The essential responsibility of a human resources professional is to help a firm identify, hire and retain the best employees. There is, of course, a lot more to it than that.
In addition to recruiting, screening, interviewing and training workers, HR professionals also might oversee employee relations, compensation, benefits and more. They might work for (or own) a job placement agency that helps connect workers with companies, or work in-house for a firm.
Start with Job Potential
If you are considering a career in human resources, where do you start?
First, research the growth potential for the HR industry.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for HR specialists in coming years is on par with job growth across all industries. The potential outlook for HR managers in the next decade is faster than average for all occupations.
Naturally, you’ll want to find out what to expect in terms of potential salary. The BLS placed the 2015 average annual salary for HR specialists at $63,710. The 2015 average annual salary for experienced HR managers was significantly more: $117,080.
Consider Different Job Titles
Next, consider the different roles a human resources professional can fill:
Determine Education and Experience Required
You also will need to learn what kind of professional experience, education and qualities are important for a career in HR.
Senior positions usually require a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources and often a related advanced degree (MA, MS, MBA), as well as multiple years of proven achievement in HR-related positions. Mid-level positions typically require a four-year degree in an HR- or business-related course of study, and several years of HR or business experience. Entry-level positions are often open to those who want to transition into the field despite limited or no experience, and at least a two-year college degree.
As for professional and personal qualities, in general HR pros are good at decision-making, are detail-oriented, and possess outstanding interpersonal, listening and speaking skills.
Chart Your Path
Finally, you will want to chart your career path. How do you get your foot in the door in HR? Here are a few tips: