Human resources (HR) is the umbrella term used to describe the management and development of employees in an organization. Ultimately, it’s all about increasing employee performance. With the disruption in workforce dynamics post-COVID-19, HR professionals are going to be in strong demand worldwide (sources: HBR, Gartner & McKinsey). In this post, we will discuss an overview of human resources careers.
Human Resources Careers
Co-authored by Pavan Somwanshi and Parinita Gupta
What is Human Resources (HR)?
Wikipedia defines HR as ‘the set of people who make up the workforce of an organization, business sector, industry, or economy. A narrower concept is human capital, the knowledge, and skills which the individuals command.‘
Human Resources is that segment of a business that focuses on finding, screening, recruiting, promoting, and paying people who form the base of a company or an organization. The term also includes training prospective job applicants along with administering employee-benefit programs. HR management is a multidisciplinary activity. It utilizes knowledge drawn from economics and psychology.
Being Human Resource personnel calls for sheer responsibility and accountability as this department in the organization takes care of valuable human capital that runs the core of the business. HRs are an integral part of the company because they maintain the relationship with all the other employees on behalf of the company. In simpler words, HRs represent a company.
Every company requires a good HR department for its smooth functioning. Whether it is a small firm or a multinational company, human resources need to be managed nonetheless. This is what keeps the organization upright and running.
Demand and Career Scopes of HR
HR embraces a wide range of scopes. These can be compressed into three primary divisions:
- Personnel aspect – This involves functions like recruitment, manpower selection, promotions, transfers, training and development, productivity, remuneration and incentives.
- Welfare aspect – Working conditions and amenities like employee-safety, health, education, medical assistance, recreation facilities, creches (if any), housing and transport canteens come under this segment of HR.
- Industrial relation aspect – This aspect looks into matters like grievance redressal, dispute settlement, joint consultation and other disciplinary procedures.
Several verticals, including corporate houses, government organizations, media houses, newspapers, and IT sectors require the right employee to form a strong, stable workforce for the organization to reach strategic goals. The demand for HR is quite high in these sectors and presumably, HR managers can see huge growth in the next decade.
Human Resources (HR) Job Market and Future Trends
The global Human Resource Management market size is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11% from 2019 to 2025.
The rise of artificial intelligence. The growth of the gig economy. The increased push towards greater diversity. Finally, the recent global pandemic has altered the reality of millions and redefined where and how work gets done.
Given the nature of the role, apart from excellent soft skills, technical skills (e.g. data analytics) are also going to play a big role.
Big Data & AI in HR
A top strategic focus of HR over the next few years is a focus on data. The shift to remote work caused by the pandemic, he explained, meant employers had to increasingly rely on tools to gauge how engaged and productive employees were, and, by extension, turn to data insights for direction.
“Data is the new currency when it comes to the workforce, and as long as HR retains that human touch, the advent of data should not scare any HR practitioner.”– David Millner, Founder and Consulting Partner at HR Curator
Why, exactly, is data taking center stage in the HR domain?
Data provides an understanding of three pivotal areas:
- How successful HR practices are in adding value at the strategic or business level.
- Second, data allows HR to identify ways to enhance practices and the employee experience.
- Third, it enables HR to show how its various functions align with related strategies and commercial demands.
In terms of the impact at a tangible level, data is critical, according to a recent Mercer report. It found that more than 60% of executives say the top HR trend offering impact is using talent analytics to make decisions rooted in data.
Millner concluded by saying, “People analytics is not going to go away and it will be an integral part of the way that all HR functions operate over the next few years.”
AI and ML in the Field of HR
AI-based algorithms such as applicant tracking software, combined with an increase in cloud computing, are going to be handy for HR professionals in the recruitment of candidates and streamline workflow. AI tools promote merit-based selection eliminating conscious or unconscious bias.
AI aids HR to manage onboarding, integration, employee training, performance, reporting, payroll, and data administration. Integrate Robotic process automation (RPA) to encompass skills like chatbots, natural language processing (NLP), and machine learning to access the data.
Resume of an HR Professional
How to Build a Career in HR
HR is a profession that demands uprightness, confidentiality, and great communication & interactive skills. Getting into this career will relatively be less difficult if you pre-plan your career trajectory, education, and work experience around this field. With that being said let’s understand what you will need to do to venture into the career of Human Resources.
As mentioned earlier, HR is an interdisciplinary domain, with a certain hierarchy within it. Thus, HR professionals come from diversified educational backgrounds. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum qualification (any stream).
A degree or a diploma in Human Resource is recommended in order to know the basics of the domain. Alternatively, a degree in Psychology (along with specialization in I/O Psychology) or Counselling can be advantageous as well.
This apart, students who look forward to a career in Human Resource Management may pursue diploma programs, a dual-degree / integrated program, or a more specialized post-graduate degree. There are also different online HR Certification courses offered by several popular course providers. Prospective HR professionals may as well take up these courses.
