When most people think of human resources (HR) the only career that comes to mind is an HR manager. In reality, an education in human resources is something that can prepare you for a wide range of exciting job opportunities, each requiring its own unique set of skills. Best of all, human resources is a field likely to always be in high-demand and unlikely to be replaced by technological advancements. To help anyone considering a career in human resources choose the specific career that is best suited for their skills and interests, we’ll look at twelve rewarding HR careers you might have never heard about.
Let’s start with the HR career that almost everyone has heard of: HR manager. While the career of an HR manager may be well-known, that doesn’t make this specific career any less exciting or rewarding. HR managers are responsible for overseeing the administrative functions of an organization, conducting interviews, recruiting and hiring new staff, and serving as a link between an organization’s employees and management. For any organization that employs more than a handful of employees, an HR manager is a necessary position.
One part accountant, one part HR manager, payroll specialists are tasked with handling responsibilities associated with employees’ salary, including processing payroll, developing salary administration policies, managing employee deductions, and processing files for 401K accounts and other retirement accounts. If you are equally good at working with numbers as you are at working with people, a career as a payroll specialist is an excellent option to consider.
While payroll specialists oversee aspects of the financial incentives that an organization’s employees receive, benefits administrators are responsible for handling everything else that an employee earns as a benefit for their service, including healthcare, employee discounts, paid tuition, and any other non-wage benefit that an organization happens to provide. In addition to helping guide new employees through the selection of their benefits, a benefits administrator is also responsible for helping current employees oversee changes to their benefits when they undergo a significant life event such as getting married or having a child.
More and more companies are recognizing the value of working with a leadership coach, making a career as a leadership coach ripe with opportunity. Most leadership coaches today are either self-employed or work as part of a larger consulting firm, though some companies do choose to hire in-house leadership coaches. As a leadership coach, you are responsible for working with the management and executive professionals of the company paying for your services, teaching them the leadership skills they need to manage their employees more effectively.
TALENT ACQUISITION SPECIALIST
While many companies place the responsibility of recruiting new talent on the shoulders of their HR manager, there are plenty of other companies that choose to hire a dedicated talent acquisition specialist for the role of finding, recruiting, and ultimately hiring new employees. If you have an eye for spotting talent in others and a skill for rallying people to your cause, then a career as a talent acquisition specialist can be a highly rewarding career to pursue.
Properly training new employees is a vital function of any company, and many choose to hire a training coordinator to oversee this all-important process. As a training coordinator, you will be responsible for onboarding new employees and getting them up to speed with company and role-specific expectations. You may also be responsible for helping develop the training programs that an organization uses to onboard new employees and ensuring that those programs are properly executed.
EMPLOYEE RELATIONS MANAGER
An employee relations manager is an HR specialist akin to an in-house counselor. Employee relations managers are responsible for mediating conflicts between employees, conducting exit interviews, addressing grievances, and helping an organization’s management develop constructive relationships with their employees. If you have the skills required to work as a counselor and are educated in human resources, then a career as an employee relations manager is a great career path to consider.
A compensation specialist is responsible for performing tasks such as recommending an appropriate pay and compensation plan for all employees within an organization. In addition to helping decide how much employees deserve for their work, compensation specialists also perform routine market research to ensure that their organization’s compensation policies remain competitive.
Managing interns often requires a completely different approach than managing employees. For this reason, many companies hire internship coordinators to fulfill the responsibility of recruiting interns, training them on their responsibilities, and continuing to oversee them for the duration of their internship. As an internship coordinator, you will typically be working with a younger group of individuals compared to other HR jobs. If you have a knack for working with the younger generation, you may be ideally suited for a career as an internship coordinator.
HR professionals are often responsible for training and consulting other employees, but who is responsible for training the HR professionals? This is where the job of an HR consultant comes in. HR consultants are typically either self-employed or employed by a consulting firm as opposed to working within the organization that hires them to consult its HR staff. As an HR consultant, you will advise the organization that has hired you on how to improve their HR department and polices and provide training directly to other HR professionals.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION SPECIALISTS
As more and more companies recognize the extreme importance of diversity and inclusion, many are choosing to hire diversity, equity, and inclusion specialists to help ensure that every employee within the company is respected and valued regardless of their race or background. Diversity, equity, and inclusion specialists are responsible for helping construct and oversee diversity training programs and helping facilitate a more equitable and inclusive environment within the company they work for.
Good data is the fuel that keeps a business running, and the human resources department is certainly no exception. As an HR analyst, you’ll analyze and interpret data regarding retention rate, employee performance, time to hire, and more to help guide the organization’s decision-making process. If you are talented at analyzing data to draw key conclusions but would still like to work on the human resources side of an organization, then working as an HR analyst is an ideal career to consider.