In general, business success depends on employee skills and talents. HR compensation and benefits managers can help contribute to growth and profitability by ensuring that pay structures and benefits plans are competitive, and that they are designed and managed to attract and retain a quality workforce.
Hiring and retaining staff are typically vital to the oevrall health of an organization, and skilled HR compensation and benefits managers are usually in high demand for their expertise in designing compensation and benefits plans, as well as negotiating and administering healthcare and retirement plans. Those seeking to propel their HR career forward may find a HR master's degree beneficial, as it can provide professionals with must-have skills and advanced knowledge.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), compensation and benefits managers are expected to see a job growth of 6% through 2024. Demand for human resources professionals may be a result of a more competitive and complex employment environment, a need to attract and retain a strong workforce, and a desire by businesses to successfully navigate the complexities of labor law.
According to the latest statistics from the BLS, HR compensation and benefits managers earned an average annual salary of $108,070 in 2014. The lowest 10% reported earning $58,370, while the highest 10% earned more than $187,000.
In general, an HR compensation and benefits manager’s primary responsibilities are designing, overseeing and implementing a firm’s compensation and benefits programs. They can also monitor salary structures, balance staffing needs with cost controls, and help ensure that policies, procedures and programs are in alignment with the organization’s overall strategic objectives and HR vision.
Other typical job duties for HR compensation and benefits managers include consulting with internal business partners, such as department heads and management, to assess benefits, compensation and compliance needs. They also educate, mentor and train HR staff on processes and professional practices within these areas. It's also important that they stay on top of changing federal and state employee benefits regulations, as well as the shifting needs of an organization’s workforce.
HR compensation and benefits managers may also be required to research and make recommendations on retirement and insurance plans. Additional duties may include evaluating competitor compensation and benefits packages, creating policies and procedures, monitoring the payroll interface to ensure compliance and data integrity, and managing third-party HR vendor resources such as brokers and consultants. These professionals work closely with management, providing feedback on related HR functions and processes. They are typically responsible for accurate data collection and analysis, as well as maintaining accurate employee records.
A bachelor’s degree is usually required for this position, but some employers may show preference to individuals with several years of experience, a HR master’s degree, or an advanced HR certificate.
Advanced HR training and education in compensation and benefits management is available through a Master of Science in Human Resource Development degree program. Coursework typically includes compensation, benefits, workforce planning, human resource technology solutions and employment law.
Employers can be confident that professionals who have earned a Master’s Degree in HR have demonstrated competency in:
With skills and the right education and training, professionals can be well on their way to a successful HR compensation and benefits manager career. Consider a Master of Science in Human Resources Development degree program to gain a competitive edge, as well as the advanced knowledge professionals need to pursue this challenging human resources career.