Human resource management is undergoing a massive transformation that will
change career paths in as yet uncertain ways. Employers are placing greater
emphasis on business acumen and are automating and outsourcing many
administrative functions, which will force HR professionals to demonstrate new
skills and compete for new, sometimes unfamiliar roles. “Job titles and functions
will likely remain in flux for sometime,” say business leaders, academicians,
HR consultants and HR professionals. But they feel that some of the standard
niches – such as HR Generalist and Benefits Specialist – will become less
common and less important, giving way to new ones such as HR Business Analyst.
Depending on the company, a human resources job can encompass everything
from recruiting to training to compensation, or it can focus on a single human
resources specialty. A small organization may have just one human resource
generalist or human resources manager. In large corporations, human resources
management duties are divided among several areas, including employment and
placement; compensation and benefits; recruitment; labor relations; and training
Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn’t separate each human
resources specialty, it does project overall employment in all human resources
job categories to grow by 22 percent between 2008 and 2018 — much faster than
Here are some of the most in-demand specialist human resources jobs.
Recruitment Coordinator : The work profile includes arranging the advertisement
of new vacancies, analyzing applications and shortlisting candidates, arranging
job interviews, and managing any testing procedures involved in the recruitment
Training Officer: Identifies the training requirements among employees
within the organization and designs and implements appropriate training programs
for individuals or groups.
HR Manager: A strategic role involving framing of policies, processes and
practices relating to the overall business needs of the organization. It
involves overseeing others in the HR team and ensuring delivery of their
responsibilities in addition to employee welfare, salary reviews, and
HR Director: Managing and controlling departmental expenditure within
agreed budgets as well as maintaining awareness of contemporary HR development
theory and methods and provide suitable implementation within the organization.
Compensation and Benefits Managers: These HR workers develop, implement and
administer a company’s rewards and benefits policies, including salaries,
bonuses, pensions, life insurance and sometimes medical insurance packages.
Training and Development Specialists: These HR specialists conduct and
supervise training and development programs for employees. This specialty is
splintering into even more specialized human resources jobs, such as
organizational development consultant and training and development manager. In
general, a training and development specialist will work with training managers
and employee supervisors to develop performance improvement measures, conduct
orientation sessions, and arrange on-the-job training to help employees
maintain and improve their job skills.
Employment, Recruitment and Placement Specialists: Also called recruiters,
these specialists recruit and place workers. They may travel to job fairs and
college campuses to find promising job applicants. They may also screen,
interview and test applicants, and may check references and extend job offers.
Employee Assistance Plan Managers: Sometimes called employee welfare
managers, manager of work and family programs or work-life managers, these HR
professionals oversee programs to enhance employee safety and wellness and
improve work-life balance. They may manage occupational safety and health
standards and practices, health and physical fitness plans, medical
examinations, flextime programs, food service and recreational activities,
childcare and elder-care programs, and counseling services.
The field of human resources offers perhaps one of the broadest ranges of
career opportunities in the workforce today. Though obviously bonded by a set
of common practices and goals, human resources careers are surprisingly
So back to the original question of why you might want
to work in HR, the motivation is generally one of people. Many roles ask for
candidates who are ‘good with people’ but there is no function where this is
more important than in HR. You need to genuinely care about the well-being and
development of your employers employees, which often results in close working
relationships with people from across the business.