A personnel officer helps recruit, hire and train employees. Personnel officers review resumes and cover letters from job applicants and set up employment interviews. Before hiring a candidate, the personnel officer typically calls references and performs a background check. Personnel officers are often referred to as human resources officers or HR workers.
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A personnel officer explains various aspects of the job--such as the job description and pay--to those whom she is interviewing. She oversees current employee health benefits and retirement plans, as well as vacation and sick days. Many personnel officers handle other office-related responsibilities, including faxing documents, answering phones and typing reports. Personnel officers often ensure that employees are focused and working as a team and try to keep company morale high. Occasionally, an employee in this position will perform employee reviews.
A personnel officer must know his company's guidelines and policies and possess strong communication skills to accurately relay the information to other employees. He should be driven, organised, professional and a capable leader. Strong writing and editing skills might be necessary because personnel officers could be responsible for putting together and distributing the employee handbook. Personnel officers should be decent typists and have a positive attitude about their place of employment since they are trying to promote it to applicants and current workers.
The majority of personnel employees possess a bachelor's degree in human resources. Other areas of study recommended to obtain a job in this field include communications, business, social sciences and management or administration. In addition to a college education, most personnel officers have knowledge of their industry, enabling them to effectively know what type of employees a company is seeking to hire. Others might have spent time working in clerical jobs.
Opportunities for personnel officers should be excellent for at least the next decade. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for officers or "specialists" in the human resources field are expected to increase by anywhere from 24 to 28 per cent through 2018. That's around twice as fast as the average for other occupations during the same time.
Personnel officers and related human relations employees earned a median salary of £29,555 in May 2008, the BLS reports. Those in the management, scientific and technical consulting services were the highest earners, with a median annual salary of £36,471. Also, the BLS reports that some managers had the potential to earn more than six figure salaries.
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