Career Tips

Human Resources Career: Is HR the Right Career for Me?

Human resources (HR) is a lucrative and rapidly expanding job field. According to U.S. News & World Report, the position of HR specialist is one of the top 10 Best Business Jobs in America for 2019.

Many people consider a “good career” to be one that offers high levels of job satisfaction, robust employment growth, and numerous prospects for professional advancement. A career in human resources (HR) delivers on all counts and, more crucially, offers the potential to make a genuine impact while also contributing to the success of an organization.

According to a report published by U.S. News & World Report, the position of HR professional is one of the best business jobs in America for 2022.

How to begin your career in HR

1. Earn your degree

A bachelor’s degree in human resource management is typically required for entry-level positions in human resources (HR). When attending full time, you can achieve your bachelor’s degree in just 36 months if you choose to study at Herzing. A degree in human resources management opens up a wide variety of career opportunities, such as office manager, recruiter, payroll administrator, and many others.

2. Gain experience

There are some employers who strongly prefer that their HR professionals have experience in a particular field, such as the manufacturing industry, the healthcare industry, the technology industry, or the legal business. If you aren’t certain about the area in which you’d like to focus, you can think about applying for a position after graduation with a recruiting or HR consulting firm that gives you the opportunity to obtain experience in a variety of different fields and niches.

3. Pursue additional training and certification

Employers place a great value on certification, and the majority of HR professionals working in upper-level positions hold at least one of these credentials. Students who complete the Herzing program are well-prepared to take a variety of professional certification exams, such as the SHRM Certified Professional exam, the CAPM Certification exam, and the Six Sigma Yellow Belt exam.

Getting a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in human resources is another method to expand your knowledge and set yourself up for success in managerial roles. Students enrolled in Herzing’s bachelor’s program have the opportunity to earn up to 12 credits toward an MBA in Human Resources while still enrolled as an undergraduate by taking advantage of the school’s dual credit option.

11 Signs HR Could Be the Perfect Career for You

Do you think a job in human resources could be something you’d be interested in pursuing? Do you have any idea what HR is? You’re not alone. As a result of the widespread misunderstanding regarding what Human Resources (HR) actually is and what its employees are responsible for, pursuing a career in HR is an option that is simple to miss.

You probably don’t hear much about it in the media, and the main character of your favorite film or television show is probably not someone who works in human resources. It is also quite improbable that you were given the opportunity to learn about it in school unless you actively sought out relevant coursework at an accredited business school.

But human resources can have a significant impact on a firm by molding its culture and setting it apart from other businesses in its industry.

The Human Resources team, often known as the People Team, collaborates closely with the leadership of a firm to find, cultivate, manage, and keep the most talented employees. To put it another way, being in human resources is not the same as being in an administrative function, and the impact that this role has on a business is significant.

A career in human resources (HR) could be a good choice for you if you think that the people who work for an organization are the most important factor in determining its level of success and if you want to be involved in every aspect of how the firm recruits and retains talented workers.

Do you require any further persuasion? Check to see if any of the following descriptions fit you:

1. You’re fascinated by what makes people tick

Maybe you majored in psychology in college and found that you really enjoyed studying human behavior and the factors that influence it. Or, perhaps your favorite thing about watching a good movie or TV show is dissecting the characters’ thoughts and feelings as they move through the story and speculating about what would have prompted them to behave differently.

However, becoming a student of human nature is just the beginning of the journey. People who work in human resources are frequently interested in human and organizational psychology, sociology, and the fundamentals of management.

Take a peek at the history of the books on your shelf or in your library. Is the majority of the material on your reading list focused on human behavior, either in general or specifically in relation to the workplace?

Perhaps Simon Sinek, Dan Pink, and Brené Brown are among your favorite speakers to watch on Ted Talks, or perhaps you find yourself gravitating toward podcasts such as WorkLife with Adam Grant and Harvard Business Review’s Women at Work. In a nutshell, you are taking in as much information as possible concerning management, inspiration, and the interactions between employees.

2. You can Strategize with the best of the people

Are you the person who always manages to devise a schedule for a trip with family or friends that includes all of the necessary stops and ensures that everyone has a good time? In the student organizations that you were a part of or at the nonprofit organization where you volunteered, were you the one in charge of coming up with a plan of action?

Although it might not be clear to people from the outside looking in, human resources (HR) is actually a very strategic role. You need to be able to think through the ramifications of a choice and come up with viable options if you want to be successful in human resources, where you are constantly balancing competing interests and priorities. What would you suggest, for instance, in the event that the market salary rates for a required skill set are excessively high in comparison to the available budget?

The greatest HR professionals are aware of all the considerations that go into making company decisions and are able to devise strategies that take into account all of these aspects, with a particular emphasis on the employees. They have the foresight to design and implement strategies and goals that will ensure the company remains on a successful trajectory in the future.

Let’s imagine that the company is going to enter a new market; the HR department will need to be proactive in order to establish plans to acquire the appropriate combination of talent and skills in the appropriate locations at the appropriate time.

