Career Options in Human Resources

For those who are interested in helping to ensure that a company’s employees are happy, healthy, productive, loyal workers, then a career in human resources will most likely be a good bet for you. There are many options and areas in human resources from which to choose though. Here are some of them:

Employee relations concerns effectively managing the relationship between the company and its employees using company directives but ideally to the satisfaction of both the company and its employees.

Recruitment. Great companies need talented people and human resource recruiters are the people responsible for making sure a great match is made. They may create the job description, disseminate the job announcement, interview and select candidates, and sometimes fire employees as well. Corporations, government agencies, or even small companies who provide recruitment outsourcing to larger companies all need recruitment professionals.

Employee benefits. Those who work in the area of employee benefits may manage the company’s health plan, 401k plan, pension plan, insurance plan, stock option plan, profit share plan, flexible benefit plan, life insurance, or any other benefits a company may offer its workers. This work includes liaising between the plan owners and the employees at the company. Employees need to be kept well informed of their rights and options, and their concerns must be appropriately addressed.

Training. Companies may train their employees for a variety of reasons: new challenges or technologies may arise and employees may need to develop new skills for the company to be able to compete in the marketplace, training can be used as a perk for employees, training or orientation may be needed for new company employees, and the company may want to train employees to improve or streamline their processes, to cite a few examples. Those who work in employee training may organize employee training sessions, create employee training plans, set up leadership or job transition programs, lead training sessions, and conduct surveys.

Employee assistance. Those who work in this area work to ensure a safe and healthy work environment and promote well-being among a company’s employees. This is generally only a separate human resource function in very large companies. Employee assistance managers may counsel employees on work-life issues, encourage adherence to occupational safety and health standards, organize a carpool program, plan employee recreation events, and support health and physical fitness programs.

Employee relations. This area concerns effectively managing the relationship between the company and its employees using company directives but ideally to the satisfaction of both the company and its employees. Employee relations managers may negotiate employee agreements, handle complaints, resolve disputes, advise management, and collect information for management to use during negotiations with unions.

Analysts. Analysts classify and analyze information related to jobs in order to create job descriptions and classifications. This may include a job’s duties, skills, and pay.

Human resources. This is a general option, much more common in smaller companies who don’t have the resources or the need for specialized human resource functions. A general human resource manager or specialist may be responsible for some or all of the other areas above.

In all areas of human resources, however, human resource professionals must enjoy working with people and have the ability to be fair-minded and diplomatic. You may be working with people during sensitive times, such as interviewing and firing employees, and dealing with sensitive issues, such as pension plans and health insurance. If you like working with people, there are many options available for you in human resources.