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Chrm Message From: madure Total Posts: 278 Join Date: 06/06/2006
Rank: Coach Post Date: 10/06/2006 23:14:53 Points: 1440 Location: Sri Lanka

These are the Summary of key findings in CIPD survey UK last year which I am sure will be beneficial to all pursuing a career in HR

• Only about a quarter (26%) of respondents started
out in HR.

• Individuals are least likely to occupy a specialist
role when starting out in their HR career (91%
of administrators/assistants are generalists) and
when they have reached the top (84% of directors
consider themselves to be generalists).

• In the intervening stages, practitioners are more
likely to occupy specialist roles, especially at senior
officer level (where 26% are specialists).

• The length of respondents’ careers in HR varies
enormously, ranging from less than a year to 46
years, with the average being 15 years.

• HR directors have worked in HR for an average of
20 years, but those with the greatest experience
are independent consultants and lecturers, both
reporting an average of 22 years.

• Respondents have had an average of four major
career steps in their HR careers to date and
have worked for an average of three different

• Eighty-three per cent of respondents have worked
outside HR, the most frequently cited functions
being sales, marketing and retail.

Getting jobs in HR

• Respondents are most likely to have obtained
their first and current HR jobs via external job
applications and internal promotions, even at senior

• The most influential sources of career advice, in
order, are felt to be line managers (a long way
ahead of the rest); the HR press; friends and
relatives; and CIPD member services.

• HR professionals keep a close eye on the HR job
market. Only 5% say they never look at HR job
adverts, while the vast majority say they look either
‘sometimes’ (40%) or ‘frequently’ (48%).

Attitudes towards HR careers

• The majority of respondents believe it’s advisable to
move around in HR, gaining experience in different
functions, sectors and organisations.

• Exposure to both the public and private sectors
is viewed favourably, while almost half feel that
international experience improves HR career

• Generalists are perceived as having better career
prospects than specialists.

• Most respondents (64%) feel that HR is growing in

• Only 35% believe that others in their organisations
see HR as an attractive place to work.

• Respondents are reasonably optimistic about HR’s
prospects – only around one-third feel that there
will be fewer HR jobs in the future (34%).

• The emergence of call centres is viewed
unfavourably, with only 16% believing they offer
good career opportunities. Outsourcing is also a
concern – 40% feel it has impacted negatively on
HR careers.

• Less than half of respondents think they’ll get
where they want to be, career-wise, with their
current employer (45%).

What matters when pursuing an HR career?

• The top factors considered to be important for
an HR career today are personal drive; IT literacy;
business/industry awareness; taking charge of
your own career; generalist experience; numeracy/
financial awareness; and networking.

• CIPD membership is seen as a ‘must have’ for
career progression.

• Academic and vocational qualifications are seen
as lessening in importance in the future, while
specialist experience, experience outside HR
and in different organisations, HR qualifications
apart from CIPD qualifications, strategic thinking,
and consultancy skills are all seen as growing in
importance in the future.

• When asked which had been the most important
contributors to their HR careers to date, personal
drive and generalist experience come out on top.

Starting again

• When asked ‘If you could start your career again,
would you still opt for HR?,’ the vast majority
(81%) said ‘yes’.

• The reasons people give for enjoying their HR
careers related to variety, challenge and interest,
and the view that HR is at the heart of the business
and can make a difference.

• Reasons for not pursuing HR careers again include
wishing they had opted for a different career
altogether and being critical of HR’s image and
perceived value within the business.

Getting to the top in HR

• The two most important single factors in getting
to the top in HR are believed to be personal drive/
ambition followed by business sense/awareness.

• Being on a formal training scheme for your first
HR job is particularly important in getting to the
top in HR. Over one-third of directors and senior
executives started out in HR in such a scheme,
compared to less than 15% of all other groups.

• Analysis showed that predictors for getting to the
top in HR include being a generalist rather than a
specialist, having a degree, being older, working
for a number of different organisations, and having
had a number of significant career steps.

• Only 3% of directors, and 5% of senior executives,
have been in HR less than five years. In fact,
85–90% of respondents at these top levels have
been in HR for more than ten years.

• Senior people are more likely to believe that
international experience and working for a large
organisation improves your career prospects.

Prof.Lakshman Madurasinghe., PhD, Consultant Psychologist/Attorney

Web site:

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