Human resource management pathways to consider

Human resource management pathways to consider

You’re a team player and enjoy everything surrounding company culture, training and helping others meet their full potential. You pitch in during employee awards ceremonies and know your way around an organization, building relationships in multiple departments and with outside vendors. Sounds like you have the moxie and temperament to excel in a career in human resource management.

So much goes into the overarching “basket” that is human resource management, like payroll, benefits and insurance issues; training; employee relations including discipline; budget analysis; tax compliance; recruitment; and more. Even if you currently do not work in human resources, you still are likely a good candidate to fill human resource management roles.

As industries continue to specialize – tech, hardware/software, manufacturing, biomedical/bioscience, finance, logistics and more – the need for industry-savvy human resource management professionals will only increase. HR needs people who speak the language of other departments, across disciplines. Someone in junior role in a specific discipline, accounting or marketing as examples, becomes more valuable in senior level human resource management roles as an analyst or communications specialist.

Check out a few opportunities to advance, or “level up,” in your career in human resource management:

Information technology specialists may be interested in going this route. They use their tech background to electronically manage the human capital of a company, payroll, benefits, compliance, etc. so data can be shared for internal and external users. They may also be responsible for computer and other hardware set up, software installation, training and other computer or tech functions of a company and typically requires a BS or MS degree plus extra certification such as HRIP (Human Resources Information Program), or SHRM-SCP (Society for Human Resource Management, Senior Certified Professional in HRIS).

A junior member of the Human Resource department or procurement function who works with outside vendors could be a good candidate to move into a benefits administrator role. Their primary responsibility is to roll out employee benefits across a company and manage the enrollment process, which includes medical and dental plans, retirement plans, paid time off policies and other new and existing employee benefits. They also manage the relationship with outside vendors like insurance companies and other benefits providers. Benefits Administrators also monitor vacation and sick time across an enterprise and prepare forecast reports as needed. Specialized certification from HRIP or SHRM is typically required.

New hires and nearly all current employees will spend some time with the training manager. This human resource management position educates all employees on company and safety policies, schedule required sessions, and manages outside relationships with providers of training tools and programming. But perhaps more importantly, this position helps develop talent, delivers new skills (even technical skills) that helps companies prepare for opportunities, and equips entry-level workers for future company needs and potential management and leadership roles. Specialized certification from HRIP or SHRM may be required in addition to specialized skills such as logistics, accounting or information technology.

This important role communicates company initiatives, culture and goals, celebrates successes and conveys key messages across an organization, including executive messaging about the health and status of a company. This human resource management function usually requires a communications or journalism degree due to the amount of writing involved, which may include regular e-newsletters, website updates, social media, e-mail communication, video production, speech/script writing and more. This manager also plans employee events and conveys bad news when required (or writes the news for leadership). Junior players in advertising or marketing, level-up as an employee relations manager.

With so many engaging career pathways in human resource management, your options seemingly just expanded.

Photo by Anna Shvets

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