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 there are plenty of ways to climb the career ladder.
To learn more, check out our list of HR jobs below.
Entry-Level HR Job Titles
Please bear in mind that sometimes terms are used interchangeably, and quite loosely, so what really matters when it comes to role and career advancement is what you spend your time doing and how much autonomy you have.
Note also that salaries vary depending on location and years of experience in a role.
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 employee training.
Working as an HR intern is a great way to get your foot in the door when it comes to a career path in human resources. Interns learn the ropes by playing a variety of roles in the HR department. This includes: maintaining accurate employee files within an organization’s information systems, helping organize and screen resumes and job postings, and supporting the department with executing company policies.
HR Generalist / HR Representative
HR Generalist/HR representative’s responsibilities vary a great deal, covering a wide span of tasks including dealing with benefit plans, compensation, recruiting, onboarding, employee relations and handling employee relations issues.
Many employers require a bachelors degree or higher, and taking an HR certification can also put you in good stead.
As the name suggests, a human resources specialist is someone who specializes in a particular aspect of the HR function e.g. compensation, benefits or leave.
For example, a Leave of Absence Specialist would help facilitate leave quests and accommodations for absences such as Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Workers' Comp, Military Leaves, etc. They’d advise managers and employees on terms of leave and manage case files in accordance to state and federal regulations.
Mid-Career HR Job Titles
HR departments offer many opportunities to advance up the corporate ladder. Some mid-level HR positions include:
An HR manager plays many different roles and is normally competent in several areas, including overseeing recruiting new employees and developing those underneath them.
HR managers support the relationship between management and the current employees, and should have the following four competencies:
- Communication. Effective HR managers must be able to communicate with everyone in the workplace.
- Analytical and Critical Thinking. An HR manager must provide sound judgment and make decisions in various areas.
- Relationship-Building. HR managers must create a cohesive department that works collaboratively to achieve shared goals.
- 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 Analyst, People Analyst or Workforce Analytics Manager
The role of a People Analyst or Workforce Analytics Manager is to benchmark HR data and provide actionable insights to drive business decisions.
A people analyst would collect data points like retention, sales quotas, closed support tickets, performance reviews, etc. in order to review HR processes and suggest improvements.
As an example, this might mean looking at the number of roles filled within a given time frame, the onboarding process, and the productivity of those new hires. A People Analyst would gather these data points to track success and support an HR team’s needs.
Many organizations utilize Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) to automate and sync data in order to support core HR functions and needs like payroll, benefits, and performance management.
As an HRIS manager, you’ll be tasked on implementing, maintaining and optimizing the HRIS and other forms of HR software.
Other responsibilities include managing and processing employee data, generating reports, and ensuring data systems are compliant with any regulations.
Senior HR Job Titles
Higher levels of within an HR team include:
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 Business Partner
An HR Business Partner (HRBP) are experienced HR professionals who work closely with management and leadership on talent management. HRBPs maintain strong business literacy and help facilitate HR-strategy as it integrates with your organization’s business objectives.
As an HRBP, you’ll also monitor and report on the organization’s workforce, including temporary employees or vendors, facilitate HR tools, and provide guidance on organizational structure.
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.
Vice President of Human Resources
The VP of HR 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.
Chief Human Resources Officer
An organization’s Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) is responsible for strategic leadership and management for an organization. This includes succession planning and talent management, along with training and compensation.
The CHRO would develop comprehensive recruitment and retention plans in order to meet needs for the organization. A CHRO also works directly with executive leaders at an organization in order to comprehensively combine human capital management with business objectives.
Traditional List of Human Resources Job Titles
The above list of role is by no means extensive and rather fluid. Other roles you might come across include:
- Employment Manager
- Recruitment manager
- HR Analyst
- HR Coordinator or Staff Coordinator
- Employee Relation Manager
- Executive HR
- Associate Executive HR
- HR Administrator
- Assistant HR Administrator
- HR Technical Supervisor
- Employee relations manager
Trending HR Titles
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
- DEI Manager
- Chief DEI Officer
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.
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