Human resource management provides many opportunities for active professionals who are willing to invest in their future and make their way into senior positions. There are also many lucrative jobs out there. People working in the HR industry use soft skills and experience in a field where they can help others and their organizations. Helping others makes HR careers meaningful work for many employees. They also use their people skills, planning, labor relations, program development, and accounting skills to their best advantage. But before you apply to one of the top human resources programs at a business school, ask yourself a few questions: What do human resource management jobs look like? What can I do with a human resources online MBA? What is the expected salary for a human resource professional? This article answers these questions and more.
Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO)
Chief human resources officers hold a vital administration position. They regularly report to the chief executive officer and advising senior staff. CHROs also supervise all human resources administration for their organization, including any human resources staff members. They design human resources practices and procedures, present proposals for senior management changes, and oversee their execution. Additionally, chief human resources officers ensure their organization has the essential workforce to meet all business needs and goals. Chief human resources officers encourage staff development and retention. They provide training, developmental assignments, and performance-based bonuses as needed. They are required to regularly evaluate the efficacy of these initiatives and assess the personnel’s overall performance under their leadership. They ensure employee morale is high, determine any causes for low morale and work with relevant managers and other staff members to create and implement solutions.
Average Annual Salary: $151,667
Vice President (VP), Human Resources (HR)
Human resources vice presidents have numerous responsibilities, like monitoring compliance with legal issues of the workforce, overseeing contracts, developing written policies, and leading teams of employees. They are also responsible for ensuring that labor laws are being interpreted and implemented correctly within their organization. Their legal areas include taxes, safety (OSHA), equal opportunity (EEO), wage and compensation, retirement and pension plans, and other laws related to contractors and employees. Another sector that HRVPs preside over is contract negotiation between businesses and their employees or, in some cases, unions. Negotiating and developing the final conditions of contracts requires as much attention to detail as it does specifications like salary, non-compete clauses, confidentiality disclosures, benefits, and more. HRVPs write policies relevant to the workforce of an organization. This includes the entire scope of a firm’s personnel matters and will influence the processes for hiring, responding to complaints, firing, and other administrative work related to employees. Because these areas are so essential, HRVPs will often consult with legal departments to ensure that all personnel documents, employee handbooks, and other written policies are complete, concise, and functional. The educational requirements needed to become an HRVP will often include an undergraduate degree and even a master’s degree in human resources, business, or related fields.
Average Annual Salary: $139,490
Organizational Development Director
One of the best human resource management jobs is an Organizational Development Director. Getting the most out of a corporation’s employees involves more than just filling empty voids with warm bodies and hoping for the best. Many businesses have entire teams dedicated to training and getting the most out of their employees. The leader of this sector of the industry is known as the director of organizational development. This business leader coordinates the entirety of an organization’s employee development programs. The director of organizational development oversees junior corporate development officers. These underlings are delegated specific tasks and are often the direct contact between the organization and its employees. The director is responsible for ensuring that the organization’s developmental goals and directives are clear and directing the design of plans of action to carry out developmental policies. The director of organizational development will often assist directly in developing executives and others in the firm who show leadership potential. They are responsible for creating budgets for administrative activities and working within that budget.
Average Annual Salary: $120,231
A benefits director is in charge of benefits areas like health insurance, retirement plans, life insurance, and leave and employee promotions and transfers. They also maintain records of employee activity in those areas and ensure that employees remain eligible for the programs in which they are enrolled. In addition, benefits directors educate employees about available benefits options. These options include safety programs, bonus/incentive programs, organizing seminars, and other events. They are also responsible for keeping track of new developments in their organization and the overall field to identify unknown risks and liabilities which may develop. Many benefits directors oversee compensation and may set compensation rules and procedures for their company. Standards of compensation are often determined by taking surveys and evaluating data within the field and organization. Direct employee input should also be considered. Benefits directors have budgets that must be worked under, and proposed expenditures are often submitted to upper management for approval. Most of a benefits director’s work is performed in an office, though some outside surveying and travel may be required.
Average Annual Salary: $117,121
Talent Acquisition Director
The primary role of a talent acquisition director is to manage the hiring process and discover qualified recruits to fill organizational vacancies. These business leaders must be familiar with various sources to find new applicants, like job fairs and job-search websites. They must also sort through applications and data from potential hires. Talent acquisition directors participate in part of the recruitment process, including interviewing and negotiating with candidates. They will also help form and communicate hiring policies. Other tasks performed by talent acquisition directors can include leading meetings related to hiring strategies and training members of the hiring team. Talent acquisition directors generally work in an office setting. Some organizations may require extensive travel to other branches and departments. It is common for these professionals to perform work and communicate through virtual tools like teleconferencing. Directors must be proficient in essential computer software. The bulk of their work is done in small teams, although talent acquisition directors must work well independently with minimal supervision. Educational requirements for talent acquisition directors can include an undergraduate degree. More advanced degrees such as an MBA may be preferred.
