Your life is busy—working full-time, taking care of your children, signing your name to an endless string of checks to pay the bills on time. After years of putting everyone else first, switching careers may seem like an impossible feat, but is the risk really as big as you think?
Changing the avenue of your business career to a job in human resources (HR) could be the perfect solution to your simultaneous desires to support your family and recognize your own career dreams.
The HR professional is the caregiver of the business world. The HR department works toward ensuring the well-being of its employees in matters big and small. HR professionals understand that the relationship between a company and its employees is the heartbeat of a business’ success.
With your business-savvy nature and your experience relating to people both personally and professionally, you may already possess the necessary skill set to work in this industry.
Using real-time job analysis software from BurningGlass.com, we identified more than 283,000 HR job titles over the past year.* The five jobs outlined below represent the most commonly occurring jobs over that span.
So if you’re serious about making a change and improving your career prospects, here’s where it starts.
The 5 Most Common HR Job Titles in Business
1. Human resources assistant (13,989 vacancies) // Growth (2010-20): 10-19 percent**
- Duties & responsibilities: Many HR professionals become HR assistants soon after earning their degrees. An entry-level position, HR assistants are responsible for employee data and records. They also complete a wide range of important clerical tasks including preparing reports concerning personnel activity, filing paperwork and entering employee data into the organization’s records system.
- What it means for you: HR assistants act as the liaison between the employees and the organization. They provide immediate direction to employees based on company policies and procedures. These positions can be a potential foot in the door for HR professionals aspiring to growth and success within a particular organization.
2. Human resources specialist (11,914 vacancies) // Growth (2010-20): 20-28 percent
- Duties & responsibilities: HR specialists are responsible for everything from maintaining important documents such as employee handbooks and evaluations to instructing new employee orientations and even to assisting management in developing and implementing employee policies. Specialists are even trusted for their input in selecting qualified job hopefuls looking for a place within the organization.
- What it means for you: Like many HR professionals, specialists are particularly concerned with employee relations, ensuring a mutual respect among employees and management through assisting with important employee issues. Some of these include promotions, transfers, compensation and termination. As an HR specialist, your primary goal would be to cultivate and nurture that relationship.
3. Human resources generalist (15,452 vacancies) // Growth (2010-20): 3-9 percent
- Duties & responsibilities: An HR generalist relates mostly with the legal welfare of both the company and its employees, involved directly with company compliance and state law. A generalist’s main responsibility is to aid managers and employees in matters concerning state and federal regulations, collective agreements and policies regarding benefits and compensation.
- What it means for you: HR generalists prepare many important company documents including job descriptions and salary scales. Generalists are a valuable link in a company’s internal framework, keeping everything within the ever-important legal lines for the benefit of both an organization and its employees.
4. Human resources recruiter (21,639 vacancies) // Growth (2010-20): 20-28 percent
- Duties & responsibilities: HR recruiters are directly involved with a company’s growth. They schedule and conduct potential employee interviews, determine qualified job applicants and process hiring-related paperwork.
- What it means for you: Recruiters build important relationships with both the company and its employees, working toward the success of each in the most important way: initiating the partnership. Recruiters fill an important role in a field that places vital importance on the relationship between employees and management.
5. Human resources manager (24,048 vacancies) // Growth (2010-20): 10-19 percent
- Duties & responsibilities: Serving as the most direct link between employees and executive leadership, an HR manager plans, directs and supervises work activities and employee relations. This person’s job is to directly oversee that employees are meeting company standards.
- What it means for you: Many consider the HR manager to be the face of the department, often representing the organization in personnel-related hearings and investigations. HR managers are also the ones who administer compensation and benefits packages. As an HR manager, people would look to you for both advice and resolution concerning work-related issues, establishing you as an essential element in the company’s well-being.
Bringing it all together
Amidst the many expansive paths of the business world, a career in human resources is full of tremendous potential. From HR assistant to HR manager, there is potential for both growth and personal development every step of the way.
If the HR industry seems like the career change you’ve been looking for, check out the Rasmussen College HR degree page and take a look at some of the courses offered that will prepare you for a successful future in human resources.
*Source: BurningGlass.com (Analysis of 283,672 human resources job postings, Dec. 6, 2012 – Dec. 5, 2013)
**Source: O*net Online (Growth statistics are projections based on data collected by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration)