If you’re thinking about a career in human resources but are wondering what it exactly entails, look no further. First, a few facts: The field is expected to grow over the next decade—between 5 and 7 percent or 43,000 jobs—and compensation is competitive—according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, human resources managers earn an average of $113,300 per year with a bachelor’s degree in human resources and five years of experience; human resources specialists with the same level of degree entering the field earn nearly $61,000 per year.
Despite the common misperception that they are only responsible for benefits and pay. Employment opportunities and pay aside, human resource professionals can also have exciting career paths. Here’s a comprehensive look at what you can do with a degree in human resources.
Day in the Life of an HR Professional
Human resource professionals are responsible for maintaining the company’s culture, explaining the company’s vision, mission statement, core values, working corporate language, and facilitating good habits and a good working environment. But their duties don’t stop there. They also handle various administrative tasks, including onboarding, offboarding, pay and benefits, and employee training and development.
Here’s a look at typical responsibilities of human resource professionals:
- Conducting one-on-one or group orientations for new employees
- Conducting workforce training classes for new equipment, software or changes in policies
- Facilitating employee development and maximizing the talents of the workforce
- Implementing disciplinary actions, like 90-day performance improvement plans
- Investigating improper employee behavior, like harassment
- Performing background checks and calling applicant references
- Processing various types of paperwork, including changes in benefits and pay
- Referring qualified candidates to department managers and/or hiring new candidates
- Reviewing resumes and qualifications for various open positions within the company
- Scheduling and performing in-person or online job interviews
- Speaking with managers and executives about their talent needs and qualifications
Human Resources Jobs and Careers
When you earn your online human resources degree, the possibilities are nearly endless. With skills that are transferable across multiple fields, the need for HR professionals is present nearly everywhere. Listed below are some of the most popular choices for individuals with human resources degrees.
Compensation and Benefits Specialist/Manager/Coordinator
Compensation and benefits managers and specialists focus on company pay structures and benefits packages. These often include health, vision, and dental insurance, as well as vacation, sick time, and leave. These individuals are responsible for maintaining the company’s budget in these areas and finding the best packages for the fairest price, as well as adhering to all federal and local laws and regulations regarding compensation and benefits.
Global HR Manager
A global HR manager directs human resources across several countries. Most people in this role can speak multiple languages and are familiar with the labor laws of various countries or can become familiar with the laws and regulations. These HR professionals help coordinate acquisitions, company expansions, employee transfers, and hiring across countries. They also help develop and implement benefits and compensation packages that comply with local laws and regulations, and they may help newly transferred employees find housing and schooling as well as explain local laws and customs for daily life.
Human Resources Manager
Human resources managers oversee the staff in the human resources department. This means they’re in charge of managing and clarifying human resources policies with upper management and executives, overseeing onboarding and offboarding, managing and adjusting hiring practices so that they are uniform across the company and deal with staffing shortages, like sick leave, extended absences and sudden employee departures. They also mitigate disputes between employees.
Human Resources Specialist
Individuals in these positions typically spearhead employee onboarding by attending job fairs, posting open positions, sorting applicant resumes and conducting initial interviews, and explaining the company culture, mission, and ideals. They may also handle employee complaints, scheduling, promotions and any needed disciplinary actions. Individuals in this position typically work under an HR manager. Human resources specialists may also work under various job titles, including recruiter, interviewer and job placement specialist.
Internship coordinators build relationships between the company and colleges and universities in order to provide students with internship opportunities in the hopes of eventually recruiting new talent for the company. They may also assist students with graduate school applications, provide guidance and goal setting to the students in the internship program, attend career fairs, and consult with company managers to determine the internship needs of the company and desired qualifications of the applicants.
Labor Relations Specialist
Labor relations specialists focus on employee relations. They handle employee complaints and mediate and negotiate between the company and labor unions. They create contracts (Collective Bargaining Agreements) between the company and labor union that addresses employee wages, working hours, overtime and benefits. These individuals may also investigate complaints, ensure compliance with legal requirements regarding employee treatment and compensation, and ensure every employee is being treated fairly.
Management consultants evaluate company and employee productivity and recommend certain changes in order to increase productivity, improve the company culture, and increase job satisfaction. They objectively analyze the companies performance and then create detailed plans to help the company achieve its current and future operating goals. These recommendations may include training or retraining employees, streamlining workflows and making budgetary adjustments.
Workforce Training and Development Specialist/Manager
Workforce training and development managers focus on the development and training of the company’s workforce. They ensure that all training programs are up-to-date and develop and implement new training programs as needed. They also monitor employee productivity and the implementation of new equipment, hardware and software in order to determine the training needs of the employees.
If you’re interested in a career in HR, learn more about earning a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, an MBA in HR, an MPA in HR or a master’s degree in human resources online from JWU. For more information, complete the Request Info form, call 855-JWU-1881, or email [email protected].