An exciting, well-paying job with almost limitless growth opportunities awaits you if you decide to make a career in human resources management. A company's employees are its greatest strength. Keeping these employees happy, managing their needs, and recruiting fresh talent forms the core of any business. This is precisely the function of human resources management.
What is Human Resources Management?
To the layman, HR is all about being people friendly. While dealing with people is certainly a major part of HR, the day-to-day job profile of a HR managers includes, but is not limited to, employee retention, training, development, recruitment, and creating a positive, healthy work environment.
To speak in terms of metaphors, if you imagine each employee to be a sapling, the HR manager job is the nurturing gardener helping the employee grow to his/her full potential.
A career in human resources can be quite demanding. In small companies, it is common to find HR managers donning various hats and looking after all aspects of human resources management. In larger companies, the job of a HR manager becomes a bit more specialized, with some involved in recruiting talent, while others looking after employee needs.
Because of its demanding nature, HR managers tend to be quite well paid. The median earnings of a training and development manager, for instance, was more than $85,000 in 2009.
Almost all HR jobs require the candidate to possess at least a three year degree. A bachelor's degree in human resources will be the sure-shot way to break into this field, though degrees in business administration, education, public administration, and communications tend to open many doors as well.
HR managers are expected to wear multiple hats, especially in smaller companies. Consequently, they tend to be from diverse fields. A training and development HR manager, for instance, might hold a degree in education, while an employee recruitment manager in a technology company might hold an engineering degree.
To improve your chances of making strides in human resources, a graduate degree in this field is highly recommended. MBA graduates with a specialization in HR are highly coveted and can often make six figure incomes straight out of school.
You can also obtain certificates in HR to boost your chances of bagging a career in this field. Two popular certificates are Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).
Finding Work in Human Resources
If you are still in college, the best way to break into HR is to find an internship in the HR department of a large company, and to leverage that internship into a career in this field.
Hunting for jobs through the usual portals - job search sites, career fairs, etc. - works quite well too. The Society of Human Resource Management (SPHR) maintains a job board dedicated entirely to jobs in this field and should be a happy hunting ground for most would-be HR professionals.
Since a HR professional's job entails dealing with people, more and more companies are turning towards social networks to fill their human resources ranks. A well maintained profile on LinkedIn and Twitter can definitely boost your chances of landing a job in this field.
Finally, it helps to keep in mind that most companies would rather promote someone from within the company who knows the company culture to the rank of HR manager than hire someone from outside.
A career in human resources is a challenging, enriching and rewarding experience. It promises a lot of growth and tons of job satisfaction. Breaking into this field might be difficult, but the rewards are well worth the effort.