How to Succeed in HR

How to Succeed in HR

We spend a lot of time talking about how to make the right hiring and development decisions for your company, but every now and then you have to stop and ask “what about me?”

As a young HR professional, what can you do to advance your career? What are the things you need to do now to set yourself up for future success?

We asked a number of senior HR executives what advice they have for their junior counterparts and here’s what some of them had to say:

“You can’t help the company if you don’t understand the business. HR is not just people. It’s also understanding how the economy works, industry forecasts, and population trends. Don’t wait for the company to develop you. Business gets chaotic and sometimes plans don’t work out, so take your development into your own hands. Seek out training opportunities, read constantly, and always stay three steps ahead of what’s coming down the pike so you are proactive, not reactive.”

President and Owner
Boldly GO Career & HR Management


“Leverage your resources. So much low-cost or no-cost information is out there for the taking. The Internet is packed full of HR-related resources that is easily searchable. Get a SHRM membership; it’s inexpensive, provides lots of resources, and allows for legal access as needed. Attend local SHRM meetings to meet other professionals and learn from their experience through mentorships. Sign up for HR e-newsletters to stay current on trends and get access to free webinars.”

Katherine Daniel
Director of Human Resources & Marketing
N2 Publishing


“Find mentorship cohorts outside of HR within their business to learn and understand the business itself.  Learning how their organization makes money will allow them to better align the talent strategy with the business strategy.  So many early career HR practitioners are overwhelmed with learning all of the compliance nuances before they understand how they would apply in a business setting. Being able to be a great partner to the business has been a struggle for HR of the past. Hopefully, the next generation of HR/Talent Management leaders and practitioners are able to leave both leaders and the talent they serve with a better impression by understanding business.”

Keri Higgins-Bigelow, SPHR 


“Human resources is all about complying with a rigid set of professional and ethical standards. Meeting these standards usually consists of respecting deadlines and being punctual. You want to get ahead? File on time. Make phone calls on time. Promptly reply to mail!”

Pierre Tremblay
Director of Human Resources


“The best tip that I can provide is to develop an online platform. Whether that is YouTube or blogging, establishing yourself as a thought leader in the HR space will make you stand out from every other HR professional out there.”

Sia Mohajer
HR Manager
Online Resume Builders


“Ambitious young HR professionals who intend to reach the top positions must develop transferable skills and keep learning throughout their careers. They must constantly update their profiles and keep adding skills like IT and coaching to their portfolio … modern HR executives should be able to understand business and its practices.”

Frank Lee
Senior HR Executive
Rebates Zone

What advice do you have for young HR professionals looking to get ahead?


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Ian Cameron
Ian Cameron

Great points, Frank!

Frank Gagliardo
Frank Gagliardo

Vice President of HR Young HR Professionals should be versatile, mobile, and understand what is happening in the market place in terms HR Related Issues, Regulations and Best Practices.

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