HR advisors provide guidance to companies on how best to attract, retain and develop employees.
They will advise management on all areas of a business’s “people” function, such as performance evaluation, disciplinary procedures, recruitment and rewards & benefits schemes.
They can work as external consultants or directly within an employer’s existing HR team.
This detailed guide includes a full HR advisor job description and everything else you need to know about HR advisors, including salaries, skills, qualifications, progression opportunities, and more.
- HR advisor job description
- How much do HR advisors earn?
- What does an HR advisor do?
- Requirements, skills and qualifications
- Who employs HR advisors?
- Which junior jobs progress to HR advisor roles?
HR advisor job description
HR Advisor |The Healthcare Support Charity
The HSC is a UK-based charity that provides nationwide legal, financial and personal support to nurses, midwives, healthcare assistants and carers that are currently training, working, unemployed, or retired.
About the role
We are looking for an accomplished HR Advisor to provide expert guidance to our existing HR in order to support and strengthen our national HR function and ensure we are attracting, developing and retaining the best staff at all times.
- Working with HR Managers in our London and Manchester offices to identify potential improvements in HR process
- Planning resource allocation, identifying specific skills are required
- Reporting on current staff turnover and identifying areas where retention can be improved
- Managing the staff learning portal, identifying criteria for training and development
- Developing performance management documentation, including objectives and goal-setting
- Mapping career paths and employee opportunities across the wider charity
- Designing rewards and incentives schemes, including bonuses and pay rises
- Managing relationships with labour unions and related collectives
- Reviewing existing grievance and disciplinary procedures
Location & commitments
- Permanent full-time role based at our London office (40 hours – Monday – Friday), with regular travel to the Manchester office
- Travel to recruitment fairs, conferences and charity partners is required on a regular basis
- Weekend work may be required as part of travel to events
- CIPD Level 7, or Level 5 and willing to work towards Level 7 while in employment
- Knowledge of hiring and recruitment needs for senior healthcare professionals (Band 6+)
- Broad knowledge of Learning & Development, Rewards & Benefits and Employee relations
- 2 years’ experience of using ATS and HRIS software in a healthcare setting
- Informed of Band 6+ pay scales and grading for the UK market
- A degree in business administration, HR, or a business-related subject
- Experience of working with SuccessFactors
Contact us to apply
If you want to work for a charity that provides essential support to our frontline healthcare workers, please send your CV and cover letter to the Hiring Manager Shelley Jones, at email@example.com
How much do HR advisors earn?
HR advisors earn an average of £32,500 in the UK, with opportunities for progression and pay rises.
HR advisor salaries in the UK
- Low: £29,000
- Average: £32,500
- High: £37,500
HR advisor salaries will vary hugely depending on;
- Number of staff – HR advisors for larger companies will be handling more staff and therefore have more responsibility than roles within smaller companies.
- HR specialisms – An HR advisor may be required to specialise in one or more areas of HR, such as recruitment or performance management. Usually the more in-demand specialisms will command higher salaries.
- Consultancy or internal – External consultants who provide short term advisory contracts to companies are usually paid more than permanent internal HR advisors.
- General salary factors – Is the candidate new to the role, or do they have several years of experience? Is the role in a major city or a more remote location?
For example, an HR advisor working for a global company, providing specialised advice around recruitment of niche staff as an external consultant, would usually be paid more than an internal HR advisor providing general HR advice for a small business.
The figures above are average figures taken from job websites and do not include packages like healthcare or financial benefits like bonuses or overtime.
What does an HR advisor do?
Looking deeper into a typical job description, HR advisors will provide advice and guidance in the following areas:
- Resource management– Identifying how many staff the business needs and allocating them appropriately
- Recruitment – Helping line managers (or hiring managers) with recruiting and selecting new staff for vacancies
- Performance evaluation– Evaluating the performance of existing employees, and setting up documentation to assess performance (e.g., setting specific goals, objectives or KPIs for each role)
- People management– Handling queries or concerns from existing employees or potential candidates, ensuring employee wellbeing and engagement
- Designing company documentation – Designing and reviewing company policy for new hires and employees, e.g. policy for absences or long-term leave, sabbaticals, and updating job descriptions and employee handbooks
- Training and development – Creating learning and development schemes for all roles, from new-starters up to management-level training
- Developing rewards and incentives – Creating schemes that reward high performance and provide development opportunities, including salary increases and career progression
- Assessing company roles – Looking at internal roles, comparing salaries and job roles against the rest of the sector and analysing what competitors are currently offering
- Disciplinaries and grievances – Developing process for dealing with employees who break company rules, and instances of mistreatment of employees
- Industrial relations – Dealing with external labour agencies and unions, maintaining good relationships and resolving conflicts
- HR admin – Administrative work related to a company’s people, such as staff database management and payroll
What do HR advisors need?
HR advisors will require a certain level of HR experience, knowledge, skills, and qualifications to be effective in the role.
Specifications will vary by sector, company size, experience level, and employer (internal HR department or consultancy) but here’s a general overview of what is needed.
Junior HR advisor jobs usually require the candidate to have worked in a human resources environment before and have a good all round knowledge of HR process and legislation. Larger companies may hire a junior level HR advisors but due to it being an advisory role, it will always require previous HR experience.
