HR Leader Career Job Description

By University Alliance
HR leader

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

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

Job Outlook

The job outlook for human resources managers is expected to grow 13% through 2022, faster than the national average for all other occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This growth could be 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 and healthcare plans and labor relations. Professionals with advanced degrees and industry certification typically are considered for the in-demand job opportunities.

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Job Duties for HR Leaders

Companies should know that employees are often their most important asset. HR leaders can 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 may vary according to employer and industry, but in general, HR professionals 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 duties can include addressing problem areas, coaching managers on handling employee issues and determining job assignments.

HR leaders are also typically required to oversee employee orientation and training programs, workplace safety, labor union relations, wellness plans and regulatory compliance.

Education and Training Requirements

In general, HR leader positions typically require at least 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. 

Earning a Master's Degree in HR can show employers that you are capable of completing many tasks, including:

  • Making sound, strategic decisions to advance organizational goals
  • Designing effective compensation and benefits packages to attract and retain quality employees
  • Using data and statistics and leveraging technology to enhance performance
  • Demonstrating strong financial management and budgeting skills
  • Leveraging advanced knowledge and skills to succeed as an HR leader

Becoming an HR Leader

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 can be ready to pursue desirable HR leader positions.

Category: Human Resources