Download our free Resume Ebook

Asked by Phillip on April 25, 2017

I am interested in navigating from a career in Student Affairs and Higher Education to a career in Human Resources. I have a Masters of Education in Higher Education Administration, but am starting off with a corporate company as a Senior Recruitment Coordinator. What are some realistic HR career paths I can pursue?

Answered by Ellee, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., on April 26, 2017

Hello! Congratulations on your recent job acceptance! One of the aspects that I enjoy about Human Resources is the variety of experiences you can have in one function and continuously build your functional acumen. There are several aspects to Human Resources that you could gain exposure to before finding an area that best suits you and your career desires. If you have an interest in gaining exposure and experiences outside of recruitment, begin networking with colleagues that work in benefits, compensation, talent development, etc. This will allow you to understand the responsibilities and expectations for each area, and will allow you to decide if that is an area you may be interested in. If you learn about a role or area that you are interested in pursuing after a few years in your current role, talk to your manager about the potential opportunity and begin working on a development plan on how to achieve your goal. With Human Resources, you can create your own career path, just begin networking and determine the path you want to take. Best of luck!

Was this answer helpful?

Answered by Tom, Hiring Expert at VF Corporation, on April 28, 2017

As long as you continue to learn on the job and/or in the classroom, I wouldn't limit yourself to any potential career path in HR, their are likely more career paths that would be realistic vs. not.  Since your recruitment role will touch many other areas of HR (benefits, compensation, employee relations, business partnership, etc.) take advantage of learning more about them and getting to know the people in those roles, that will help you realize what potential career paths there are and your interest in them.  Also, my 20 plus years experience in HR across multiple companies, suggests there is generally a lot of cross-functional project work in HR, try to participate as much as you can in those. 

Was this answer helpful?

Answered by Monica, Hiring Expert at Emerson, on June 21, 2017

Congrats on landing your first job in HR!  A lot of us in the HR practice start in recruitment.  The good news is that as recruitment coordinator you are already in an HR career path.  In your role, you will learn a lot about the foundations of HR regulations at your State level and Federal level, and maybe even local level (e.g. San Francisco has expansive local regs).  You will also be acting as sales person on behalf of the organization you work for.  Meaning - you have to sell on the brand name, the culture, and all the details that will attract the best candidates to your organization.  I would suggest that you become knowledgeable in everything to do with the employee experience, from hire to exit, at your company.  Your question is the same exact question that your new hires will ask of you when they sign on to join you and your organization.  Knowing how the employee experience works in your organization will help you attain and retain the talent that you work hard to bring in.  Also, by doing this you will become familiar in all the ways that HR is involved and managing such employee experience.  That will give you guidance on what type of HR path you might enjoy pursuing in the future. 
An HR career path can be on a specialized area of HR - Recruitment, Benefits, Compensation, Employee Relations, etc.  And there is the HR Generalist approach, which entails broad knowledge of all areas of the HR practice.  Ultimately it depends on your individual talents and interests on what HR or other career path you take from this point forward.  However, you are asking the right question at the right time.  I am sure that as you use this same inquisitiveness and thoughtfulness through your own employee experience in your new organization, you will find - or build - the career path of your dreams. 

Was this answer helpful?