In today’s challenging business and labor market, skilled professional labor relations managers are often in high demand. Typically, many opportunities are available in this human resources specialty for trained, business-savvy individuals.
Labor relations managers use skills in data collection and analysis, negotiation and policy-making, along with knowledge of labor law and collective bargaining procedures to maintain an organization’s positive relationship with its employees.
During collective bargaining procedures, labor relations managers can help provide management with the information needed to negotiate new contracts. Labor relations managers should be familiar with economic and wage data, and have the ability to gather, analyze and interpret data. They are also typically experienced in contracts, and are often required to interpret and administer contracts with respect to employee wages, salaries, pensions, grievances, healthcare, union and management practices and other areas of contract management.
Dispute resolution is another area where labor relations managers are gaining significance, as organizations work to reduce costs and improve efficiency. Labor relations managers with advanced HR training in dispute resolution may find success helping companies avoid expensive litigation, strikes and other business disruptions.
Training requirements for labor relations manager positions can vary by employer, and there are several educational paths in this field. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in human resources, HR administration, or industrial and labor relations is one way to enter the HR field. Another is pursuing a well-rounded liberal arts education, along with specialized human resources training. Some employers may prefer candidates with business or finance degrees, along with HR training, while others may require a master’s degree in HR for certain executive-level positions.
Specialized courses in labor law, collective bargaining, organizational culture and labor history can provide a background for professionals pursuing a career as a labor relations manager. This can be accomplished through obtaining a bachelor’s degree, followed by HR training through a respected executive education program.
Some companies may consider years of HR experience to be an essential qualification for labor relations manager jobs. However, many employers may also view training and certification to be just as important, or even more important than experience. Updated skills and knowledge that can be leveraged into real-world solutions may be valuable to firms competing in the challenging global environment.
Besides a solid educational foundation and advanced HR training, employers may seek labor relations managers with solid negotiation, technology, and written and verbal communication skills. They may also value personal traits such as integrity, confidentiality, and the ability to work with diverse groups of people.
Professional training and certification be beneficial in mnay ways. It can positively affect your HR career, help increase your work responsibilities and advancement opportunities and can lead to potentially higher income levels. HR professionals who wish to obtain professional certification often prepare for the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) or Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) credential.
Employers may seek out candidates who are motivated to pursue training and certification on their own. A respected industry credential is one way to help stand out from a crowded field when competing for a new position or promotion.
Labor relations managers are typically self-employed, working as consultants, while others work in professional, scientific, and technical services, healthcare, administrative and support services and financial services.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that employment for labor relations managers is projected to grow 9% through 2024. Job growth may occur as changes in legislation and revised employment standards drive demand for labor relations experts. Additional growth may stem from the increasing trend of companies seeking to settle labor-management disputes through mediation and resolution, rather than costly court battles. In general, job opportunities may go to college graduates and those who have earned industry certifications.
In a tight job market, professional credentials and advanced training can mean the difference between landing your dream job and missing out on a job opportunity.
Pursuing professional training and HR certification can offer several advantages, including:
Becoming a labor relations manager can be a challenging and satisfying career choice. Prepare yourself to compete for available positions obtaining professional HR training and certification. With a strong educational foundation and the advanced skills employers look for in candidates, you can be ready to take your professional HR career to new heights.