Best-selling author Martin Yate, a career coach and former HR professional, takes your questions each week about how to further your career in HR. Contact him at the e-mail address at the end of this column.
I have been working on HR systems for the past seven years. I handle the HR processes and modules on the system, including HRIS, and do reporting. Most of my interactions are with HR business partners and HR senior management.
As technology is advancing and work is becoming digital, I wish to work from home full-time so that I can have more flexibility and freedom. But I don't know where to begin, or how and where to look for such a job in HR. We know that these positions are available for engineering folks; however, for HR professionals, it is a new concept. Please advise.
Yes, remote jobs are new in HR, but there are HR functions that are suited to remote HR work, especially HRBP and HRIS roles. Remote versions of jobs like these are more common in larger, more widely dispersed companies, which make public, national and global companies the most logical places to look.
You can identify and approach these types of companies with the help of research tools like hoovers.com and standardandpoors.com.
I am not suggesting only U.S. companies like the ones listed in the databases above; organizations around the world offer these roles.
What Do They Want?
To get started on your remote job search, analyze the range and depth of skills your target companies are seeking. It is only when you know what a potential customer wants to buy that you can create a resume that tells the story of how your experience matches their needs.
Your experience in working with HRBPs and HRISs, who and what you dealt with, and the results you achieved are all part of such a story. Any experience you have working with partners in different countries and in different languages are factors that could greatly enhance the story told in your resume.
So start your strategic career move with research into what your customers want to buy; if it's clear you have the requisite skills, go for it. Even if you come up short on required skills for the targeted job, your time hasn't been wasted; in doing the research, you've outlined a professional skill development program for your future career growth.
Where the Jobs Are
Start doing searches on a range of job sites. I'd recommend the SHRM HR Jobs site as a primary resource for all the following searches. A Google search using the term "HRBP remote" generated over 102,000 hits. These results won't all be relevant, but I noted a number of interesting leads on the first two pages.
I then repeated the exercise with "human resources business partner remote" and got 39,500,000 hits, which included not only job sites with relevant jobs, but also postings from employers and job sites that specialized in remote positions for HRBP professionals.
Note that the only variation in these two searches was either spelling out the full title or using an acronym. Always try both.
Next I visited Indeed.com, currently the world's largest job site, and did the following searches:
|HRBP home based
|HR business partner remote
|Human resources business partner
|Human resources business partner remote
|Human resources business partner work at home
|HRBP business partner
|national human resources business partner
|International human resources business partner
|Global human resources business partner
|HRIS business partner
|HRIS business partner remote
Obviously, there is growth in this area that could offer you great opportunities.
The major takeaways from this limited research and results are:
- Research the target job and ensure you have the necessary skills. If you fall short in some areas, develop a professional skill development program for yourself.
- Start with the search term suggestions on the sites above, and the results will lead you to many more.
- Try variations of the title, as per my examples.
Last, and perhaps most importantly, you need to hone your interviewing skills. Companies might not state in their job postings that they want a position to be remote, but that should not stop from you applying and getting into at least phone conversations with the hiring managers; you may make some converts to remote work while you improve your interviewing skills.