If working with people is your passion, then a job in human resources (HR) can be one of the most satisfying careers you’ll find. We spoke to Ruth Jephthah, Oxbridge Academy’s superstar HR Officer, about the ins and outs of her rewarding work.

What are your main responsibilities as an HR Officer?

The job is very broad and includes a variety of responsibilities. I keep track of employee attendance and deal with any disciplinary processes that take place. I am involved in recruitment, specifically accepting CVs and arranging interviews. I also carry out the inductions for new employees, where I take them on a tour through the building and work through their contracts with them.

A big part of my job is employee counselling. Staff would often approach me to discuss HR-related issues and my job then is to give them support and advice.

Another aspect of my work is employee training. So, for example, I will conduct training on employment equity and other processes.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I definitely enjoy meeting new people and getting to know people.  The employees view me as someone they can turn to when they have a problem. As these matters are very important to them, it is very rewarding when you are able to give them the support they need and make a positive impact in their lives.

What are the most challenging aspects of the job?

There is a lot of admin and paperwork that you need to stay on top of, and you must be able to manage your time properly. You may have to deal with unexpected issues at a moment’s notice, so juggling various things at once can be a challenge. In addition, disciplinary processes are challenging and sometimes not pleasant. You need to be able to make unbiased decisions without letting your emotions get in the way.

What characteristics do you need to be a successful HR Officer?

You definitely need to be a people’s person who can interact with a wide variety of personalities. You need to be someone people can reply on, have patience, display good listening skills, and be able to communicate well. Since the job involves so many different responsibilities, being flexible is also crucial. Lastly, good administrative skills and paying attention to detail are vital elements too – one small mistake can have a big impact on an employee.

How did you enter this particular career?

I wanted a career where I would be working with people, so HR was a natural choice. I studied my N4 – N6 Human Resource Management qualifications and then found an internship. I would strongly suggest this path to anyone who wants to enter the field. My internship was a defining moment for me. It really gave me a proper taste of the HR field and provided confirmation that this is what I wanted to do.

Does the career of an HR Officer sound like it’s for you? Start laying your foundations with Human Resources courses from Oxbridge Academy.

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