Is This the Field for You?
Human resources management is a role performed by the department or individual tasked with recruiting, managing and directing employees who work within a given organization. This includes hiring, administering benefits, conducting salary reviews, managing performance, training, preparing communications, motivating employees and performing administrative tasks.
Human resources management is often referred to as the management of a company's most valuable assets—the people who work to meet the business' objectives.
The approach of today's human resources professionals is that employees shouldn't be considered like other business resources (e.g., company vehicles or computers). They embrace the positive view that employees want to contribute and be an effective part of the company but have obstacles—including insufficient training, lack of information and process failures—that are impeding their success. The ideal goal of a human resources department is to remove as many roadblocks as possible to ensure that employees are happy and work effectively in their position within the organization.
Human resources staff and managers need to have a keen understanding of what motivates people; therefore, studying sociology and psychology is an important part of the required education to take on the role of HR manager.
When choosing a school to attend, you must ensure that their curriculum meets with the guidelines of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), which is the biggest HR association.
An HR Management certificate is often taken to either enhance existing credentials or get started with an MBA program. There are plenty of human resources degrees and certificates to choose from, depending on the expectations you have of your career. Obviously, higher paying positions with more responsibility tend to go to HR graduates with a master's degree and a proven track record. Some programs offer business degrees with a human resources component, and others are strictly human resources programs with some business courses mixed in.
As an HR professional, you're the link between the management and the staff of an organization. Generally, you're responsible for:
- Recruitment and hiring
- Development and training
- Human resources administration
- Salary and benefits administration
- Employee relations management
A career path recommended for those who want a high-paying career as a Human Resources Manager is to attend a business school and earn a four-year bachelor's degree. This will provide many more opportunities for gainful employment than completing a community college human resources course will.
Once you have a bachelor's degree, enrolling in a Master's of Business Administration (MBA) will further increase the demand for your services from reputable organizations. Keep in mind that without an MBA, many companies will not promote you into a senior or HR manager role. If you're lucky, you may work for a company that is willing to cover the cost or subsidize some part of the cost to upgrade to an MBA.
Getting further certification in specific human resource areas like compensation and benefits or labor relations will help to set you apart from the pack. Most graduates can successfully apply for a Senior Human Resources Consultant position after 5 years in a junior role with 2 or more years of supervisory experience.
One of the issues faced by HR departments is that there is an indirect link between their actions and the overall profitability of the company. More businesses are realizing the importance of selecting the right candidate for a position and ensuring that they are paid well and are fulfilled in their role with the company. Reputable human resources departments are showing that it saves the company money to hire the right people and pay them fairly rather than deal with high employee turnover.
The median salary for human resources managers is $99,810.