In the strictest sense of the term, human resources is a field in which personnel are managed, trained, hired and helped. In every medium and large organization, there is typically a human resources department that handles everything from regulating the safety of the workplace to ensuring that all staff receive adequate pay and proper training for the job.
Discover more about the field of human resources, where you can find employment, job outlook for related careers, typical salaries and the attributes of the most successful professionals in the world of human resources.
Typical Job Description of a Human Resources Professional
First, it should be noted that no two human resources roles are exactly the same. However, there are definitely some major overlaps, and many HR professionals handle the same types of jobs and tasks.
An integral element of most human resources careers is recruitment, which can range from attending college job fairs to screening applicants through resumes and interviews.
Human resources roles also typically involve overseeing any necessary training for new hires as well as setting up new hires with the tools, uniforms, paperwork or insurance that comes with the job.
Human resources professionals may also act as the liaison between employees and employers, helping both parties to agree to things like hours, working conditions or workplace safety regulations. It may be the job of a HR professional to ensure that an office, restaurant or retail store meets all legal guidelines for a hygienic and safe workplace.
Typical Career Titles in Human Resources
Many of the general titles in the field of HR include human resources specialist or human resources consultant. Of course, it is also possible to specialize in a particular area of human resources, especially in larger organizations where the HR department is made up of multiple people.
In these cases, job titles may include recruitment manager, compensation expert, benefits manager, labor relations specialist or training specialist. At the top of the field are the human resources managers, who oversee all areas of the HR department and have several human resources staff working beneath them.
Job Outlook for the Field
Anyone interested in pursuing a career in the field of human resources should explore the outlook for careers a year or even a decade from now. Currently the prospects are positive for those in human resources.
Human resources specialists should see demand rise by approximately five percent over the next decade, and those who are human resources managers will enjoy even greater numbers, with demand forecast at around nine percent, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Average Salaries in Human Resources
Money may not be the only motivating factor when choosing a future career, but it should still come into play for students considering a range of majors, degrees or training options. In human resources, salaries can vary widely.
Working with a large organization in a thriving city such as New York or San Francisco will typically offer much higher salaries than working for a smaller organization in a small town.
On average, the annual pay for a human resources specialist is $57,000, the annual pay for a compensation and benefits manager is $108,000 and the annual pay for a human resources manager is $102,000.
How to Secure a Job in Human Resources
To find a job within the field of human resources, the first step is typically to earn a bachelor’s degree. Degree types can range from human resources to business administration. It may also be beneficial to have work experience in a large company, even if your role wasn’t necessarily in the human resources department.
Typical Human Resources Work Environment
Since human resources departments are found in nearly every industry, work environments can vary in this field. For the most part, HR professionals will work in offices and stick with traditional 9-to-5 hours. Travel may be required for those who focus on recruitment.
Attributes of Successful Human Resources Professionals
Hard work, the right college degree and dedication can lead to success as an HR professional, but certain personal attributes can also help. Most successful human resources professionals are diplomatic, great communicators, organized and natural leaders.