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What is it like to work in Human Resources?

Answer by A Quora admin: Corrie Hausman,

This is a good question.

The answer (like almost every answer to every question!) is, it depends. It depends on the company (size, industry, location, culture, hierarchical style, power players, etc). It depends on who you are (your work style, approach, goals, likes and dislikes). It depends on your job duties. It depends on the day.

But I will answer from my own experience of working in HR at a very functional, happy small-to-medium non-profit in the U.S.

My days are hugely busy, full of ever-changing priorities, last minute emergencies, impromptu meetings and phone calls, good news, bad news, fun, tedium, and pleasure.

On any given day:

  • I will speak to employees from every level of the organization about every imaginable thing.
  • I will draft documentation.
  • I may post a job opening, interview people, coordinate with a hiring manager, check references, or (my absolute favorite) offer a job.
  • I will probably coach someone or give advice.
  • I may participate in meetings that determine the destiny of your organization.
  • I will file things.
  • I might discipline someone, fire someone, or tell someone they got a promotion.
  • Someone will make a joke about “don’t tell HR” as they do something silly nearby.
  • I will solve multiple problems for multiple people.
  • I will refer someone to the employee handbook.
  • I will refer to the employee handbook myself.
  • I will learn about some upcoming change to HR-related law. I will sigh.
  • I will advocate for someone.
  • I will know that I am making a difference for my company and my employees.
  • I will go home happy and tired.

What is it like to work in Human Resources?

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