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Specialized HR or skilled HR?

Is an industry specialization needed for HR?

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More and more companies look for HR professionals having a specialization in a specific industry, and we read job postings that list ‘past experience in retail’ or ‘knowledge in automotive' as must have requirements.

Is this kind of specialization really needed when recruiting an HR professional?

Coming from the same industry can help an employee to understand easier the logics behind business processes, to know how market behaves, and take advantage of own knowledge e.g. to bring new business.

But how much does it depend on the previous sector the HR professional worked in?
And how much it is rather based on own skills and experience as HR?
If a candidate with a solid HR background is curious and fast learning, looks for innovation and adapts easily to change, this can really make the difference!

He/she will integrate quickly and perform from the very first, bringing results, giving new perspectives and introducing innovative practices.

At the end, this is the ultimate goal of bringing new resources on board, in every industry.

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