Human resources (HR) is important for the success of many businesses and organizations. Without an effective HR function, many companies would struggle to attract and develop talent, provide meaningful benefits and competitive compensation, address regulatory and compliance matters, and support leaders in establishing and maintaining an appropriate culture and an engaging employee experience. HR practitioners direct and oversee employee-centric plans and programs, and provide direct support to other leaders who supervise employees to ensure the organization functions smoothly and goals are met. Learning more about HR management and the kinds of jobs that are available can help you decide if this is a career path that suits your goals.
Benefits of Working in Human Resources
When you work in human resources, you can make a difference in employees’ lives. HR departments oversee employee compensation, benefits, recruiting, payroll, and much more. As an HR manager, you ensure that employees get paid on time, receive fair and competitive compensation, and have access to accessible benefit packages. HR departments also handle other responsibilities that can directly affect staff, such as conflict resolution, welcoming new employees, and even guiding other employees in their careers. Working in HR also means having duties that can vary significantly from one day to the next, which keeps the HR role exciting and challenging.
Work Environment of Human Resources Managers
What kind of work environment do HR managers have? These managers usually work in office settings at a particular company or organization. Some of these managers, such as HR consultants, travel to different companies and organizations instead. HR managers typically spend time with other department managers and might travel to attend company meetings. Different industries and types of businesses, such as corporations, non-profit organizations, manufacturing businesses, healthcare companies, government offices, and IT companies, hire HR managers.
Human Resources Manager Job Outlook
Knowing the job outlook for HR managers can help you understand how much these careers are in demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for HR managers through 2031 is 7 percent. This job outlook is roughly the same as the average job outlook for all occupations. The BLS states that around 16,300 openings for HR managers are projected for each year through 2031. The demand for HR managers is expected to remain steady as companies and organizations hire these experts to keep up to date on changing employment laws and update HR programs as needed.
Human Resources Manager Jobs
What kinds of jobs can you get in human resource management? This field offers several management career paths to consider, depending on the kind of responsibilities that interest you and other factors. The following are some of the top jobs in human resources management.
1. Chief Human Resources Officer and/or HR Director
Chief Human Resource Officers (CHRO) and/or the human resources directors are responsible for overseeing the entire HR department. Some organizations have the lead HR role at a level equivalent to a vice-president (CHRO) while others have the lead HR role as a director or a senior director. The senior HR leader is responsible for planning and directing all aspects of the HR function. The core functions include recruitment, onboarding, benefits, compensation, labor and employee relations, and training and development. Some HR departments also have responsibility for environmental health and safety, risk management, occupational health, and payroll. The senior HR leader also oversees a complex operational budget, which includes accounting for the costs of benefits, employee wellness, workers’ compensation, and other budget line items. Other responsibilities of HR senior leaders are to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local regulations. HR senior leaders supervise other HR managers, work with other department leaders on projects, and help develop strategies to promote organizational growth. This career role is ideal for those who want the most senior position available in HR departments.
2. Training and Development Manager
Training and development managers focus on tasks related to the knowledge and skill of employees. These HR managers are generally responsible for overseeing staff who work in training and development, evaluating employee training needs, and ensuring that training is in line with business goals. Other responsibilities of training and development managers include assessing training programs for effectiveness, choosing training materials, overseeing training budgets, and updating training programs and initiatives as needed. These managers typically work with other department leaders to determine specific training needs. Program management may involve designing and developing training programs or working with internal or external subject matter experts to deliver training programs.
3. Benefits Manager
HR departments usually have a manager who is directly responsible for managing employee benefits plans and programs. This might include health insurance coverage, short-term and long-term disability policies, leave policies, retirement plans, and other kinds of employee benefits. These managers choose vendors for different types of benefits, such as insurance companies, and stay updated on changes in federal and state government regulations. They are also responsible for overseeing employee enrollment in benefits programs, along with benefits delivery and renewal. Being a benefits manager is a suitable career path for those interested in overseeing an organization’s employee benefits program.
4. Payroll Manager
HR departments in some companies hire a separate manager to handle payroll procedures. These payroll managers are responsible for overseeing an organization’s payroll processes, which include ensuring employee pay is processed on schedule and done accurately. Payroll managers also ensure that payroll procedures comply with federal and state regulations. The payroll manager is responsible for the daily functions of the department, maintaining accurate payroll records, ensuring compliance with numerous federal and state regulations, as well as IRS standards and requirements. This HR management career path is ideal for those interested in overseeing and evaluating a company or organization’s payroll functions and procedures.
