- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, ‘2003-2012 Occupation Data’ (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2012.
- Robert Walters, 'Human Resources Market Update, Quarter 1, 2013’, accessed August 2013, (www.robertwalters.co.nz).
- Tweedy, B, Research and Education Manager, Human Resources Institute of New Zealand, Careers New Zealand interview, August 2013.
Human Resources Adviser - About the job Alternative titles
Kaitohutohu Pūmanawa Tangata
Human resources advisers are responsible for staff and personnel matters in an organisation. Responsibilities include recruitment and selection, health, safety and well-being, performance management and remuneration, learning and development, employment relations and policy development.
Call us on 0800 222 733
Pay for human resources advisers depends on experience and the size of the organisation they work in.
- Human resources advisers with less than two years' experience earn about $63,000 a year.
- Those with two to four years' experience earn about $72,000.
- Senior human resources advisers with more than five years' experience earn about $92,000.
Human resources advisers who become managers can earn between $119,000 and $139,000 a year.
Sources: Human Resources Institute of New Zealand, and Strategic Pay, 'Annual Salary Survey', December 2012.
What you will do
Human resources advisers may do some or all of the following:
- analyse jobs and write job descriptions, advertise vacancies, and help interview and select staff
- consult with management, staff and unions about salaries and working conditions
- give advice on workplace relations policies and procedures, performance management and disciplinary matters
- give advice on employment legislation and health, safety and well-being regulations
- identify and plan staff learning and development
- develop strategies for human resources areas such as recruitment, remuneration, learning and development, change management and legislative compliance
- talk to staff about personal or work problems
- mentor and coach staff
- manage the payroll.
Skills and knowledge
Human resources advisers need to have knowledge of:
- employment agreements
- employment legislation, such as the Employment Relations Act
- equal opportunities and privacy legislation
- recruitment, including how to write job descriptions, interview and train staff.
Human resources advisers:
- usually work regular business hours, but may be required to work additional hours to meet job requirements
- work in offices
- may travel locally to conferences, meetings and training courses, or overseas to conferences.
What's the job really like?
Laura Feasey - Human Resources Adviser
"I enjoy the people element in HR," says Te Papa human resources adviser Laura Feasey. "Because you're interacting with people all across the organisation, from the CEO to security guards to curators, it's like working with a complete cross-section of society, and that human dynamic stuff is quite fascinating."
Dealing with disputes a challenge
A large part of the job involves problem-solving – looking at how to make sure people enjoy their work better by providing a good work structure and environment. "Work is a big part of people's lives," Laura says, "and some days you might be dealing with issues like disputes or restructuring. You need to get all the information across and be doing all the right compliance things, but equally as important is to be understanding about individual responses and issues when someone is feeling quite emotional. It's one of the job's challenges."
People rely on you to help them
"I always say to people that to really succeed in this job you've got to have excellent attention to detail and customer service skills. People are relying on you, so you need to be really organised so you're ready to help people."
To become a human resources adviser it is preferred you have a relevant tertiary qualification, such as:
- a diploma or graduate diploma in human resource management or in industrial psychology
- a degree majoring in human resource management, employment relations or industrial psychology.
Other relevant qualifications, such as management or law could also be useful.
NCEA Level 3 is required to enter tertiary training. Useful subjects include English, maths, economics and computer studies.
Human resources advisers need to be:
- trustworthy, with high levels of integrity
- skilled at communicating with people, in person, listening and in writing
- able to keep information confidential
- able to negotiate and deal with conflict effectively
- able to relate to people from a wide range of backgrounds.
Useful experience for human resources advisers includes:
- work as a union official or delegate
- work as a a human resources practitioner, training or recruitment adviser
- administrative work
- career guidance
- payroll work
- policy development.
View information on courses in the course database
Find out more about training
years of training usually required
What are the chances of getting a job?
According to Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment estimates, the number of human resources advisers has increased by about 14% between 2010 and 2012.
Experience in certain areas boosts your chances
While a slowly recovering economy has seen numbers of human resources advisers increase, there is strong competition for generalist and entry-level jobs. However, human resources advisers with experience in internal recruitment, change management, and employment relations are in high demand for permanent and contract positions.
An increase in temporary and fixed-term roles to cover secondments, projects and growth within organisations is likely in 2013, according to a 2012 recruitment company survey.
Job opportunities strongest in certain industries
Job opportunities for human resources advisers are best in:
- professional services
- financial services
- fast-moving consumable goods (supermarkets).
The manufacturing, construction and retail industries have fewer vacancies, with some businesses in these industries waiting for Christchurch rebuild plans to be finalised before recruiting staff, including human resources advisers.
Types of employers varied
Human resources advisers may work for:
- large organisations
- government departments
- human resources consultancies.
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Progression and specialisations
Human resources advisers may move into management positions such as human resources manager or training and development manager.
They may also specialise in an area of human resource management such as:
- Employee Relations Adviser
- Employee relations advisers help management, staff and union members to work co-operatively together, and manage the negotiation of employment agreements, personal grievances or disputes, and other employment issues.
- Recruitment Consultant
- Recruitment consultants work with candidates (people looking for work) and clients (employers looking for people to hire) to help match candidates to jobs.
- Training and Development Adviser
- Training and development advisers identify the learning needs of organisations and plan training based on these.
- Workplace Relations Adviser
- Workplace relations advisers help resolve workplace disputes by advising on workplace relations policies and representing industrial, commercial, union, employer or other parties in negotiations on rates of pay and conditions of employment.
How many people are doing this job?
Job vacancies by region
Updated 17 Jul 2015