Average Annual Salary: $115,274
Director of Human Resources
Directors of human resources are responsible for managing and guiding the overall activities of their organization’s human resources (HR) department. These responsibilities can include managing HR policies and services along with programs for the entire firm. In addition, HR directors serve as advocates who ensure that all employee and company interactions are handled fairly and consistently. Other responsibilities may include recruiting, developing, and training new employees, orientation, payroll processing, and benefit and salary administration. In addition, HR directors are responsible for policy development and employee relations along with performance improvement. HR directors report directly to CEOs (or other executive staff members) and maintain compliance with all regulatory concerns. As a rule, they must place high values on ethics, confidentiality, and integrity. They must also function within their HR team and operate within a service environment marked by high demand and expectations for delivering employee and customer service.
Average Annual Salary: $97,387
Human Resources Director
Human resource directors have unique roles and responsibilities in many different organizations. These directors may head up several departments or put someone in place to manage them. They are strategic proponents and partners for the organization and the people who work for their firm. HR directors are responsible for dealing with the day-to-day issues and complaints from employees regarding payroll, employee benefits, and employee paperwork. They maintain employees’ adherence to policies and procedures while ensuring that programs are consistently aligned with organizational goals, meet professional standards, and adhere to state and federal regulatory laws and requirements. HR directors oversee staff operations, budget development, and business planning of HR programs. They also plan, manage, and direct all human resource initiatives, including recruitment, compensation, benefits, training, and employee relations within an organization. They oversee hiring, training, team building, coaching, salary, benefits, and leadership. An undergraduate degree is required to work in this business field, and a master’s degree may be needed for high-level positions.
Average Annual Salary: $89,390
Manager, Compensation & Benefits
Effectively managing benefits and compensation packages are essential to ensuring that all laws and other regulations are followed while employees remain satisfied in their careers. The manager of compensation and benefits is a necessary sector of an organization’s human resources department and serves employees within salary, benefits, and retirement issues. They also initiate strategies that boost employee awareness of their benefits and options packages. Managers of compensation and benefits meet with employees as individuals and groups to register them for their organization’s benefits programs and assist with questions regarding wages and salary, retirement plans, medical plans, and investment programs. Compensation and benefits managers also help design the compensation levels of a company to ensure competitive pay rates that are following their organization’s needs.
Average Annual Salary: $88,155
One of the best human resource management jobs is a training director. Training directors are responsible for the employee training practices and procedures within an organization. They perform several initial tasks at the beginning of a curriculum development cycle. First, training directors establish what the training needs of an organization are. They then set the direction and goals for the training programs. To this end, the training director begins by gathering data about the programs that already exist. After the current program data is collected, the training director works alongside subject matter experts to evaluate the existing programs for their strengths and weaknesses. Training directors then write a report on the conclusions of the analysis, providing advice on the training goals and recommendations on how to maintain current program strengths while eliminating weaknesses. This lucrative career choice can be rewarding for team players and good communicators.
Average Annual Salary: $87,844
Stock Plan Administrator
Stock plan administrators are responsible for developing and maintaining various employee stock plans for their company. Professionals in this position work in office environments during typical business hours. Little to zero travel is required for the job. Candidates for the position generally have an undergraduate degree in a finance-related field. In-depth knowledge of accounting, stocks, and relevant computer software and applications are necessary. Stock plan administrators may have many responsibilities, including administering coach equity compensation, preparing all quarterly grants for equity, coordinating with department heads of finances and human resources, conducting quarterly and yearly reports, processing grants, and contacting compensation vendors regarding stock plans. This rewarding career in HR is an excellent fit for technical professionals who thrive in accounting and finance.
Average Annual Salary: $83,606
Now that you are enlightened regarding the best human resource management jobs, it’s essential to consider how this new information dovetails into your interest and potential success in the field. Here are three action steps to take while considering a rewarding career in human resources leadership.
- Fuse Your Abilities in Strategy and Planning into an HR Career
HR is a highly strategic function. In human resources, you constantly weigh competing interests and priorities, so you need to think through the effects of a decision and develop the best options. The best HR pros consider all the factors that go into making business decisions and can formulate plans that consider all components. A degree like a human resources online MBA helps to sharpen these skills.
- Use Your Approachable Nature as an Asset in Management
If you have a reputation as someone who is easy to talk to, who listens without judgment, and who helps people figure out the following steps, you’ve got some of the essential characteristics of a human resources professional. Lean into that skill set and watch your career take off.
- Convert Your Ability to Influence People for an Organization’s Good
Guiding leadership and employees to follow sound advice is no simple task. Leaders often need time, data, and encouragement to get on board. HR managers pitching a budgetary and time investment in leadership training could highlight the need to use retention data or less-than-optimal employee survey results. The bottom line is that a business mindset is crucial for success in HR as proposing HR solutions and advocating for employees mean knowing how proposals align with and affect how an organization operates. The best HR reps are those who know how to influence and motivate.
These are just a few steps one can take as she considers a rewarding career in human resources.