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Career Information

Every organization that uses people to accomplish its goals and objectives needs the human resources management function. Whether it is a for-profit business, or a non-profit organization; whether it is private sector or public sector; whether it is a manufacturing operation or doctor’s office, if there are managers and employees there is a human resources function.

The U. S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 Edition, predicts that employment in human resources occupations is expected to grow 22-percent between 2008 and 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. According to the data reflected in the Handbook, wages for human resources professionals ranges from approximately $38,000 per year to over $167,000 per year. According to the DOL’s Job Outlook, “Legislation and court rulings revising standards in various areas—occupational safety and health, equal employment opportunity, wages, healthcare, retirement plans, and family leave, among others—will increase demand for human resources, training, and labor relations experts. Rising healthcare costs and a growing number of healthcare coverage options should continue to spur demand for specialists to develop creative compensation and benefits packages that companies can offer prospective employees.”

Another career option for you, as a human resources professional, is as a self-employed consultant, or a consultant for a human resources outsourcing firm. According to the DOL’s Job Outlook, “Among industries, firms involved in management, consulting, and employment services should offer many job opportunities, as businesses increasingly contract out human resources functions or hire human resources specialists on a temporary basis to deal with increasing costs and complexity of training and development programs. Demand for specialists also should increase in outsourcing firms that develop and administer complex employee benefits and compensation packages for other organizations.”

Even if there is no Human Resources Department at a company, someone is performing the human resources functions. If there is no Human Resources Department where you work, as you read through the duties and areas of responsibility associated with HR listed below, think about who does these tasks in your company.

Common Human Resources Duties:

  • Employment: Writing human resource policies and procedures to address employment issues, strategic human resources planning, recruiting (advertising, writing ads, working with employment agencies), hiring (interviewing, testing, background checks, drug testing, pre-employment physicals), on-boarding (new employee orientation, completion of I-9’s, tax forms, benefit explanations and elections, and establishing employee files), and ADA accommodation requests for applicants and new employees.
  • Compensation: Developing, administering, and analyzing job analysis processes; writing and updating job descriptions and job specifications; developing, maintaining, and administering job evaluation processes; developing, writing, and administering compensation programs, policies, and procedures (pay structures, overtime, exempt/non-exempt status of jobs); maintaining compensation records; and conducting and analyzing comparative compensation studies.
  • Benefits Administration: Developing and administering programs for sick leave (short-term and long-term disability), FMLA, health insurance, COBRA, HIPPA, life insurance, worker’s compensation, unemployment compensation, retirement and pension programs, ERISA, PTO (vacations, bereavement leave, jury duty, personal leave; sick days, holidays), tuition assistance/reimbursement, safety equipment, professional liability, recreational activities, service awards; leaves of absence without pay; maintaining employee benefit records; and writing policies and procedures for the administration of these programs.
  • Employee Relations: Developing, writing, administering, and maintaining affirmative action programs; ensuring company compliance with equal employment opportunity guidelines and requirements; developing and administering/coordinating performance appraisal programs; developing, writing, and administering/coordinating progressive disciplinary programs; developing and coordinating/administering employee dispute resolution processes; developing and administering ADA accommodation request policies and procedures; developing, writing, administering, military leave (USERRA) policies and procedures; developing and administering safety programs; developing, writing, and administering drug free workplace programs, policies, and procedures; developing, writing, and administering workplace violence programs, policies, and procedures; developing, writing, and administering communicable disease programs, policies, and procedures; developing, writing, administering, and presenting training programs; developing, writing, and administering sexual harassment policies and procedures; developing, writing, and administering termination policies and procedures; ensuring employer compliance with child labor laws; developing and maintaining employee records and files; and representing the employer (with or without company legal counsel) in governmental proceedings (worker’s compensation hearings, unemployment compensation hearings, EEOC hearings, and other employee related legal matters).
  • Labor Relations: Developing, administering/coordinating union avoidance programs; leading or participating in contract negotiations; administering negotiated contracts; responding to grievances; and representing the employer (with or without company legal counsel) in arbitration and unfair labor practice hearings/proceedings.

Common Job Titles Associated with Human Resources:

(This list is not all inclusive – there are many other job titles associated with human resources professionals.)

  • Vice President of Human Resources
  • Vice President of Employee Relations
  • Human Resources Director
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Human Resources Generalist
  • Human Resources Coordinator
  • Human Resources Specialist
  • Employee Relations Director
  • Employee Relations Manager
  • Employee Relations Coordinator
  • Employment Recruiter
  • Employment Coordinator
  • EEO Coordinator
  • EEO Officer
  • EEO Specialist
  • Recruiting Specialist
  • Placement Specialist
  • Labor Relations Manager
  • Labor Relations Director
  • Labor Relations Coordinator
  • Labor Relations Consultant
  • Labor Relations Specialist
  • Compensation Manager
  • Benefits Manager
  • Compensation and Benefits Manager
  • Compensation Coordinator
  • Benefits Coordinator
  • Compensation and Benefits Coordinator
  • Compensation Specialist
  • Benefits Specialist
  • Compensation and Benefits Specialist
  • Job Analyst
  • Job Analysis Specialist
  • Training and Development Manager
  • Training and Development Director
  • Training and Development Coordinator
  • Training and Development Specialist