If you’ve been considering a career that allows you to serve the employees of a company, then pursuing a job in human resources might be the right choice for you. There are many different roles within the human resources department for you to choose from, and they offer a wide range of responsibilities and opportunities for career advancement. In this article, we define human resources, learn why it’s important for business and discover the most common career paths found in this department.
What is human resources?
Human resources is the department within a company or organization that oversees the management and development of employees. This includes all aspects of the employee hiring process, such as recruiting, interviewing, hiring and training. It also addresses areas of concern, including conflict resolution, fair labor practices and workplace diversity.
Why is human resources important in business?
Having a fully functional human resources department is important in business because it promotes overall employee satisfaction and loyalty. This leads to less conflict, better performance and longer retention, which saves companies time and money. Also, the HR department performs research to ensure competitive wages and develops cost-effective ways to negotiate better rates for employee benefits.
Common types of human resources specialties
Here are 12 of the most common types of human resources jobs for you to consider:
1. Employment specialist
Primary duties: Employment specialists, also known as “job placement specialists,” use their expertise to match people to specific jobs. They often work within a human resources department or for an employment agency. Employment specialists have in-depth knowledge about a company’s job descriptions, hiring processes, salaries and benefits packages. They may visit job fairs, schools and professional organizations to find candidates, and they typically advertise their services online and in print publications.
2. Human resources assistant
Primary duties: The role of a human resources assistant involves assisting HR directors and managers with administrative tasks. HR assistants document absences, terminations, performance reports, grievances and compensation information related to employees. They often help with the recruitment process, such as by writing job descriptions, contacting references and communicating with applicants.
3. Human resources coordinator
Primary duties: Human resources coordinators help facilitate HR programs and functions under the direction of the HR director or manager. Their tasks include scheduling orientations, addressing employee concerns and coordinating employee training and development. Coordinators research industry trends and best practices to improve HR processes and policies that enhance employee satisfaction.
4. Human resources specialist
Primary duties: The role of a human resources specialist involves recruiting and placing employees. This entails screening, recruiting, interviewing and placing workers into relevant employment opportunities. They are typically employed by private companies and government agencies where they work in-house, though they sometimes travel to job fairs and college campuses to meet applicants in person. Specialists also perform background checks and conduct orientation for new employees.
Primary duties: Recruiters work in specific companies finding candidates for in-house roles or for recruitment agencies who vet candidates for other companies. They often specialize in recruiting the best candidates for specific roles in particular industries. To find the most qualified applicants, they spend much of their time posting job listings online, reviewing applications and contacting potential hires for interviews. They also negotiate salaries and place candidates in the most suitable employment positions.
6. Human resources generalist
Primary duties: Human resources generalists perform many administrative tasks that keep the human resources department running smoothly. They are responsible for managing the daily operations of the department concerning policies, procedures and programs. More specifically, generalists oversee regulatory compliance and reporting, organization development, company-employee communication and employee safety and welfare.
7. Recruitment manager
Primary duties: Recruitment managers must have an extensive background in recruiting to supervise other recruiters and manage a company’s sourcing, interviewing and employment processes. These managers should understand labor legislation and meet with other department managers to forecast future hiring needs and track recruiting metrics to ensure efficient recruiting practices.
8. Human resources manager
Primary duties: Human resources managers oversee the entire human resources department and ensure team members are performing their duties effectively. They meet with executive-level employees to strategise the hiring process and work to ensure their team members carry out tasks that achieve desired outcomes. HR managers often conduct exit interviews and handle sensitive employee issues. They are also responsible for maintaining department records and organizational charts.
9. Employee relations manager
Primary duties: Employee relations managers maintain a harmonious work environment by addressing certain behaviors that affect the workplace. Their knowledge of state and federal employment laws helps them understand how to handle the process of conflict resolution and other situations that call for negotiation. Employee relations managers must possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and they should know how to handle sensitive issues.
10. Labour relations specialist
Primary duties: Labor relations specialists are well-versed in economics, labor laws, wage data and collective bargaining trends with the union. Their specialized role involves preparing the information that executive managers need during the collective bargaining process. They also implement industrial labor relations programs, manage grievance procedures, advise human resources staff and compile statistical information to guide a company’s decisions concerning employee contracts.
11. Director of employee experience
Primary duties: Directors of employee experience are skilled in business strategy and understand how to solve problems to make teams more efficient. These directors work with other executives to provide recommendations for career planning, team-building exercises and other programs designed to enhance employee satisfaction. Above all, their leadership skills help positively shape company culture.
12. Director of human resources
Primary duties: Directors of human resources, also known as “HR directors”, typically have a long work history in human resources, especially with managing teams. Their main role involves supervising the company’s human resources department to ensure that it is efficient and profitable. An HR director reports to their company’s chief executive officer regarding the many aspects of human resources, including the implementation of policies and procedures. They direct employee orientation and training programs, oversee database management procedures and ensure compliance with federal, state and local laws. Also, HR directors may oversee the department budget.