How To Get An Entry-Level HR Job: A Complete Guide

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 4 November 2022

Published 25 October 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Human resources or HR is a department within an organisation that oversees the management, compensation and professional development of employees. This includes multiple aspects of a recruitment process, such as interviewing, onboarding and training. It also addresses areas of concern, often engaging in conflict resolution and promoting fair labour practices and workplace diversity. In this article, we examine how to get an entry-level HR job, the qualifications required for it and the scope for advancement and career progression.

How To Get An Entry-Level HR Job

Most businesses upgrade and update their human resource department as they are crucial for sustained success. HR is a promising, challenging and fulfilling career field. Since it offers several well-paying job opportunities, this field is fairly competitive. Follow these steps If you are keen on how to get an entry-level HR job:

1. Get an HR degree

An HR department needs skilled, qualified and knowledgeable employees to assist with recruitment, training, compensation and benefits departments. Without a formal qualification, you may find it challenging to make progress in an HR career. Many premier government and private colleges, universities and institutes offer degrees and diplomas in one or more HR functions. Many large companies specify an HR degree in their eligibility criteria. An HR degree offers a competitive edge, provides you with the required skills and increases your chances of employment with medium and large-scale companies.

Related: Why Is Human Resources Important to Every Organisation?

2. Get a degree in HR-related fields

Getting a degree in HR may be the most direct route for entry-level HR jobs. Degrees in HR-related fields can also train you for entry-level and administrative roles. HR professionals are typically skilled in communication, management, organisation, team-building, finance and marketing. Some domains where bachelor's and master's degrees can help you get an entry-level job in HR are:

  • Business administration

  • Humanities

  • Organisational development

  • Marketing

  • Psychology

  • Communication

  • Public relations

  • Finance

  • Economics

3. Get adequate work experience

Large companies may prefer experienced professionals for their entry-level jobs, as it saves them time and money otherwise invested in additional training. If you have not worked an HR job before, you can gain work experience by interning in an HR department when you study, during semester breaks or while waiting for the right job. You can also gain relevant work experience in smaller companies that employ freshers. The learning from working in smaller companies may be beneficial while applying for jobs in bigger companies.

4. Get certified

Companies value and prefer candidates with specific HR certifications. Becoming certified showcases the extent of your skill and demonstrates your proficiency in a specific domain within human resources. To obtain a certification, take an exam that tests your skills and knowledge, provided by a recognised authority or institution. The requirements for each HR certification may vary. If you are looking for an entry-level HR job, consider the following certifications:

  • SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP)

  • Senior Professional In Human Resources (SPHR)

  • Certified HR Generalist

  • Certified Payroll Specialist

  • Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP)

  • ISTD (Indian Society of Training and Development) Certification

Related: How to List Certifications on a Resume (With Examples)

5. Build a network

Working in HR involves working directly with people, so building a strong network is helpful in your efforts to find a job in the field. You can use professional social media platforms, join HR-related forums and associations, and look for others in the human resources field to create and expand your network. Other options for strengthening your network involve connecting with your professors and peers, who may have connections in the field. You can also reach out to alumni or contact HR professionals who work with companies of particular interest to you.

6. Acquire relevant skills

An HR professional deals with people all the time. You can develop soft skills and interpersonal skills that can help you work more effectively in this domain. If you are looking for an entry-level HR job, consider developing these skills:

  • Communication skills: A person in HR conducts interviews and training sessions, and makes presentations periodically. HR professionals may require good verbal and written communication skills to be effective in their roles.

  • Decision-making: Choosing the right candidate, letting go of a candidate and reviewing candidates are day-to-day functions of an HR professional. Impartial and clear decision-making skills can be beneficial in an HR role.

  • Empathy: When employees have a problem regarding payroll, working conditions or internal conflicts, they reach out to HR professionals instinctively. Showing empathy, listening to concerns and addressing issues are important aspects of the job for an HR professional.

  • Organisational skills: HR personnel may perform multiple tasks during a day, including recruiting, onboarding, training and reporting. Being organised and systematic reduces the chances of redundancy and miscommunication in their work.

  • Leadership skills: Employees and executives in an organisation may look toward HR for guidance and leadership because they can put together a good team whenever the company requires one. Developing leadership qualities helps an HR professional personally and professionally.

