The greatest resource within any organization is its people. In a sense, a successful human resource manager embodies the culture, collaboration, and cohesion of an organization and its workforce.
A career as an HR manager is varied, engaging, and essential for a thriving business and building a productive, satisfied workforce. Glassdoor ranks human resources jobs as the 12th best among the top 50 jobs in America.
HR managers oversee every aspect of a company’s personnel. Human resource managers are the key to the hiring and onboarding of new employees, maintaining and evaluating employee performance and policies, and managing workplace conflict.
Let’s explore the skills, responsibilities, and requirements of human resource management within the context of a “typical” day on the job.
Darlene: A Day in the Life of a Human Resource Manager
Meet Darlene, the HR manager for a midsize company of 500 employees. Let’s step through Darlene’s day as she attends to her various duties.
Recruiting and Hiring
This morning, Darlene has four interviews with prospective employees. The company is thriving and looking to hire two new employees in the marketing department.
Last week, Darlene met with the COO and marketing manager to determine the parameters of the new openings. With a clear plan in place, including pay, benefits, required skill set, and job responsibilities, Darlene’s team launched a recruitment campaign to find the right fit for the job openings.
Once the two best candidates are identified, and they accept a job offer, Darlene will guide each one through the onboarding process. New Hires always appreciate Darlene’s attention to detail, thoroughly reviewing contracts, explaining company principles, its mission, and culture.
Darlene’s professional communication skills and personal empathy are always on display, especially with new team members. She understands that helping them start off on the right foot is a win-win scenario for all involved.
Training and Development
After lunch, Darlene facilitates a company-wide meeting about workplace diversity and inclusion.
Darlene manages several professional and interpersonal development programs throughout the company. She also ensures that new employees receive the requisite job training for their position.
Designing, maintaining, and continually improving upon these programs reflects Darlene’s creativity and organizational mastery.
Managing Workplace Conflict
In the afternoon, Darlene meets with two employees who work on the production floor, one a manager, the other her subordinate.
The two have conflicted over job assignments, schedules, and perceived slights for the past few weeks. Both are good workers, but it’s gotten to the point that their work suffers, and the friction is impacting the morale of their coworkers.
Appreciating the nuance and missed signals inherent in most workplaces, conflict resolution requires patience, empathy, an open mind, and insightful listening skills. At the meeting, Darlene hears out their grievances, eventually leading them toward understanding and common ground.
Settling workplace conflict is one of Darlene’s most challenging tasks. Nonetheless, she knows that, in a company of 500+ people, disputes are inevitable. She doesn’t like it when it happens but is grateful when those conflicts get resolved.
With her innate empathy, open communication style, and natural leadership skills, Darlene is particularly good at calming workplace conflict.
The day ends on a high note as the two employees return to the production floor with mutual respect for the other’s perspective, ready to forge a more collegial working relationship.
As Darlene leaves for home, she looks forward to a restful evening with her family. In the morning she will return for another day doing a job that she loves.
The fact is, no two days are alike.
A Career in Human Resources Management
As we’ve seen shadowing Darlene through her day, some of the key traits leading to success in the profession include:
- Excellent organizational skills
- The ability to motivate others
- Clear written and verbal communication approach
- Firm ethics
- Personal empathy
- A talent for resolving workplace conflict
- Compelling presentation skills
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2020 median annual salary for HR managers was $121,220. The BLS further projects job growth of 6 percent through 2029.
The right skills and temperament paired with a well-rounded education in business, labor and management relations, psychology, and leadership can lead to a career in human resource management that is varied, challenging, engaging, and lucrative.
Point Park University Online B.S. in Human Resources Management
The online Bachelor of Science in Human Resources Management degree program from Point Park University is your launch pad for a career in HR.
The 121-credit hour program provides the science, business, and psychology background to become a key team member propelling forward the success of any organization.
The online format allows a flexible learning schedule, affordable tuition, interactive discussion, and fast-response teaching.
Included among the exclusive program benefits are:
- HR Partner Program: Matching students one-on-one with an HR professional, the program gives students direct insight into the profession, job shadowing, and networking opportunities.
- Internships: Point Park partners with local businesses in downtown Pittsburg providing students real-world HR experience.
- Co-Op Program: With Point Park’s innovative Cooperative Education Program, students can work in full-time, paid positions for credit.
“Our program is truly unique,” says program director Sandra Mervosh, M.S., SHRM-SCP, SPHR. “There are many career opportunities,” says Mervosh. “Our emphasis is that you have an education that is truly going to launch you on a successful career in HR management.”
For students interested in a career in HR but hold a bachelor’s degree in another field, Point Park also offers a Post-Baccalaureate B.S. in Human Resources Management.
Point Park’s dedication to career success is evident. Seventy percent of program seniors who work full-time in HR – before they even graduate. “The reason for this,” says Mervosh, “is that our students actively engage in all the opportunities that Point Park has to offer.”