Is becoming a human resources manager right for me?
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How to become a Human Resources Manager
Becoming a human resources manager typically involves a combination of education, experience, and skills development. Here is a guide to help you pursue a career as an HR manager:
- Obtain a Relevant Education: Most HR manager positions require at least a Bachelor's Degree in Human Resources Management, Labor Relations, Business Administration, Psychology, or a related field. While not always necessary, obtaining a Master's Degree in Human Resources Management, Labor Relations, Organizational Development, or a related field can enhance your knowledge and make you a more competitive candidate, especially for higher-level positions.
- Gain HR Experience: Start your career in HR by applying for entry-level positions such as HR assistant, recruiter, or HR coordinator. These roles provide hands-on experience in various HR functions and allow you to learn the basics of HR operations. Participate in HR internships or volunteer for HR-related projects to gain practical experience and build your resume.
- Develop HR Skills and Knowledge: Consider obtaining professional HR certifications, as they can enhance your credibility and demonstrate your expertise to employers (see below). Stay updated on HR trends, employment laws, and best practices by attending workshops, conferences, and seminars. Subscribe to HR journals and publications to expand your knowledge. Work on developing your leadership skills, as HR managers are often responsible for leading HR teams and collaborating with other departments. HR managers need strong communication skills to interact with employees, management, and external partners effectively. Practice both written and verbal communication skills to convey information clearly and professionally.
- Pursue Advanced Positions: Work in various HR roles to gain diverse experience in areas such as recruitment, employee relations, benefits administration, and training. Broaden your skill set to qualify for higher-level positions. Build a professional network within the HR community. Attend HR events, join HR associations, and connect with HR professionals on social media platforms like LinkedIn.
- Apply for HR Manager Positions: Prepare a well-organized resume highlighting your education, certifications, work experience, and achievements in HR-related roles. Look for HR manager positions on online job portals, company websites, and professional HR associations' job boards. Be prepared for HR manager interviews by researching common HR manager interview questions and practicing your responses. Highlight your leadership skills, problem-solving abilities, and HR expertise during the interviews.
In the field of human resources management, obtaining professional certifications can enhance your skills, knowledge, and credibility. Here are some widely recognized certifications for HR managers:
- Professional in Human Resources (PHR): Offered by the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI), the PHR certification is ideal for HR professionals with experience in program implementation, the human resources operational focus, and those who are accountable to another HR professional within the organization.
- Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR): Also provided by HRCI, the SPHR certification is suitable for HR professionals with extensive experience in strategy development, policy formulation, and overall HR operational responsibilities.
- Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR): Another certification from HRCI, the GPHR is designed for HR professionals operating in a global context. It demonstrates expertise in multinational HR responsibilities, including strategies for global employee mobility and compliance with international labor laws.
- Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP): Offered by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the SHRM-CP certification is suitable for HR professionals with a focus on implementing policies and strategies, serving as a point of contact for staff and stakeholders, and delivering HR services.
- Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP): Also provided by SHRM, the SHRM-SCP certification is for HR professionals with advanced knowledge and practical experience in developing and implementing HR strategies and policies.
- Associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR): This entry-level certification is offered by HRCI and is designed for individuals who are new to HR or transitioning into HR roles. It covers the fundamental principles and practices of HR management.