3. You’re not scared of sticky situations

When your close friends require assistance negotiating complex interpersonal tangles, do they come to you for advice? Do you have the ability to diffuse potentially awkward situations with subtlety and sensitivity?

Let’s face it, people are untidy. Your employment as a human resources expert would need you to get involved in matters that are frequently delicate and private. Every day, you are expected to maintain a level of confidentiality while maintaining the ability to speak with assurance. Your efficiency is based on the trust people have in you and the relationships you’ve developed, therefore making sure that the employee is treated with respect is at the core of your work.

You must make maintaining your honesty and fairness a top priority in whatever you do. The Human Resources department is responsible for maintaining objectivity in the face of challenging circumstances, such as complaints of discrimination and harassment, as well as disciplinary problems. 

For instance, if a star performer is also a bully, you might need to coach their manager on ways to address the behavior so that other employees don’t get the impression that high performers can get away with inappropriate behavior. This will prevent the perception that high performers are given a pass for inappropriate behavior. And if you notice that the bully maintains their behavior to the disadvantage of everyone else, you may eventually have to make a case for letting them leave, and you should make sure that none of the people you hire in the future is bullies.

4. You’re approachable

If people recognize you as someone who is easy to talk to, who listens without passing judgment, who won’t go blabbing about what you heard, and who can help people figure out what their next steps should be, then you already have some of the most important qualities of an HR professional.

Everyone who works for the company, from entry-level interns to the chief executive officer, should feel at ease approaching you and having a conversation with you. Because you have a tendency to see possibilities for navigating solutions rather than selecting sides, they may even come to you regularly for help and counsel because of this.

5. You enjoy dealing with people and know how to influence them

Interacting with employees and executives of the organization takes up a significant portion of the time of HR experts. You might have a role in employee training, employee relations, and a variety of other facets of employee engagement if you work as an expert in human resources (HR). In each of these spheres, having excellent interpersonal skills is essential to your level of success.

Successful human resource management professionals take pleasure in collaborating with others and are skilled at opening constructive lines of communication. They are able to create trust fast and come up with unique ideas that are beneficial to everyone involved. If this describes you in any way, a job in human resources (HR) would be an excellent option for you.

Are you considering the wider picture when you listen to your friends or family members talk about their ideas, their upcoming adventures, or their goals for the future? Do you take everything in and then provide some suggestions about what you believe they ought to think about? Do they typically listen to what you have to say, and even come to you for advice? Are you the buddy who, amid heated political conversations, maintains their composure at the table, listens attentively, questions others, and subtly convinces them to explore an alternative point of view?

Sometimes business leaders will make choices without giving any consideration to how those choices will affect their workforce. It would be up to you to persuade them of the reasons why they should. For instance, in order to cut costs, they might choose to abandon one of their facilities and open a new one elsewhere. However, you have done your study, and you are aware that the new site is not ideal because the talent pool in the new area does not possess the necessary levels of education and skill.

6. You’re a master of tact

If you have always been sensitive to the emotions of other people and discovered that you have a talent for conveying various types of information with care and composure, this is a skill that you may bring with you into a career in human resources (HR).

There are occasions when HR must make decisions that employees won’t agree with, or when leaders make decisions that HR must then communicate to employees. It’s possible that you’ll have to decline someone’s request for a higher wage by explaining that their current pay level is appropriate given where it sits in the market. Or you may have to break the news to a person who aspires to be a leader that they are not yet prepared for that advancement.

Communication of corporate decisions that have a direct and personal effect on individuals requires both sensitivity and tact.

7. You like to know what makes businesses succeed—or fail

Do you find that hearing friends’ and family members’ stories about where they work piques your interest in the companies that employ them? Do you find yourself curious about the organizations’ operational approaches and how they conduct business? Are you captivated by what went wrong and what actions may have been taken to prevent the catastrophe when you hear the news about a corporation that has gotten itself into significant trouble?

To be successful in human resources, you need to think like a business. Why? When you are advocating for employees or providing solutions for HR, you need to understand how what you are saying matches with how the business runs and how it will affect how the business operates. In that case, you won’t go very far trying to convince the people in control of anything.

To tell you the truth, it drives business executives and operation managers absolutely insane when their HR contact doesn’t understand their company, the pressure points they face, or their tasks. It is essential to have an understanding of their worlds in order to actually have an impression and an influence.

8. You aspire to work in a fast-growing field

Because the unemployment rate is so low and the labor market is so competitive, businesses have a greater need for human resources specialists to help them find and keep talented workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of employment available for human resource management professionals is expanding at a rate that is higher than the average for most occupations and is projected to increase by 70,200 between the years 2020 and 2030. (BLS).

Related: Residential Construction: Is Homebuilding a Good Career Path?

If you are interested in increasing your income potential, a career in human resources (HR) can be an excellent choice for you to consider. According to data provided by the BLS, human resource professionals made a median annual salary of $60,880 in 2018, with the top 10 per cent of earners bringing in more than $104,390.

