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Human Resources Job Titles: Ultimate Guide To HR Career Ladder

Working in human resources can be a rewarding experience but it’s important to understand where a career in human resources can take you or if it's even the career for you! Various human resources job titles are available and if you would like to embark on a career in HR, there are plenty of ways to climb the career ladder.

To learn more, check out our list of HR jobs below.

Types of Human Resource Jobs

There are many different types of human resources jobs but all of them allow you to work with people regularly.

Type of HR

Generalist HR Roles

A Human Resources Generalist is a recruiting manager that may or may not oversee and supervise employees. Generalists wear many hats and do a bit of everything, including dealing with benefits, compensation, recruiting, and handling employee relations issues daily.

An HR Generalist’s responsibilities vary a great deal and have a wide span. Some are even cross-trained in administrative tasks so they can play a backup role for emergencies.

Specialist HR Roles

An HR specialist is usually someone who has worked in the field for one to three years. In this role, you still focus on administration, payroll processing, and other administrative tasks but you might also deal with special projects, employee orientation, training, and pre-screen interviewing. HR Specialists possess a basic understanding of employment laws so they can better manage issues in the workplace.

So, what will you do as a human resources specialist? You might take on several roles, including recruitment. When you’re recruiting, you deal with the hiring and selection for open positions within your company. Most recruiters maintain several open job listings. Typically, you select the most qualified small group of candidates via your company’s career site or applicant tracking system. Some HR recruiters specialize in a certain area, region, or division such as technical, diversity, region, or sales.

Recruitment Roles

There might be several recruitment roles in an organization, all of which work to fill open staff positions.


Entry-Level HR Job Titles

Entry-level HR jobs are a great place to get started in the industry. Some of the most common entry-level positions in HR include:

HR Assistant

An HR assistant’s primary job is helping HR directors and managers accomplish HR-related tasks. Their daily work tends to be administrative and includes documenting grievances, compensation, absences, terminations, performance reviews, and benefits information. They can also play a role in recruiting, hiring, and training new employees.

HR Intern

Working as an HR intern is a great way to get your foot in the door when it comes to a career in human resources. HR interns learn the ropes by playing a variety of roles in the HR department, including posting jobs, reviewing resumes, conducting interviews, and assisting with salary negotiation.

Other Entry Level Human Resources Jobs

In addition to assistant and intern, other entry-level HR jobs include recruiter, analyst, staff coordinator, associate, and trainee.

Mid-Career HR Job Titles

HR offers many opportunities to advance up the corporate ladder. Some mid-level HR job titles include:

HR Manager

An HR manager plays many different roles and must be competent in several areas.

What are the four competencies of an HR manager?

  1. Communication. Effective HR managers must be able to communicate with everyone in the workplace.
  2. Analytical and Critical Thinking. An HR manager must provide sound judgment and make decisions in various areas.
  3. Relationship-Building. HR managers must create a cohesive department that works collaboratively to achieve shared goals.
  4. Leadership. HR managers are responsible for creating strategic plans for their department and must be able to justify the elements of a strategic plan to management as well as direct the activities of the HR department.

HR Recruiter

An HR recruiter specializes in the fulfillment of open positions within a company by selecting the most qualified applicants from the group of job seekers who applied for a particular position. Some recruiters specialize in a certain area, region, or division and might hold recruiter titles such as serving as a technical recruiter, sales recruiter, or diversity recruiter for the central region.

HR Specialist

HR specialists have one or more years of experience working in the field and might be assigned to specialty projects, employee orientation, training, and pre-screen interviewing. They have a basic understanding of employment laws affecting their company.

Senior HR Job Titles

Higher levels of HR include:

HR Consultant

Human resources consultants focus on effectively utilizing personnel to achieve the goals of a company. They devise strategies to make the most effective use of personnel within a company.

HR Director

HR directors oversee a region or multiple locations or serve as the highest-ranking member of HR within a single company (though not always). They are responsible for building annual budgets and often make decisions about buying software, systems, and negotiating benefits offerings for the company.

Other senior HR titles include recruiting director, chief diversity officer, and chief human resources officer.

VP of HR

The VP of Human Resources works with the executive team concerning business objectives and is responsible for understanding how the HR-focused programs and services drive company revenue. They also try to integrate people into the full scope of business operations and evaluate how staff benefits the overall business.

Traditional List of Human Resources Job Titles

The following is a list of job titles in human resources:

  • Employment Manager
  • HR Mentor
  • Recruiter
  • HR Associate
  • HR Analyst
  • Staff Coordinator
  • HR Assistant
  • HR Trainee
  • HR Intern
  • HR Supervisor
  • HR Specialist
  • Employee Relation Manager
  • Executive HR
  • Associate Executive HR
  • HR Administrator
  • Assistant HR Administrator
  • HR Technical Supervisor
  • HR Director
  • Chief Human Resources Officer
  • HR Generalist
  • General HR Manager
  • HR Branch Manager
  • Assistant HR Manager

    Current trends in human resources titles include:

    • Chief Human Capital Officer
    • Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO)
    • Chief People Officer
    • Chief People & Change Management Officer
    • Director People Analytics
    • Director People Systems
    • Director Workforce Analytics
    • Director Reward & Recognition
    • Head of HR Compliance
    • Senior Manpower & Compensation Specialist
    • Employee Experience Architect
    • Employee Experience Designer

      Is HR Management a Good Career?

      HR management is a great career choice for anyone who enjoys working with people, and it can also lead to a wide range of career paths.

      If you think HR might be the career path for you, subscribe to our newsletter. We’ll keep you in the loop with fresh articles, podcasts, how-to guides, tool reviews, updates, deals, and product exclusives, and help you on your journey.

      By Finn Bartram

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