By Claire West

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) today officially launches its new campaign, Think HR .Think Again, to help attract new talent to the HR profession.

The campaign aims to attract the brightest and best into HR through ensuring the profession appeals to the leaders of the future, while challenging misconceptions and promoting HR as diverse and dynamic.

The campaign is supported by a new careers website featuring profiles of real people in HR, day in the life case studies, videos, and advice on careers. Those accessing the website can also download a free guide from today, The Truth About HR, which offers advice on pursuing a career in the profession. A brochure and poster, designed to be distributed at careers services, higher education institutions, CIPD centres and branches will additionally help give people a taste of what HR can offer.

The website, the downloadable guide and brochure represent a first step in challenging misconceptions of a profession that is in fact an increasingly dynamic and pivotal business discipline. In particular, the CIPD hopes the campaign will have a big impact on raising the profile of the profession, helping to attract graduates from all disciplines, including those who would not normally consider a career in HR.

Georgina Kvassay, HR strategy adviser, CIPD, says: “We conducted research into graduate perceptions of HR in late-2009 and it highlighted that the three words most associated with HR were ‘dull’, ‘bureaucratic’ and ‘repetitive’. It’s clear that the CIPD needs to take a leading role in dispelling these misconceptions.

“There’s a real lack of understanding of what HR is, what the value of a career in HR is and where it can take you. There’s also a lack of clarity around the skills needed to be successful in HR and a need to attract a more diverse range of people into the profession. The website, guide and brochure will help inform and tackle negative perceptions head on, representing an important first step in a long campaign to shift perceptions.”

Both the guide and the website highlight HR as a diverse profession, with many routes in and many different opportunities to specialise. These options are brought to life through four case studies who have built successful careers in different ways: Tim Pointer, head of HR at Pentland Brands, Clare Davies, assistant chief officer at Surrey Police, Esther O’Halloran, HR director at Paul UK, and Nimai Swaroop, group head of employer branding and marketing at the Royal Bank of Scotland.