9. You like to think strategically

It’s possible that you’re underestimating the significance of the function that HR experts play in the overall business strategy of a corporation. For instance, HR experts can collaborate with businesses to establish an employment brand that improves the company’s ability to retain top personnel as well as attract new talent.

They might have some input into the selection of a complete benefits package that satisfies the demands of the employees, or they might be the ones to initiate a flexible policy regarding remote work that boosts employee satisfaction and engagement. In the field of human resources (HR), there are many opportunities to make a difference and engage in inventive problem-solving, which can be appealing to people who appreciate a good challenge.

10. You want to grow your career quickly

As a result of the way that modern technologies are altering the way in which businesses manage their staff and recruit new workers, there is a growing demand for HR directors who are both technologically aware and forward-thinking. According to the BLS, employment opportunities for human resource managers are anticipated to expand by 9% from 2016 to 2026, leading to the addition of more than 12,000 new positions.

In addition, the number of human resources consulting organizations is growing, which opens up new doors of opportunity for seasoned HR experts. These agencies can provide professionals with extensive specialized knowledge with attractive work opportunities as well as a direct path to higher-level career growth.

11. You want to help businesses to achieve their goals

There is no way to dispute the significance of human resources (HR) specialists to the overall success of an organization. According to a recent study conducted by Gallup, highly engaged teams have a 21% higher rate of profitability, and successful businesses make the engagement of their employees a primary focus of their company strategy. According to the findings of another study conducted by The Engagement Institute, disengaged workers in the United States lose their organizations up to $550 billion per year in lost productivity.

HR professionals can increase employee motivation by adopting employee recognition programs, investing in training and development techniques, and developing a strong employment brand. This will lead to lower employee turnover, which will improve a company’s bottom line.

Human Resources Career Responsibility and Salary Range

The functions and obligations that an employer assigns to a human resources manager are very variable from one company to the next. For instance, larger firms may have more HR experts working in specialized areas, but smaller organizations may have fewer managers who handle numerous areas as the need arises. One reason for this disparity could be that larger organizations hire more people. The salary of HR managers is affected not only by these characteristics, but also by the geographic region, education level, and amount of experience they have.

Video: Pros and Cons of HR Career

What are the Job Duties and Responsibilities of HR Managers?

In most cases, managers of human resources are generalists who are responsible for overseeing a number of different departments. However, in larger companies, human resources managers may be experts who are in charge of a team of other HR specialists. Regardless of the structure of an organization, HR managers always have the same general tasks, which are as follows:

  • Job analysis: The process of defining the nature and responsibilities of roles, as well as the abilities and knowledge required for those positions
  • The processes of recruitment and staffing: Finding, interviewing, and ultimately choosing the best possible applicants to fill a position in order to fulfil the requirements of an organization
  • The workforce in terms of its organization and utilization: Developing a structure for the business that makes the best use of its available human resources and sets up channels of communication
  • Keeping the workforce up and running: addressing concerns regarding health, safety, and worker management, as well as ensuring compliance with applicable federal regulations regarding the workplace
  • Training and development: Consists of determining the educational requirements of employees and developing courses to fulfil those requirements.
  • Performance appraisal: The process of evaluating an employee’s performance on the job in order to provide feedback and to gather data for use in making decisions regarding promotions, wage increases, and termination of employment
  • Rewards for employees: Developing staff incentive programs that recognize their successes and encourage them to maintain their current levels of productivity
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion: all three are important. Developing systems and policies to guarantee that all applicants, workers, and customers are treated equally and without bias.

Median Annual Salary

The annual median salary for an HR manager with a bachelor’s degree is $121,220, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The BLS reports that HR managers in the top 10% of earners make $163,360, while those in the lowest 10% earn $75,000.

10th Percentile: $75,000

25th Percentile: $95,310

75th Percentile: $163,360

90th Percentile: N/A

Media annual salary of some states in the US:

StateMedian SalaryBottom 10%Top 10%

Top paying metropolitan areas for Human Resources Managers:

Metropolitan areaEmploymentEmployment per thousand jobsLocation quotient Hourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA2,7502.582.18$ 91.36$ 190,020
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA11,4101.311.11$ 89.87$ 186,930
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA5,1902.311.96$ 84.33$ 175,410
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT8602.301.95$ 82.22$ 171,030
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH5,5802.161.83$ 79.66$ 165,700
Trenton, NJ4001.761.49$ 78.03$ 162,300
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO1,5701.070.90$ 77.70$ 161,620
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV5,6201.921.62$ 77.30$ 160,790
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA2,7001.411.19$ 76.84$ 159,830
Ithaca, NY501.030.87$ 75.84$ 157,740

Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the United States provided the median income for 2021 and predicted job growth until 2030. There is a wide range of variation in actual pay due to factors such as location, amount of education, number of years of experience, working environment, and other elements. People who are self-employed or work part-time may earn significantly less than those who work full-time.

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