HR Career Path
Here are three different career/education paths you can take to get a certification in Human Resources:
- This is a very flexible path as there are a number of options you can choose from in the first two steps. The first step is for you to complete your +2 in any stream, similarly, you can complete your graduation in any discipline of your choice as well. In the last step, you can do a PG diploma in Management or an MBA in Human Resources.
- Many students often choose this path wherein you are required to do your +2 in Science stream and then opt for the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) for undergrad. Later, you can do your Masters in Business Administration. In this way, you would be dedicating 5 years to understanding and learning about the world of business.
- This option isn’t very popular but has huge merit over others. Here you are required to do your +2 in Science stream after which you would be going your Bachelor’s in Psychology. How a bachelor’s degree in psychology will help you in a career in HR is self-explanatory. Further, just as above you will be doing your Masters in Business Administration.
MBA in Human Resources Management
To be eligible for MBA students are required to give exams like CAT & MAT and other university exams like XAT & SNAP.
Along with being an easy career to enter into for beginners, this career field is a great option and many times not very difficult to make a career switch into. Some, companies allow entry-level HR positions to existing employees who are not involved in the field of HR.
Most importantly, pursuing a degree / an online course is as important as staying updated with the latest HR trends, as well as gaining professional knowledge. A degree and an experience together create a much better prospect – both professionally and financially. Read these tips for landing your first HR role.
Top MBA Colleges in India for HR
- XLRI (Jamshedpur)
- MDI (Gurgaon / Delhi-NCR)
- ISB (Hyderabad / Mohali)
- IIM Ranchi
- XISS (Ranchi)
- TISS (Mumbai)
- IISWBM (Kolkata)
- NMIMS (Mumbai)
- Panjab University – UBS (Chandigarh)
- ISB&M (Pune)
- IMI (Delhi)
Top International Business Schools for MBA in HR
- Brigham Young University – Marriott School of Business
- Vanderbilt University – Owen Graduate School of Management
- Purdue Krannert
- Michigan Ross
- USC Marshall
- Rice Jones
- Chicago Booth
- Pittsburgh Katz
- Michigan State
Need Personalized Career Guidance
Speak with an HR Specialist Career Counsellor
HR Roles and Responsibilities
The basic division in the HR domain is the generalist and the specialist. The roles and responsibilities of each other are as similar as they are different. The common roles performed by an HR (irrespective of the hierarchy) can be enumerated as:
- Attracting candidates – a company or an organization does this through employer branding. This is important when hiring an external candidate as a prospective employee.
- Candidate selection and hiring – how suitable a candidate is, for a certain job profile, is what the HR needs to understand, and bring on board. Selection can be external; from outside the organization or internal; within the organization.
- Payroll process and performance appraisal – understanding the pay package for a certain designation, calculating taxes, reimbursing the expenses – the HR does it all. Job evaluation and performance appraisal are also handled by the HR.
- Employee benefit management – an extra holiday, childcare budget, paternity leave and few other benefits go a long way in employee retention. This is one very crucial role of the HR.
- Conduct disciplinary action – employee policies need to be fair for one and all. Unfair practices on the part of one employee could cause a disturbance in the work culture equilibrium. Disciplinary action need not necessarily mean punishments. It can as well mean counselling of one or more employee/s (if need be) in case the management notices delinquency in his / her behaviour.
- Promotions – apart from hiring, the HR also sets rules for employee promotion. This is normally accompanied by a raise in the employee’s payroll.
- Maintain employee records – these records normally help employers to identify any skill gap, thereby streamlining the future hiring process. The records also contain personal information of the employees in case of any emergency.
Human Resources Career Benefits
This job is very different from the typical jobs and hence has its share of benefits. Which are,
Steady flow – The job description and activities have been the same all along. This makes it a great choice when looking for a steady long-term career.
Human connections – Unlike most other management jobs, this job requires being around and among people all the time. If you are good with communication, this field is your playground.
Security – There is always going to be a requirement of HR professionals in an organization no matter which sector it operates in. HR employment is expected to shoot up by 6% over the next decade, which is higher than any other occupation.
Influence – There’s nothing more rewarding than making a difference. People are the most important asset of an organization, and being responsible for the most important asset is surely worth it.
Salary – Everyone wants a job that pays well & HR never disappoints. If a high-paying job is a part of the checklist when selecting a job, then this is it.
Need Personalized Career Guidance
Speak with an HR Specialist Career Counsellor
Human Resources (HR) Salaries Worldwide
- India: INR 5L – 6.8L
- Canada: CAD $70,000
- USA: USD $69,500
- UK: GBP £42,150
- Germany: EUR €48,250
- France: EUR €51,375
- Ireland: EUR €41,800
- Singapore: SGD $38,000
- Australia: AUD $89,900
- South Korea: ₩6,67,29,940