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HR Leader Career Job Description

An organization’s HR leader is crucial for advancing growth and fulfilling strategic objectives as they apply to the human resources function. These HR experts provide tactical implementation of plans and strategies through acquiring, developing and retaining talented employees, managing performance and administering compensation.

HR leaders provide proactive leadership on HR initiatives through business functions such as finance, procurement, information technology and legal. Pursuing a career as an HR leader requires a broad base of business knowledge, along with specialized human resource expertise. Individuals who seek to advance to their HR career can obtain advanced skills and knowledge by enrolling in masters in human resources program.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for all human resources managers is expected to be very strong in coming years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Jobs are predicted to grow much faster than the average, due to a strong demand for HR expertise in helping businesses remain competitive through hiring and retaining a strong and productive workforce, as well as understanding changes in legislation, healthcare plans and labor relations. HR professionals with advanced degrees and industry certification should enjoy the best opportunities.

Job Duties for HR Leaders

Forward-thinking companies know that employees are their most important asset. HR leaders serve as consultants to management regarding human resources issues, helping to establish and maintain positive relations with employees, and foster a productive working environment.

Specific job duties will vary according to employer and industry, but in general, these HR professionals will analyze and make recommendations regarding competitiveness in recruiting activities, compensation and benefits. They may develop tools and plans for supervisory career path development, succession planning and other talent management processes. Additional HR leader duties often include addressing problem areas, coaching managers on handling employee issues and determining job assignments.

At this level of their careers, HR leaders will typically be required to oversee employee orientation and training programs, workplace safety, labor union relations, wellness plans and regulatory compliance. These professionals often provide coaching and team-building services to management as well.

Education and Training Requirements

HR leader positions typically require a bachelor’s degree in business, human resources or a similar field. Employers may show preference to candidates with advanced degrees or HR certifications that demonstrate a wide variety of knowledge and skills. Individuals who wish to pursue the HR leader field may find it beneficial to enroll in an HR master certificate or HR master’s degree program.

The advanced knowledge and skills needed to compete for advanced HR positions can be obtained through a Master of Science in Human Resource Development degree program. Coursework typically includes financial management for profit, employment law, workforce planning and human resource technology solutions. 

Employers can be confident that professionals who have earned a Master’s Degree in HR are able to:

  • Make sound, strategic decisions to advance organizational goals.
  • Design effective compensation and benefits packages to attract and retain quality employees.
  • Use data and statistics and leverage technology to enhance performance.
  • Demonstrate strong financial management and budgeting skills.
  • Leverage advanced knowledge and skills to succeed as an HR leader.

Becoming an HR Leader

Top employers need HR leaders with highly-developed capabilities, including demonstrated written and verbal communication skills, the ability to work in a diverse and fast-changing environment and effective leadership and organizational development abilities. With these skills and attributes, and the competitive advantage of a MS in Human Resources Development degree, you’ll be ready to pursue desirable HR leader positions.