Intermediate to senior HR advisor roles typically requires individuals to have experience working in HR for several years and possibly specialist knowledge in one or more areas of HR. At senior level, companies may look for candidates with sector-specific HR experience (e.g. banking, manufacturing etc.) especially when working in a consultancy role.
HR advisor skills
HR advisors need a blend of skills to be able to successfully manage people and policy for an organisation, including the following soft skills:
- Communication: The ability to clearly and concisely write and verbally explain HR policy to hiring managers, employees, and clients
- Practical mindset: Handling emotional or complex situations calmly and practically, with an end goal in mind
- People skills: In a role that involves dealing with the human element of the workplace, it’s important to have a good manner in dealing with people and empathy towards their issues.
- Organisation: Keeping on top of staffing and resourcing requirements and managing a diary of meetings with managers, employees, clients and candidates
And the more industry specific “hard skills” include:
- Core HR functions – Including recruitment, performance management, learning & development, employee relations and payroll
- Employment law – Understanding of the legal requirements for companies who employ staff
- HR software – Confident use of essential HR software packages such as payroll or applicant tracking systems
- Stakeholder management – HR advisory roles will normally involve facing off to senior people within an organisation and ensuring their needs are met
HR advisor qualifications
Generally, an HR advisor will be required to have human resource professional qualifications as well as experience in an HR role. These are recognised across the profession and can help candidates to work in a variety of different sectors.
The CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel Development) is the UK’s leading body for awarding human resources qualifications, equipping students with a solid understanding of HE processes and employment law. An HR advisor will normally need CIPD Levels 5 or 7.
A degree in Human Resources is not essential for becoming an HR advisor. However, a business-related degree like a degree in Business Administration can help HR staff to understand the value of HR within the workplace. A BSc or MSc in Human Resources Management will also provide similar knowledge and understanding.
Human Resource Apprenticeships
HR apprenticeships are available to those from age 16 onwards to those who want to consider a career in human resources but who do not necessarily have a degree. Many companies offer apprenticeships in line with accredited course providers, including the CIPD.
What is expected of an HR advisor?
An HR advisor will be normally be expected to carry out the following:
- Full time hours are normally expected (35 – 40 hours per week) with occasional overtime required for urgent issues or client requirements. However, part time roles are available.
- Possibility of occasional evening or weekend hours when attending conferences or meeting particular contractual obligations for clients in a consultancy/ agency-based role
- Location – An HR advisor is normally an office-based role
- Occasional travel to different business areas, recruitment fairs, or conferences may be required as part of the role
HR advisor benefits
As HR advisors tend to work for larger companies, they will usually receive a good benefits package, including things like:
- Bonuses – These could be based on company or personal performance
- Flexible working – More flexibility is likely to be available to senior HR advisors or with consultancy-based roles
- IT equipment – Company laptops and phones are likely to be given to HR advisors
- Paid leave and sick pay
Who employs HR advisors?
Internal human resource departments exist in every industry, from factories and warehouses to IT and finance companies. This is because an HR department is essential for managing a company’s greatest asset – it’s people.
Companies need to know how to keep their people, how to recruit them, and how to develop them. The HR function provides these services and acts as a middle ground between a company’s people and it’s business objectives.
Large organisations will often have full time HR teams, whereas smaller companies may hire an HR agency or consultancy to receive a HR advisors’ guidance.
The below sectors are just some of the sectors that may employ an HR Advisor:
- HR agencies or consultancies – Companies who provided outsourced HR services for companies who do not require a full time HR function
- Oil & Gas
Which junior jobs progress to HR advisor roles?
HR advisors normally progress from junior or mid-level general human resource roles. These include:
Senior HR Assistant
A Senior HR Assistant normally directly supports an HR Manager or an HR Director, and their responsibilities may include booking and handling grievance procedures, employee inductions, and managing a team of HR Assistants.
Senior HR Administrator
The Senior HR Administrator is normally the contact point for all escalated queries from employees and candidates, and may also provide general HR support including payroll and preparing offer packages.
Junior HR Advisor
A Junior HR Advisor will support HR Advisors in reviewing company HR policies and provide assistance in rolling out changes.
Which senior jobs do HR advisors progress to?
An HR advisor can progress to levels of increased responsibility while retaining the same job title, as the role varies greatly depending on sector and business. However, it can also be a great role for developing into higher paid and more senior roles, including:
Senior HR Advisor
A Senior HR Advisor will take an active role in representing the HR department to key stakeholders during interdepartmental meetings, taking on projects with Senior Management to improve company policy and procedure.
HR Business Partner
An HR Business Partner will work closely with Senior Management to implement an HR strategy that aligns with overall company goals and objectives. They act as the link between the human resource department’s daily needs and the wider business needs and requirements.
An HR Manager will directly manage the operational running of the human resources department, and are likely to manage a team of HR Assistants, Administrators and HR generalists. This is a hands-on role that covers a wide range of HR responsibilities.
HR advisor job description – conclusion
An HR advisor role is an ideal position for candidates who enjoy working with people and like the idea of a structured career path. The role provides an opportunity to manage relationships with people and influence a range of recruitment and employment policies.
It has a range of access routes, from apprenticeships to professional and academic qualifications, and is available to people looking to work for a wide range of businesses and sectors.
The broad scope the HR advisor role provides can offer a range of development opportunities within the position itself and the chance to progress into more strategic or managerial roles within human resources.