The first thing to understand about HR professionals is that their responsibilities can vary considerably. In smaller companies, one or two human resources professionals may be hired to handle all of the company’s HR needs. In larger organizations, the duties are divvied up between several employees or an entire department.
A few of the most common things that HR professionals are involved with include:
- Hiring Employees – From advertising vacancies to interviewing job candidates, HR professionals play a key role in hiring employees. In larger companies, there may be recruitment specialists on staff who are strictly there to look for new talent.
- Terminating Employees – No one likes having to fire anybody, but it has to be done sometimes. This responsibility often falls into the laps of HR professionals, so you have to be willing to tackle this unpleasant task if you’re serious about pursuing a career in human resources.
- Coordinating Promotions and Reassignments – HR professionals work to keep a company operating as smoothly and efficiently as possible. One way they make that happen is by making sure that the right people are handling the right tasks. A fun part of the job is offering promotions to current employees. Talented HR professionals will also know when and where to move employees to make the best use of their talents.
- Managing Employee Relations – Whether a dispute happens between a manager and a regular employee or between two employees, it needs to be resolved as fairly and equitably as possible. Employees know they can take their grievances to the HR department, and HR professionals work to sort everything out to arrive at a compromise. For this reason, it’s critical to have strong interpersonal skills if you want to be an HR professional.
- Administering Pay and Benefits – Although these tasks are increasingly being outsourced, they are still handled by HR professionals in many small- and mid-sized companies.
What Type of Education do You Need to Become an HR Professional?
To become an HR professional, the first step you will want to take is to enroll in a human resources degree program. The best course of action is to look for a program that allows you to earn a business administration degree with an emphasis in human resources, that way you receive a well-rounded business education. Upon graduation, you can pursue work as an HR professional at the entry level.
Every HR department is a unique and the responsibilities of individual HR professionals vary depending up on the employer. No matter what the daily responsibilities are, Human Resources is a vital part of all business.
Megan Wickes is a graduate of the Master in Business Administration (MBA) program. She currently works for CollegeAmerica, managing its online presence. In addition to her love of marketing, Megan enjoys wakeboarding, boating, and spending time with her husband and new baby boy.