HR morphs from a ‘job’ to a profession

Questions still linger about HR’s status as a profession, but many of the core elements are in place
By Monica Belcourt and Victor Catano
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/10/2006

In the past, most HR professionals started their careers by falling into an HR job, then moving erratically across HR functions and organizations. This will not be the path of the future.

Students in high school are choosing, with the full approval of their parents, careers in HR. This change means they are selecting HR courses in colleges and universities, seeking volunteer experiences and summer jobs with an HR component and searching for their first jobs after graduating with organizations that practice “good” HR and offer opportunities to learn more HR.

Why has this change occurred? In many ways, it reflects the change in HR from a job to a profession. HR is evolving and organizations cannot simply throw people into HR positions and expect them to perform well. A profession brings with it status that is attractive to individuals considering a career. It also brings with it requirements and obligations on behalf of its members.