  • Technical skills: Though HR is a very people-centric domain, most companies have digitised their work processes. Proficiency in using relevant computer applications and the ability to work independently in the company's HRM (Human Resource Management) software are important skills for an HR professional.

Related: Top HR Skills and Activities

7. Work on your resume

HR professionals process and scrutinise many resumes in a day. Write your resume in a way that catches and retains a trained recruiter's attention. Include your educational qualifications, certifications, relevant work experience and technical skills. Give details of the duties and responsibilities that you have handled so far in previous roles.

Related: How to Make a Resume (With Examples)

What Are The Different Jobs Available In HR?

Since human resources deal with multiple aspects of employee-related functions, there are a variety of jobs available in this department. While some jobs are entry-level administrative jobs, some are specialised roles requiring specific qualifications and experience. Some roles in HR are individual contributor roles, and some HR professionals always work in tandem with others. Some common individual roles in human resources are:

  • Employment specialist

  • Human resources assistant

  • Human resources coordinator

  • Human resources specialist

  • Recruiter

  • Human resources generalist

  • Human resources manager

  • Recruitment manager

  • Employee relations manager

  • Labour relations specialist

  • Director of employee engagement

  • Director of human resources

HR Job Hierarchy

Human resources departments often build a hierarchy of jobs, each level containing employees who may support others or perform specific duties. This ranking helps ensure that the department operates smoothly and meets the company's personnel needs. Here is a list of human resources job levels a company might have:

  • Lower or entry-level HR jobs

  • Mid-level HR jobs

  • Senior-level HR jobs

  • Specialised HR positions

What Are Some Entry-Level Jobs In HR?

Entry-level jobs are for those who are recent graduates or graduates with a few years of relevant work experience. Professionals in these roles assist their immediate seniors in routine administration, recruitment and other HR-related functions. Those who work in entry-level HR jobs typically report to an HR manager. Some entry-level HR jobs are:

HR associate

An HR associate assists a recruiter or a recruiting coordinator with their HR-related activities. They provide the necessary support, maintain employee records and help new employees with the onboarding process. The average base salary of a human resource associate is ₹15,760 per month.

Recruiting coordinator

A recruiting coordinator takes care of processes from recruiting to onboarding including, scheduling interviews, coordinating logistics and sending offer letters. They conduct background checks for candidates, verify required documents and ensure a candidate's smooth onboarding. The average base salary of a recruiting coordinator is ₹17,844 per month.

HR administrator

An HR administrator maintains and updates employee records with information including leave, increments, incentives and appraisal information. They also perform administrative tasks relating to employee relations. The average base salary of a human resources administrator is ₹18,731 per month.

Recruiter

A recruiter of a company identifies suitable candidates for the job openings submitted by various departments. Their job is to scrutinise, screen and identify the best-fit resumes to different departments for shortlisting. The average base salary of a recruiter is ₹19,061 per month.

Payroll coordinator

A payroll coordinator verifies employee data, calculates wages, processes timesheets and payroll for taxation purposes and for determining benefits. They ensure that employees receive the correct wages and salaries due to them without any discrepancy. The average base salary of a payroll coordinator is ₹19,221 per month.

HR representative

The HR representative assists an HR manager in responding to queries about HR policies and processes. They are knowledgeable about a company's benefits, incentives, allowances and vacations policies. They ensure that employees are aware of these aspects of their job role, by periodically relaying policy-related information from management to employees. The average base salary of a human resources representative is ₹25,490 per month in India.

What Is The Scope Of Promotion For Entry-Level HR Jobs?

After two or three years in an entry-level HR position, professionals often receive promotions for mid-level jobs with more responsibilities and higher salaries. In these roles, you may oversee a team of entry-level HR employees or specialise in specific HR functions like training and staff development. Mid-level HR professionals typically report to the HR director or other senior management positions.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

Related:

  • The Functions and Departments of HR: A Complete Guide

  • What Is Recruitment in HR? (With Types, Process and Tips)

  • How Much Does An MBA In HR Make? (With Skills And Job Roles)

  • 10 Careers In Human Resources (With Salary And Job Duties)

  • Top Certifications And Management Courses For HR


Explore more articles