Five Popular Careers for Human Resources Professionals

Updated April 27, 2021 | Staff Writers

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Popular Careers for Human Resources Professionals

  • Human Resources Associate
  • Human Resources Analyst
  • Human Resources Administrator
  • Staff Development Coach
  • Employee Relations Manager

Most human resources careers for entry-level professionals involve standard activities like posting job ads, screening resumes, checking references and participating in multi-panel interviews. There are many more unique career opportunities available for HR professionals who have specialized training, knowledge and certifications.

Human Resources Associate

Human resources associates and assistants are responsible for performing specific HR-related duties. They work closely with coworkers, managers and employees to process, share and collect information. HR associates are integral members of HR teams that deal with recruiting, onboarding, compliance, leave administration, policy implementation and workers’ comp administration. For example, they process paperwork for employees missing time and taking PTO for leave related to unauthorized absences, FMLA/OFLA and regular vacation. HR associates assist in the preparation of various employee forms and documentation. They participate in recruitment efforts for new personnel and temporary employees.

Human Resources Analyst

A human resources analyst may study existing legislation and upcoming laws to advise management on needed actions. They may conduct research to enforce adherence to standard employment requirements related to federal, state and local laws. Human resources analysts may participate in the development of the company’s plans, policies and programs. They are strategic partners who offer particular perspectives of impacts, factors, risks and deliverables. Human resources analysts may create organizational tactics by identifying and researching HR issues and industry trends. They ensure that departmental practices and objectives are in line with company goals and regulatory requirements.

Human Resources Administrator

Human resources administrators translate strategic plans and business ideas into HR methods and operational campaigns. They evaluate and advise executives on the impacts of long-range programs, regulatory action and corporate decisions. They teach management about the proper ways of employee attraction, motivation, development and retention. Human resources administrators may develop progressive benefits and proactive compensation guidelines that provide incentives and rewards for effective employee performance. They are expected to create HR planning models to identify competency, knowledge gaps and talent opportunities.

Staff Development Coach

HR coaches will be involved with staff recruiting, evaluating, training and disciplining activities. They ensure that HR personnel use proper systems, follow regulatory standards and maintain checks and balances. HR coaches may develop specific projects and programs to fill identified gaps and minimize legal vulnerabilities. Their activity areas include talent management, succession planning, management development and employee knowledge enhancement. They establish HR credibility by conducting workplace seminars, participating in investigations and resolving employee-management concerns. HR coaches train staff how to create, implement and enforce HR policies and procedures.

Employee Relations Manager

Employee relations managers ensure positive labor and union relations with management. They support employee engagement through awareness programs, fact-finding investigations and special projects. They strive to increase mutual concern and cooperation. They are responsible for handling complex union rules, relations and engagement events. They strive to support a rewarding and meaningful workplace. They perform proactive consultations with operations management and employee representatives to prevent, predict and resolve problems. Employee relations managers often deal with formal complaint procedures, hearings and investigations.

HR payroll professionals are administrative managers who update benefit changes, maintain personnel files and prepare financial reports and documentation. They are accounting professionals who handle health care insurance, workers' compensation claims and medical records and certification. The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) offers a helpful job search tool here.

Related Resource: The 25 Best Bachelors in Human Resources Programs

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