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Human resources (HR) staff deal with all issues relating to the employment of NHS staff, both clinical and non-clinical.
Training and qualifications required
Entry requirements vary depending on what level you join the NHS. To enter as an HR trainee, you usually need at least 2 GCSEs including English and maths, or equivalent. Employers may ask for some customer service or office experience. Apprenticeships are often available within HR departments. You could also become a member of NHS HR staff by studying for a qualification in HR and then applying to join an NHS trust. When you start the job, you will be given the training you need including an introduction to the department and its systems and procedures. You could take further qualifications such as those offered by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Expected working hours and salary range
HR staff working in the NHS are paid on the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay system. You will typically start on AfC band 2 or 3 in an administrative/support role. With further training and experience, you could apply for more senior positions at bands 4-6. Senior HR managers will earn more. HR staff in the NHS work standard hours of around 37.5 a week. In some jobs, this could involve early starts, evenings and weekends to meet clinical staff on duty. Terms and conditions will usually be different for HR staff working outside of the NHS.
Desirable skills and values
HR staff need to be interested in people, interested in applying the law, happy to work with people at all levels of an organisation, willing to deal with strong emotions and able to stay calm in challenging situations. They also need very good communication skills at all levels and good negotiating skills.
With experience, HR staff can become team leaders, supervising the work of others. They can then progress to become managers, responsible for an HR department.
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