5. Compensation Manager
Some HR departments hire a manager to oversee and direct employee compensation. These compensation managers are responsible for determining a company or organization’s pay structure based on data such as current market conditions and comparisons to other companies’ pay structures. An important component of the compensation manager role is position management, which is done in close coordination with leaders in the organization’s business office. They also stay updated on government regulations concerning compensation, which helps businesses and organizations maintain competitive pay rates. Other responsibilities that compensation managers might handle include setting guidelines for paying bonuses or incentives. In some cases, compensation managers also manage benefits programs. In other cases, such as at large companies, the HR department has separate compensation and benefits managers. The ability to collect and manage data and perform computational and statistical analyses are important skills for this role.
6. Talent Acquisition Manager
Talent acquisition managers are responsible for recruiting and staffing programs for the organization. This type of position involves working closely with other leaders in the organization and developing strong networks in the community. This involves implementing recruitment strategies to help companies or organizations find the right job candidates. Their strategies also help meet an organization’s staffing needs. Recruiting or staffing managers typically work with a team of recruiters and change the recruiting strategies the team uses as needed. This type of management position is good for those who want to play a crucial role in staff recruiting.
7. Change Management Specialist
Change management specialists help organizations and companies implement changes at an organizational level. These specialists are responsible for helping organizations and companies implement procedural changes to improve business, evaluate the potential impact of changes that have been proposed, and come up with strategies for implementing changes. They might also provide staff with guidance on handling procedural or organizational changes. Examples of these changes include implementing improvements to business strategy, processes, workflow, or an organization’s hierarchy. Those who want to help companies and organizations make changes that improve business and have other positive impacts can explore this HR management career path.
8. HR Consultant
HR consultants are professional problem solvers who help companies or organizations with HR-related issues. Some companies bring in these consultants in order to gain a new perspective on an HR challenge. Other companies hire them when they lack the resources or expertise needed to handle certain HR issues on their own. HR consultants are often hired to help solve problems that are affecting the organization or company as a whole, although some are hired to help solve HR issues that affect one department in a company. These consultants use their skills and knowledge of human resources to come up with possible solutions and determine the right one to use.
How Long Does It Take to Become an HR Manager?
The time it takes to become an HR manager can vary based on your education, job experience, and other factors. At a minimum, these managers may need to have a bachelor’s degree, which takes about four years to complete. This bachelor’s degree can be in HR or a related field, such as business. In some cases, HR managers are expected to have a master’s degree, which can take an additional two or more years of college. This degree can be in HR or a related field, such as labor relations. HR managers typically also need several years of relevant work experience.
Is It Hard to Become an HR Manager?
Whether or not it is hard to become an HR manager depends on your skills, experience, and other factors. If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can work on gaining relevant work experience. If you are pursuing a position that requires a master’s degree, this might make it harder to become an HR manager since it requires additional schooling. Gaining work experience can be done in your current job if you have a position such as labor relations specialist. With these positions, you can build experience handling HR tasks. Keep in mind that in order to become an HR manager, you will need to stay abreast of the latest employment laws. You will also need to be knowledgeable about HR programs.
Do I Need Professional Experience to Become an HR Manager?
You most likely need to have some professional experience to be hired as an HR manager. However, this requirement can vary from company to company. Remember that you can become certified in HR management, which shows employers that you have the expertise needed for these positions. Different organizations offer these kinds of certification programs for those working in HR management. Other skills you should develop to become an HR manager include leadership, communication, and organizational skills. A degree program or certificate program can help you build these skills, which can help balance professional experience.
Is Human Resources Management a Good Career?
HR management can be a highly rewarding career for those who want a leadership role that involves overseeing recruitment, payroll, and other HR responsibilities. This type of career can be challenging at times, but it also gives you a chance to put your skills and expertise to use while helping companies and organizations improve.
If you have a strong interest in studying HR management, please contact Post University. We offer a Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management and a Certificate in Human Resource Management. Our certificate program covers certain areas of human resources in-depth, such as training and development, compensation and benefits, or general occupational safety and health.
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Please note jobs and/or career outcomes highlighted in this blog do not reflect jobs or career outcomes expected from any Post program. To learn more about Post’s program and their outcomes, please fill out a form to speak with an admissions advisor.