How Do I Become a HR Trainer


Industry and market conditions are forever evolving and an organisation’s challenge is to keep up with these changes while finding and retaining skilled employees to keep them ahead of the curve. An HR Trainer can improve team morale, job satisfaction, and the ability to efficiently reach business goals. If you don’t have an HR Trainer on staff, you can either hire one or train your existing employees.

An HR Trainer works with line managers and other HR personnel to identify training needs within an organisation’s workforce. They create and facilitate training programs and monitor their progress to give employees the tools, knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to work efficiently and effectively towards business objectives.

If this is a career path you’re considering or you’re a manager or owner who wants to incorporate an HR Trainer into your workforce, knowing the particular attributes that make a good HR Trainer is essential. We’ve got the lowdown on the skills, personality traits, and qualifications that the best HR Trainers consistently demonstrate.

What is an HR Trainer?

A Human Resources (HR) Trainer is someone who is responsible for providing training in specific job roles. They do this by identifying, creating, and facilitating training which in turn nurtures and empowers employees to perform at their highest level, deliver the best results, and maintain competitiveness within the industry. Providing opportunities to enhance employee skills can also augment employee morale and confidence, retain a skilled workforce, encourage in-house promotions, and cut down on recruitment costs.

HR training can look very different depending on the organisation, industry, profession, or clientele of a particular business. It could mean training for specific skills an employee needs to do their job, additional training for technology or market changes that have altered the business landscape, or it could mean disseminating information about company policies, work ethics, or team building exercises. 

What do HR Trainers do?

A 2019 survey conducted by LinkedIn concluded that 94% of employees would have higher job satisfaction and stay longer in a role if the company invested in their career development. On the other hand, the same survey found that one of the biggest challenges employers face is convincing staff members to make time for training and development. 

The role of HR Trainers is to bridge this gap, working with managers and employees at all organisational levels to identify and tackle the specific training needs of individuals. In doing so, they can craft strategies to build a skilled, talented, content, and productive workforce.

Depending on their particular expertise, an HR Trainer can conduct training courses themselves, or, alternatively, they can facilitate outsourced training programs tailored to the needs of the learners. HR Trainers also often tap into e-learning programs that will give the learners the flexibility to learn at their own pace. Other possibilities include establishing on-the-job training, mentor/mentee programs, as well as apprenticeships to train employees with the help of their more experienced team members.

What skills or abilities does a Successful HR Trainer have?

Now that you know what an HR Trainer does, let’s examine what it takes to excel in this role. A successful HR trainer needs to have the ability to:

  • Assess and identify training needs for a particular target audience.

  • Create a learner profile, including roles and duties of the learners.

  • Specify the training objectives.

  • Select the topics and decide on a delivery medium.

  • Construct a training course suitable for the topic and the capabilities of the trainees.

  • Monitor and assess the program’s effectiveness after it launches.

  • Modify the existing program to meet the needs of the trainees and organisation.

Beyond the abilities of a successful trainer, there are skills which will enable any HR Trainer to be more effective. Some of the most important specific skills a successful HR Trainer possesses include:

  • Technology skills to navigate learning management systems and facilitate e-learning models.

  • Communication skills to convey the subject, listen, teach, and explain in an engaging and helpful manner.

  • Creative skills to create and adapt courses to suit the needs of individuals.

  • Organisational skills for developing progressive training programs with a systematic approach.

  • Research skills to find the best and most relevant methods for designing course materials and assessing employees.

  • Enthusiasm for learning is an important skill for an HR Trainer if they are going to capture the attention and engagement of their desired audience.

Do you need an HR Degree to work in Human Resources?

The desired experience and education that is relevant to the role usually depends upon the company that is hiring an HR employee. Although it may be advantageous to have a degree within the HR field to become an HR professional, you do not necessarily need one. There are a lot of options to train in the HR field including specialised diplomas or certificates, or even on-the-job training if a company wants you to be well versed in their way of doing things. A candidate with a lot of experience may also be valued relative to a candidate with an HR degree since they can bring real world work experience in the HR field to the table. Many companies will look for skilled HR consultants who have knoweldge in developing leadersteam profiling and general workplace assessments to guide them in the right direction.

If you decide to pursue a degree in Human Resources, there are a multitude of Bachelors and Masters programs that could benefit any learner within the spectrum of HR functions. A degree in Human Resource Management would cover the full range of subject matter and can set you up for a fruitful career in HR. A Business Administration or Communications degree can also establish a solid foundation to work in HR. Even programs in the social sciences, including sociology or psychology, or a degree in Education would provide the background necessary to put you on the right path for a career in HR. 

What Certifications do you need to be an HR Trainer?

The Human Resources Institute of New Zealand (HRNZ) is a not-for-profit membership organisation and professional body for Human Resources professionals in New Zealand. HRNZ provides professional development opportunities, progression pathways, chartered membership, and Emerging Professional certification. They also organise the HR Conference, HR Awards, and Summits. Reach out to them for advice or direction on the different certifications for various HR roles. 

Other options include a Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management or a Certificate in Personnel Management & Human Resources that may be desirable for a career in HR. Additionally, completion of a National Certificate of Educational Achievement may also be beneficial for some HR roles.  

Professional qualifications in other relevant areas such as industrial relations, employment law, industrial psychology, or business management may also be useful and will depend on the organisation, industry, and particular role in which you are interested. Certifications in adminstering workplace assessment tools such as a DISC Certification Program.