Human resources is ultimately about hiring, developing, and retaining the right people to grow a business. People in human resource careers optimize their organization’s workforce, which in turn helps the business maximize profitability.
Human Resource Management is implemented in many ways, from talent recruitment to advising on labor contracts. While these roles can focus on different aspects of developing and nurturing a company’s talent, they’re all bound together by a commitment to helping a business succeed.
Why Human Resource Management Matters
The recruitment, training, and development of a company’s workforce typically funnels through its human resources department. For example, people in human resource management roles are commonly charged with building employee retainment strategies designed to keep a company’s workforce engaged with their jobs.
While part of this work is accomplished by finding the right personnel for given positions and training them to be efficient and effective in their roles, it’s also achieved through creating an environment that keeps employees engaged with the organization and not looking elsewhere for employment.
This could be done by providing a mix of well-executed business necessities, like comfortable ergonomic desk furniture or open communication policies, and secondary perks, like business casual attire or an in-office quiet space. Developing a positive company culture can boost morale, lower stress, and foster the type of collaboration that can guide the company toward growth.
Human resource managers can also play a key role in putting together employee benefits packages, which include salaries, health insurance options, and pensions. These efforts help them to confidently pursue top industry talent and develop a workforce committed to staying with the company long-term.
The Changing Face of Human Resources
The workplace is rapidly changing. Technical innovation is the main reason, as it’s now possible for organizations to think of their business environments as extending beyond their office building’s four walls to include places that can range from satellite offices in other countries to an employee’s home. Naturally, this evolution affects the way human resource managers develop and implement their strategies.
Increased global connectivity has caused human resource managers to embrace an enhanced skill set that builds on the role’s traditional core competencies of strong decision-making and organizational skills. Because of technology’s influence on everything from interoffice communication to benefits tracking, it’s important for human resource professionals to possess a basic level of technical knowledge and intercultural competence. Interpersonal skills need to be cultivated to handle the complexities that can come with an increasingly diverse workforce in the tech-driven global marketplace.
Careers in Human Resource Management
Those who earn an undergraduate degree in human resource management can enter a vibrant field and help build a culture of success and growth within an organization. Upon earning a bachelor’s in HR management, an HR professional’s career path typically begins with an entry-level role, either as an HR specialist working in a specific field (compensation and benefits, recruiting, or training and development, for example) or an HR generalist. Reaching an HR manager-level role, like those listed below, typically requires several years of experience. While opportunities and compensation vary depending on factors like experience and location, there are a wide range of exciting, dynamic careers in HR management with steady growth and high median pay including:
Human Resource Manager
The primary goal of the human resource manager is to oversee the administrative functions of a business. This involves recruiting and hiring new staff, planning employee benefit programs, advising executives on key HR issues like sexual harassment, workplace health and safety, and labor law negotiations, and acting as a liaison between management and other employees. Strong leadership, interpersonal, and decision-making skills are essential for success in this role. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the 2019 median annual salary for the role was $116,720. The BLS also projects a 7% job growth rate for the position between 2018 and 2028, which is a faster pace than the 5% job growth the BLS projects for the average profession.
Labor Relations Specialist
Professionals in labor relations specialist roles analyze, interpret, and administer labor contracts as they pertain to various issues, including wages, healthcare, pensions, and union practices. They can also be tasked with leading meetings between management and labor, meeting with union reps, and investigating various labor claims. Strong writing, interpersonal, decision-making, and attention to detail skills are needed for success in the role. According to the BLS, the 2019 median annual salary for the role was $69,020.
Training and Development Manager
Training and development managers are charged with planning and coordinating organizational programs that enhance employee knowledge and skills. People in this role may also be asked to assess a company’s training needs, develop and implement new training programs, update existing training programs, or manage training budgets. Training and development managers need strong leadership, teamwork, critical-thinking, and instructional skills to be successful. The 2019 median annual salary for the position was $113,350 according to the BLS, which also predicts an 8% job growth for the role between 2018 and 2028.
Compensation and Benefits Manager
Compensation and benefits managers are charged with overseeing employee payment and benefits programs. They typically help set a company’s benefits and payment structure, ensuring the programs are in compliance with current federal and state regulations. They also track competitive wage rates to make sure their structures align with the market’s range. Those in the role usually have well-developed leadership, analytical, communication, and business skills. The BLS projects a 3% growth for the position between 2018 and 2028, and they report that its 2019 median annual wage was $122,270.
Make a Personal Difference with the Right Personnel
Whether they’re concentrating on recruiting, training, or providing fair compensation to the workforce, human resource managers nurture the all-important human element, contributing to business success. By bringing in the right people for the right positions and making sure they’re engaged and productive, they provide an organization with the talent and skill needed to achieve its goals. Discover how Maryville University’s online Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management program helps individuals develop the acumen needed to find success in this dynamic field.
Bizfluent, “Purpose of Employee Relations”
Business News Daily, “6 Essential Tech Tools for Your HR Department”
Forbes, “How to Build a Positive Company Culture”
Houston Chronicle, “Detailed Job Description for a Compensation Specialist”
Houston Chronicle, “10 Reasons HR Is Important to an Organization”
Inc., Human Resource Management
Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Career Map: Training and Development Manager
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Compensation and Benefits Managers
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Human Resources Managers
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Labor Relations Specialists
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Training and Development Managers