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Human Resource Management as a Career

By: Poonam Singh PGDM 1B (72)

Table of Contents






Career in HRM Career options under HRM HRM job requirements Typical work schedule



Career selection is a crucial step towards ones career achievement and job satisfaction. Without correct career choice, one ends up landing on a wrong career, which does not give him/her peace of mind or satisfaction. It is therefore very important for everyone to select a career keenly by looking at his/her interests, abilities, needs and passion. Before landing on one career, one should list down all the career he likes or could like to venture into and finally land on one that suits best. This report details the main characteristics of a job in the field of Human Resource management, and what career dimensions it may take. The main task of HR/ Human resource managers is the efficient use and development of available skills and talent of the employees within the organization. Thus they are highly required in public as well as private sector organizations. Human Resource managers can seek employment in public and private sector industries, banking and financial institutions, corporate houses and multinational companies. Personnel manager also can aspire to be employed in services sector particularly IT companies who are dealing with huge number of employees now days. Big firms have their permanent personnel manager. But small companies hire services of Human Resources consultants.

Human resource management (HRM, or simply HR) is the management of an organization's workforce, or human resources. It is responsible for the attraction, selection, training, assessment, and rewarding of employees, while also overseeing organizational leadership and culture, and ensuring compliance with employment and labor laws. In circumstances where employees desire and are legally authorized to hold a collective bargaining agreement, HR will typically also serve as the company's primary liaison with the employees' representatives. HR is a product of the human relations movement of the early 20th century, when researchers began documenting ways of creating business value through the strategic management of the workforce. The function was initially dominated by transactional work such as payroll and benefits administration, but due to globalization, company consolidation, technological advancement, and further research, HR now also focuses on strategic initiatives like mergers and acquisitions, talent management, succession planning, industrial and labor relations, and diversity and inclusion. In startup companies, HR's duties may be performed by a handful of trained professionals or even by non-HR personnel. In larger companies, an entire functional group is typically dedicated to the discipline, with staff specializing in various HR tasks and functional leadership engaging in strategic decision making across the business. To train practitioners for the profession, institutions of higher education, professional associations, and companies themselves have created programs of study dedicated explicitly to the duties of the function.

Among various resources required in the production process, human resource is an important one. For success of any industry and company it is essential that human resource is utilized in the best possible way. Companies match employees to jobs for which they are best cut out for. This task is done by human resource professionals. These HR professionals deal with recruitment of new employees, conducting tests and interviews, managing employees benefits and listen to minor grievances of employees. Besides, they also assist workers to boost their morals and give training and coaching to maximize their abilities. Some of the major reasons why people choose a career in HR are the opportunity to influence innumerable aspects of the organization, to assist in the development of its employees, and to play a part in influencing strategic business decisions. A business is only as good as its employees, and an organization's employees are only as good as their HR team. The HR (Human Resources) industry has undergone a significant transformation and long gone are the days when it was thought to play little more than an administrative function within a business. A career in HR brings with it multiple opportunities for variety and career progression. With organizations becoming increasingly aware of the need to attract and retain the best people for their workforce, along with the somewhat complex nature of employee welfare and employment law, employers are constantly seeking skilled additions to their HR team.

Career Options under Human Resource Management HR really is a flexible discipline, says Aileen Brown, regional director at Hays HR. Brown makes the comparison with other professions such as management accounting, which do not usually offer diverse options. One of the attractive traits about HR is that there are so many career paths within it and when someone specialises it doesnt mean that anything else is closed, she says. The field of human resources management offers a rich set of potential career options. These include:

Recruiting and Placement Managers Search for promising job candidates through advertisements, employment agencies, search firms, college campuses, and even from competing firms. Recruiters tend to be more involved with the search process, while interviewers talk to job applicants and administer and interpret tests. Some make the final hiring decisions. Others are involved with internal placement, transfers, promotions and firings. Jobs include: recruiter, college recruiter, interviewer, headhunter, test administrator, employment manager. Development and Training Specialists Analyze, plan, develop, coordinate, and conduct training and orientation for all levels in the organization. Trainers help educate employees in necessary job skills and for advancement. They also create training manuals, procedures, and training aids for the organization. Training programs can range from sales techniques to safety issues, and from computer skills to team building. Jobs include: counselor, career planner, recruiter, junior training specialist, senior training specialist, technical recruitment specialist, orientation specialist. Compensation specialists Develop and administer job evaluation systems; write job descriptions; manage wage and salary systems; design and administer incentives, stock options, and deferred compensation; and conduct executive programs. Jobs include: compensation analyst, salary administrator, executive compensation manager, compensation manager, EEO administrator. Benefit specialists Benefit specialists provide information and counseling to employees concerning fringe benefits offered. They also analyze benefit plan costs and effectiveness. Jobs include: benefits administrator, benefits planning analyst, group insurance manager, employee assistance program manager.

Employee and Labor Relations Supervisors Establish and maintain employee-management relationships. Employee relation specialists deal with quality of work life programs and employee grievances; while labor relations specialists deal with union contracts, negotiate collective bargaining agreements, and handle formal union-negotiated grievance procedures. Jobs include: labor relations specialist, employee counselor, mediator, arbitrator, director of industrial relations. Health, Safety, and Security Specialists Develop health and safety programs; conduct safety inspections; collect accident data and report safety records; prepare government reports; maintain contacts as needed with government security agencies like local police and the federal Department of Homeland Security. Jobs include: safety specialist, security specialist, industrial nurse, employee welfare managers. Other HR Specialists Work for private employment agencies, governmental agencies, executive search firms, outplacement firms, HR consulting firms. Jobs include: human resource information system specialist, employee assistance counselor, employee assistance program manager, employee communications director, equal employment opportunity representative, affirmative action coordinator, outplacement consultant.

HR Job Requirements

Education: A Bachelor's Degree is expected. Coursework in business, finance or accounting can be helpful, but not required. A high degree of computer literacy is increasingly important, since the data analysis involved in the job is commonly computerized. An MBA can be a useful credential, depending on the firm. Specific coursework in human resources typically is not available below the graduate level. Law degrees and backgrounds in behavioral science

or psychology also can be extremely valuable, depending on the position. Those who work in training and development typically have prior experience in teaching.

Typical Work Schedule The majority of human resources managers work close to a standard 40 hour week, normally from fixed office locations. However, recruiters typically have extensive travel schedules, and trainers may have to offer courses outside normal business hours. Additionally, human resources professionals at companies facing layoffs or major workforce management issues related to mergers and acquisitions can be expected to put in significant amounts of overtime. The pay scale under HRM varies highly with the degree of responsibilities provided with the job position. HRM has diverse career options in it. Within companies, HR positions generally fall into one of two categories: generalist and specialist. Generalists support employees directly with their questions, grievances, and projects. They "may handle all aspects of human resources work, and thus require an extensive range of knowledge. The responsibilities of human resources generalists can vary widely, depending on their employer's needs. Specialists, conversely, work in a specific HR function. Some practitioners will spend an entire career as either a generalist or a specialist while others will obtain experiences from each and choose a path later. Being an HR manager consistently ranks as one of the best jobs, with a #4 ranking by CNN Money in 2006 and a #20 ranking by the same organization in 2009, due to its pay, personal satisfaction, job security, future growth, and benefit to society.