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Best advice for new HR professionals, according to Reddit

Best advice for new HR professionals, according to Reddit

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Recently, Redditor u/hashtagboymomlife posted a simple ask for the r/humanresources community:

Advice for new HR professionals

The thread is full of great advice for new HR professionals, but much of it can be applicable for anyone with a business career. Here were some of the best snippets from HR veterans for new People people to apply to their lives:

1. Build strong partnerships with everyone, but especially with other support functions (IT, Finance, etc). 

“No matter what role you’re in within HR, knowing who to go to for assistance outside of HR is critical,” said Redditor u/rhymezest, an HRIS director with nine years of experience. This piece of advice was the most upvoted in the thread, with several other users echoing the statement. “Great advice,” said user u/nycreallady. “I think this is especially key if you’re an HRG or the only person in HR at your location/company. Absolutely right, your BFFs are payroll/accounting/legal. Do not ignore this….even if you don’t like them, find a way to make a partnership work.”

User u/LSF45 also added: “Collaborate and partner, never dictate. If you have to be the decision maker from time to time, that’s fine. But, HR’s role is to partner and collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure the mission, vision, and goals of the organization are being met.”

2. Your HR knowledge is useless if you don’t understand the business you work in. 

This popular piece of wisdom came from u/TheSaucyMinx330, a seasoned HR manager with 30 years of experience. “HR doesn’t operate in a vacuum, so if you don’t understand the impact your decisions and programs will have on the business, you will lose respect and credibility from your peers.” u/mountaintippytop called this the “best advice in this thread”.

3. HR is really all about knowing how to research. 

If Google isn’t your best friend yet, it will be soon, according to HR manager u/slacayo91. According to their advice on the thread, “the rules are always changing and you need to know how to investigate current and changing laws.” This tidbit even came from one of their very first HR managers when starting out.

4. Hang in there. 

User u/holyschmidt, a Senior HRBP with 9 years of experience, posted on the thread with five pieces of advice, but one of them can be especially helpful for new HR professionals who may be feeling demotivated by the “old-school” way HR is often done. “Those people will soon retire and a new generation will start to do things with different values in mind, u/holyschmidt says. “Ask why HR is important to the company in interviews, look for companies with diverse leadership, look out for signs of cultural competency. All these things will trend toward working in a more human and supportive environment.”

5. Focus on customer service. Remember who your customers are.

One piece of advice that may be hard for some to hear came from u/Jenneapolis, a Director HRBP with 11 years on the job. “So many in HR tend to act like because it’s internal, service doesn’t matter. This doesn’t mean they always get what they want but it does mean you are responsive and go above and beyond.” Redditor u/emptyex said something similar, urging people not to be the type that gives HR a bad name. “Lead your actions with kindness and empathy, and try to do more listening than talking. Then, follow that with action.”

6. It’s okay not to know the answers and to admit that, but be willing to put the work in to find the answers. 

People in the thread agreed that it’s more than OK to admit you don’t know the answers. “Resourcefulness and an open mind will help you develop,” said Redditor u/emptyex, an HR consultant with a decade of experience. 

7. Standardize everything.

To save yourself from endless headaches, Redditor and HR generalist u/autumn-autumn urges new professionals to “create a SOP (standard operating procedure) for every task HR does.” Whether you create it in Excel or use checkboxes, this will keep you consistent and ensure you don’t forget where you left off. 

8. Read this thread!

The best piece of advice, according to Senior HR Business Partner u/rivvychica, is to read through the thread in full. “There is just so much fantastic information here. Trying to think of something that has not already been covered is tough!” 

To read more advice or add your own insight, check out the full thread on Reddit here.

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