9 Professional Development Tips For Human Resource Professionals



HR is a profession that requires continuous professional development. 

Human resources professionals are an integral part of every business. It’s important they are taking care of their needs so they can fully assist others.

Below, nine human resources professionals -- and those with HR responsibilities - share how they ensure they’re getting the professional development needed to excel in their roles and grow their careers. 

Create a Professional Plan 

Like any position in any industry, HR professionals run the risk of becoming stagnant in their current position and having no plans or goals on how to excel in their role. Sitting down and creating a clear, detailed outline of milestones, income levels and titles with associated timelines you want to strive for will give you the guideline needed to accomplish the goals you set for yourself. 

Vicky Franko, Insura

Improve Your Communication Skills 

HR professionals are constantly interacting with people on all levels, whether through negotiating compensation with new hires, handling internal issues before they get out of hand, or simply communicating company policies and procedures to employees. Taking online courses or reading books about negotiation, conflict management, and even empathy will allow you to grow and excel in your current role. 

Kenna Hamm, Texas Adoption Center

Attend Professional Development Events 

Whether it is a conference or workshop, getting outside the four walls of your office and in an environment with like-minded professionals will allow you to keep your skills and industry knowledge up to date. It also opens the door to networking and making connections with people in the HR industry that can give you new insight on how to better perform in your current position and give you advice on how to grow in your career. 

Ryan Nouis, TruPath

Learn From SHRM

SHRM has been a great help in regards to my HR development. There are many forums, resources, and additional support for every topic.

Andrew Aziz, HRBP

Don’t Rely on Your Employer

I have taken it upon myself to find professional development opportunities since this wasn't something that was provided by any of my previous employers. I am constantly looking for webinars, in-person classes/seminars, and certifications that are relevant to my career. I'm also very picky about the development opportunities that I choose as I want to make sure they are relevant to me and my personal goals.

Dana Felix, HR Analyst

Continue Learning

As a former head of L&D, without question, the importance of learning agility is key to successful careering in any profession. However, there are such sweeping changes across HR as businesses are changing at the speed of light. In addition to taking advantage of the corporate university, look for informal mentoring relationships, and be sure to stay a student of your industry. Seek out opportunities to read or attend presentations by thought leaders on a variety of topics that will inform your point of view and propel you forward as a strategic and innovative and informed business partner.

Janet Wise, VP Employer Experience Career Transitions

Find Mentors, Workshops, and Projects

Find mentorship from HR professionals whose jobs you want. Seek out workshops that will add skills to your HR expertise. And most importantly, ensure you are taking on work projects that will allow you to grow in your HR career.

Ron Rapatalo, Edgility Consulting

Don’t Limit Yourself to HR Knowledge

Attend events that are both, directly and indirectly, related to what you do. As a Talent Acquisition professional, I believe marketing knowledge is just as important as HR. People always want to know the story. Marketing is how you tell it. I try to attend a variety of webinars or lunch-and-learns that encompasses HR, Marketing as well as TA Tech.

Steven Brown, DP Electric Inc

Focus on Yourself

Focus on yourself. Putting yourself first may seem foreign for an HR professional who constantly prioritizes the needs of others, but it is necessary. You can't pour from an empty cup. Take the leadership course, sign up for the counseling session, book tickets to the retreat. Putting your daily duties on pause, in order to learn how to better handle your role, is never a waste of time.

Emily Bosak, Markitors


The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

Add new comment

Please enter the text you see in the image below: