Friends with Benefits

To most IT professionals, the human resources department is a bit of an enigma. They aren’t sure what HR does or whether anyone in the department can actually help them secure a position or move up the corporate ladder.

While HR doesn’t make the ultimate decision on hiring or promotions, they certainly have the ability to forward your resume or recommend you for a higher level job, if you play your cards right.

For example, did you know that HR is responsible for workforce planning?  They meet with line managers to review their future hiring needs, so a recruiter may give you a heads-up if you build a relationship and inquire about upcoming openings.

It “pays” to make a positive impression on HR, because a line manager may need their approval to offer you a higher starting salary or bump your position to a higher salary grade. And did you know that HR reviews each manager’s performance ratings and salary increases to make sure that top performers get the largest raises? You see, HR has a vested interest in making sure that talented employees don’t leave the company, since they have to find replacements.

HR is also in charge of succession planning, so tell them about your career aspirations. They may suggest training courses, a lateral transfer or drop your name during a critical succession planning session, and after all, one can never have too many friends in today’s competitive work environment.

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