Human resource (HR) management is the ongoing process of managing people - “human resources” - within an organization to optimize their effectiveness. HR management is important to learn because employees are the most important asset of any company, and helping them to work in alignment with overarching business goals is a prerequisite for success.
HR management begins with the recruiting and onboarding of new employees, along with any necessary training and development activities to get them ready for their roles. Managers are also required to administer their employees’ compensation and benefit plans, as well as conducting periodic performance appraisals throughout their employment. These tasks require good organizational skills as well as empathetic people skills to ensure employees feel valued and engaged with their workplace.
There are longer-term aspects of HR management as well. HR strategy must be developed in order to ensure that an organization is adequately staffed for its needs, and performance management systems must be established to provide the data and feedback needed to evaluate employees. Managers also often implement diversity and inclusion initiatives and other steps to create a positive, rewarding organizational culture that helps attract and retain high-quality talent.
Human resource managers are central to the daily operations of businesses large and small in every industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, HR managers earn a median salary of $116,720 per year, and their job growth is expected to be faster than average for other occupations due to ever-changing employee regulations and a rapidly-evolving hiring landscape.
Within human resource management, there are also more specialized jobs. Training and development specialists work with employees throughout their careers, keeping them up-to-date with technology and industry standards. And compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists help balance employee needs with organizational budgets, all while adhering to appropriate laws and regulations.
Yes! Coursera offers a wide range of online courses and Specializations on human resource management, along with related topics like onboarding, conflict management, and managing employee performance. With courses from top-ranked institutions like the University of Minnesota and Macquarie University, you don’t have to sacrifice the quality of your education by learning online.
And, since HR management requires soft skills and emotional intelligence, the ability to practice your communication skills during virtual office hours and in collaborative group projects is an invaluable aspect of learning on Coursera. You’ll be doing the same coursework as on-campus students, but at a significantly lower tuition, and with the flexibility that only remote learning can provide.
Before you start to learn human resource management, it’s important to already have a strong personal interest in the work habits and career trajectories of people. You can get this work experience in human resource management by helping companies identify and nurture talent. To succeed in learning such a role, you would likely need strong interpersonal skills to act as the intermediary between employees and upper management. Your background should also include analytical thinking ability, communication and presentation skills, and a possible psychology background.
The kinds of people who are best suited for roles in human resource management are those who enjoy talking and listening to people share their work experiences. Much of the work for a person in human resource management is involved in interviewing top-tier talent for jobs. That can be very rewarding for a confident human resource manager. Essentially, people who are well suited for work in human resource management are often good analytical thinkers, can spot leaders a mile away, and can have influence with senior management on who might be excellent candidates for the company. Along with these traits, human resource management professionals also are able to handle large amounts of workplace stress, while managing to be efficient, organized, and work well with other employees.
To know if learning human resources management is right for you, you may have work experience gained in internships, junior roles, or active middle manager roles at companies that show how human resource management operates in organizations. Human resource management means you're able to blend administrative work with human connection work. Having the skills to do both can be very important in today’s workforce. Human resource management work is wide-ranging and varied. Among the more important work that is involved is keeping the numbers of employees consistent with the needs of the business. If interviewing and recruiting people for jobs in a company excites you, then learning human resource management might be right for you.