At any given time within a company setting, employees will have interactions or enquiries made relevant to the human resource department. They may wish to check their accrued leave entitlements, have questions about payment, or they may be figuring out the specifics of their contractual agreements.
If you are a people person and looking for a career where your duty is to prioritise the needs of employees, an internship placement in a Human Resources role will give you first-hand experience and insight into what you can expect in the industry. Human Resources (also known as HR) is a crucial part of every company, managing the largest asset that companies have – their dedicated and valued employees. The growing realm of Human Resources management has developed into a multi-faceted industry, where each day at work is as unique and individual as the employees and companies you represent.
Here’s some of the general tasks that HR interns become familiar with during the course of their internship:
One of the most important tasks of Human Resources is to ensure that staff are getting paid according to their specific contractual agreements. People completing HR internships learn the skills required to systematically process salary through software like MYOB and XERO, two popular accounting programs among others that HR use for payroll purposes. If you’re a whiz with detail oriented work and can easily spot inconsistencies, then you’ll be able to build upon your skills further in your internship.
2. Resume and Cover Letter Screening
HR interns are trained to have a keen eye in the art of effective resume and cover letter screening. Discerning which candidate is the right fit for the advertised role based on the quality of their application is a rewarding task. As you gain insight into the breadth of skills and knowledge needed for each job in the company, you become better attuned to managing staff in an empowering way. This understanding will also be an advantage when it comes to creating your own successful resume and cover letter for the Human Resources job you’ve strived for after your internship is complete.
3. Organising Job Interviews
Get to know potential employees before by organising job interviews. Similar to the resume and cover letter screening tasks, shortlisting candidates for interviews is a process of elimination that requires a discerning eye for connecting the job position to the appropriate match that is right fit for the institution. For this task, time management and people analysis is key. You may be able to hone these skills by sitting in on interviews, preparing questions and taking notes. Throughout your HR internship, you will get to know the culture of the company, which will assist you in envisioning who is best suited to acclimatising into the role.
4. Assisting with Employee Orientation and Events
Take pride in welcoming new employees into your host company by helping out with employee induction days. Responsibilities include budgeting, arranging catering, and scheduling group or individual training sessions. Your friendly and helpful attitude towards newcomers can make such a difference in their level of comfort, and an understanding of the standard of workplace culture and morale. Alongside orientation days, people in Human Resources internships may also have opportunities to plan events within the organisation. For example, that mid-week pizza party and mentor session in the office during a busy week could boost employee performance, all thanks to you.
5. Addressing HR Concerns
Sometimes you may be doing more strategic tasks like hiring and onboarding, while other times you might be taking care of individualised issues regarding administration, management and or conflict within colleagues. Following up on employee enquiries are important administrative tasks that HR interns learn to do in accordance with company HR policy, and in consultation with labour legislation. Responding to employee requests for salary increases, holidays, or even inquiries about updating work equipment are all in the domain of Human Resources management. In addition to the everyday queries, you will gain the knowledge about optimising upon productivity through environmental and ergonomic principles. Through this, you will get to know the needs of employees and how to maximise upon the factors that contribute to a happy and functional workplace. If you can put your management skills into practise during an internship, then think about the meaningful work you can do onwards in your Human Resources career.
The Human Resources management industry is rapidly expanding to match the changing trends in the workforce. The HR function is all about making people-oriented choices towards achieving company missions, visions and goals in the workplace. Alongside practical know-how in planning and management, soft skills such as mediation, communication, and team-building are necessary for HR interns to master, as boosting company morale and spirit is the priority within an employee-centred approach.