget will put you in good stead with recruiters.

Career Prospects

After gaining experience as a human resources officer, you can move into HR manager or HR director roles or choose to advance your career by focusing on an HR speciality or by seeking employment with bigger employers that tend to provide larger salaries. 

Alternatively, experienced HR officers could choose to embark on a career as a learning and development specialist, talent management specialist, diversity specialist, organisational development consultant, or recruitment specialist.


HR offices are required in all organisations that have a workforce. The main sectors to consider include banking and finance, IT, retail, healthcare, engineering, the Civil Service, local government offices and charities.

Each sector has its own HR challenges, which is why prospective HR officers are advised to think about which sectors they are keenest to enter before enrolling in higher education or gaining work experience. 

Within larger organisations, there will be several HR officers in speciality roles; with smaller companies, it isn’t uncommon for businesses to have one or two HR officers covering all responsibilities. 

You can also choose to work on a specialist consultancy basis by seeking outplacement roles to help employers deal with certain issues, such as redundancy programmes. 

Some of the best places to seek HR officer roles include the Ashdown Group, People Management, Personnel Today, and HR Recruit websites.

Related Courses


Business Foundation Programme

The 1-year Business Foundation Programme taught at the UWS London campus teaches students real-world business theories underpinned by academic theory to prepare them for a career in human resource management, finance, and wider areas of business management. Students will also be taught communication skills and IT skills while gaining valuable knowledge in business operations.

Ba (Hons) International Business 

If you are keen to work in larger or multi-national organisations as a human resources officer, the Ba (Hons) International Business degree will allow you to learn core business principles and equip you with the critical skills required to tackle the challenges faced by modern businesses today. In addition to developing background knowledge in human resource management, you will also brush up on economics, finance, and marketing and have the opportunity to specialise in an area of study, such as local government or retail.

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