Today’s workforce is diverse, dynamic and changing – just like today’s business environment. Skilled HR management is vital to the success and sustainability of firms around the globe and in every industry. HR managers add value to employers by planning human resources programs and policies that achieve strategic objectives, including employee retention, relations and safety.
To most businesses, reducing turnover and increasing production are two important aspects of conserving human resources, and therefore contributing to the bottom line. Professional HR managers are skilled in improving morale and creating a workplace environment that is of benefit to both employees and employers. Any HR professional planning a career path that includes HR management may obtain must-have skills and career-enhancing knowledge through an HR master’s degree program.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted a 9% job growth rate for HR management positions through 2024. The projected growth is as fast as the national average for all other occupations, due to overall business growth, an increasingly complex labor law environment and the desire to attract and retain a talented workforce. Individuals who have earned advanced degrees and industry certifications are typically in a better position to obtain the jobs in highest demand.
According to the latest salary data compiled by the BLS, HR Manager earn an average of $102,780 a year. The lowest 10% reported earning less than $61,000, while the highest 10% earned more than $183,000 annually.
HR managers can perform a variety of tasks in fulfilling their main responsibility, which is leading an organization’s HR programs and policies as they apply to employee relations, compensation, benefits, safety, performance and staffing levels. Supporting the company’s strategic goals may help drive the HR manager’s design, planning and implementation of these programs and policies.
Typically, an HR manager can use recruitment and interviewing skills to identify staff vacancies and select candidates for open positions. Expert HR managers are also typically skilled in promoting healthy relationships between staff and management through mediation, handling labor disputes and guiding department managers through employee issues.
Depending on the size and industry of the organization, HR managers may conduct employee training and orientation, administer a benefits program, analyze compensation and other competitive data and prepare budgets. Then, they typically report to management regarding HR costs and activities. HR managers are often valued for their role in mitigating risk by keeping organizations compliant with federal, state and local labor laws and regulations. The changing nature of human resources generally requires HR managers to stay on top of all applicable labor legislation, as well as the shifting needs of their employers and employees.
In larger firms, HR managers may supervise staff or entire departments, such as benefits coordinators, payroll, wellness plans, recruitment and placement specialists and training and development personnel. They can manage and consult with external partners, such as payroll companies and benefits administrators. HR managers can also be responsible for collecting and analyzing employee data and maintaining accurate and complete employee records.
The typical entry path for HR management positions requires at least a bachelor’s degree. Some employers may show preference to candidates with a combination of business knowledge and HR experience, along with industry certification or a masters in human resources degree.
An advanced degree or specialized HR education is becoming crucially important for some jobs, especially upper-level management positions. HR professionals may obtain the knowledge needed to compete for these jobs through a Master of Science in Human Resource Development degree program. Coursework typically includes organizational change management, benefits, compensation, employment law and human resource technology solutions.
Employers can be confident that professionals who have earned a Master’s Degree in HR are able to:
The human resources field can be fast-paced, challenging and rewarding. Generally, HR managers have attributes such as outstanding speaking and writing skills, the ability to work under pressure and leadership qualities such as strong work ethic, trustworthiness, self confience and the ability to delegate responsibilities.
Professionals who are seeking a career as an HR management professional should also demonstrate good judgment, creativity and a positive attitude.