Career Path Human Resources Manager

The Career Path Of A Human Resource Manager

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I am a human resources manager that heads up the recruitment division at a defense and aerospace company.

I have worked as manager for about five years now, and worked within the recruitment division in various roles at the same company for nine years before that. In general, human resources officers strive to find and retain great employees for a company.

As the manager of recruitment, I strive to find recent graduates or employees at other companies who are especially talented that would make good additions to our company. As a result, I travel to college campuses and job fairs looking for ideal candidates. When not traveling, I help oversee the interview process for prospective employees as well as training procedures.

On a scale of one to ten I would rate my job satisfaction as an eight or nine. I love traveling regularly and I love meeting new people. I am always excited by the talented young people I encounter on our recruitment trips. I am also given wide reign over how I want to run this division and handle recruitment. Autonomy and freedom are incredibly important to me, so being given the responsibility of running my own department is incredibly important to me.

Whenever I encounter some particularly inspiring students or potential employees it is especially rewarding. A lot of people are fulfilling their dreams by getting a job with our company and it is simply amazing to be a part of that. Needless to say, there is very little I would change about my job.

The Career Path Of A Human Resource Manager

I originally got into this line of work out of college. I started off as a human resources analyst: I essentially tracked data like turnover rate, starting salaries, and other statistics that are important for maintaining top talent when competing against other companies. After working in that role for many years, my name came up for promotion when our company needed a new manager. I was fortunate enough to land the job!

Everyday is fairly satisfying for me. I am either meeting, interviewing, or assessing new candidates for the company. As previously mentioned, this is an inspiring process. I get to meet people at the peak of potential about to embark on exciting careers. It is great to work with them on a daily basis. I am also immensely proud of all the hard work my team does in setting up job fairs or researching colleges to visit. They do a lot of the legwork involved in setting these events up and I appreciate this immensely.

My job is rarely stressful these days, thankfully. Human resources is a good field for low-stress work, I have noticed. Many of my colleagues in other departments fight against deadlines and other short-term issues; meanwhile, human resources officers tend to focus primarily on longer term goals, like finding new talent that will eventually be needed. This allows us to carefully plan out new strategies without being rushed.

In fact, this is one of my favorite parts of the job. The only time there is remotely any stress is when a department suddenly needs critical people and we are tasked with filling these spots as quickly as possible. This is rare, however, as either people can temporarily fill jobs or can take on new responsibilities for the time being. Even with the stressful patches, I am very happy with the balance I have achieved with my personal life and my work. I have plenty of time for my family and myself.

Someone with my experience in my position could make between $90,000 and $100,000 depending on company size and other factors. I am very pleased with my salary and the lifestyle I live from it. I enjoy the work and make good money doing it, so I cannot complain. In addition, I travel frequently for work and am also entitled to five weeks of paid vacation along with other benefits. Needless to say, I am very pleased with this; it makes any temporary stress well worth it.

To get hired in this field you should focus on a major in business, human resources, or communications. I majored in business and then earned my MBA after a few years of working. This combination set me up for the management position I currently am in. In addition to college, you need strong written and verbal communication skills. You also need to enjoy and understand people. Being social and being able to read people is invaluable in a position that requires you to make value judgments on people you have just met.

In five years I hope to be either in the same position or promoted up to chief human resources officer, which is the next level. Either way, I plan on staying in human resources for the entirety of my career.

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3 comments

  1. Hi, im currently getting a bachelors degree in International Relations, but i do want to work in HR, it fits well with me. I want to go to Canada to get a diploma in HR, but i don´t know if there is a post graduate diploma in HR for students with other background in education. I looked at masters programs but they all want work experience in the field.
    Do you know if there is a post graduate diploma in HR? Or If i just get a college diploma of a year or two in HR will i be a good candidate?

    Thanks for the help!

  2. Hi, I am a university student, currently majoring in Sociology. I am taking a three year degree program and next year I am planning to take a post-graduate certificate in Human Resource Management. Would this help me get a manager position in the future?

  3. I am glad you are enjoying your HR career. I can see that you are speaking from your own experience but I feel you may be leading people astray with your depiction of HR. You are speaking about a specific HR job. Many HR jobs are much broader in scope than the one you describe.

    That said, there is huge reward and satisfaction in an HR career. Here are some of the other elements of working in HR: creating policies, improving people processes, succession planning, performance management including terminations, employee relations, benefit and compensation management, health & safety, employment law, HRIS, training and coaching. Because o the wide range available in HR, you can concentrate on the areas which suit your skills and personality the best.

    While stressful, HR work is ever-changing and fascinating because you are the link between the operations side of the business and the people who make things happen. The HR person walks the fine line between being both the employer and the employee advocate.

    An HR person is a role model in an organization and has access to incredibly confidential information. At times, you know information before employees do (like planned lay-offs) so you nust be able to keep that info confidential while not acting any different at work You listen to employees pour out their concerns about work or their family lives. Even if the employees like and trust you, it can be a lonely job because of the info you are privy to and other employees know you have secrets – awkward!

    Make no mistake, I love my HR career. I would encourage those interested in an HR career to read some HR blogs to get an idea of the challenges and rewards about working in HR. Even better, do an HR internship to get a peek at the real HR world.

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