Human resources (HR) departments employ a diverse range of job types and titles. If you lack experience in human resources, it can be difficult to understand the variety and hierarchy of HR professions. However, if you’re interested in a career in HR, it’s essential to know which jobs you may qualify for or be promoted to as your career develops.
What is Human Resources?
Human resources, or HR, is the department of an organization responsible for the hiring and development of its personnel. The HR department is responsible for employee payments, benefits, and administrative activities. Moreover, they manage employee interactions and handle conflicts.
The significance of human resources departments lies on their ability to increase productivity and maintain employee happiness. Additional reasons why HR departments are important include:
- Providing employees with a safe workplace by ensuring that the company complies with occupational safety and health regulations
- Resolving workplace issues between employees and employers
- Organizing orientation and training for new and existing hires
- Assessing employees’ job satisfaction and ways to improve it
To fulfill these responsibilities, businesses in various industries usually employ a wide variety of HR specialists. Typically, larger firms require a larger HR department with more specialized employees.
HR job hierarchy
Human resources departments frequently construct a job hierarchy, with each level comprising personnel who may provide assistance or execute specific tasks. This ranking ensures that the department functions efficiently and meets the company’s staffing requirements. Here is a list of possible human resources job levels for a company:
- Lower-level or entry-level HR positions
- Middle-tier HR positions
- Senior-level HR positions
- Specialized HR positions
Lower-level or entry-level HR positions
Bachelor’s degrees in Human Resources, Business Administration, or a related discipline are required for entry-level HR positions. The majority of these responsibilities are administrative and report to the HR manager. Job titles and descriptions for entry-level HR positions vary per organization, but may include:
- Staffing coordinator: Principal responsibilities include assisting with staff recruitment, candidate screening, new hire orientation, and administrative chores such as organizing time-off requests.
- Staffing specialist: These individuals generate job descriptions, evaluate applications and resumes, schedule interviews, and manage staff schedules as their primary responsibilities.
- HR assistant: Primarily, these specialists support HR managers with administrative and fundamental responsibilities, such as payroll, data entry, employee assistance, and recruitment.
- HR associate: HR associates respond to employee questions regarding payroll and benefits. Additionally, they organize personnel documents and job applications.
- HR representative: These specialists assist employees and candidates in completing paperwork and comprehending corporate regulations and benefits.
- HR administrator: They maintain employment records, employee data, contracts, and databases as their primary responsibilities.
Middle-tier HR positions
After two or three years in an entry-level HR post, professionals are frequently promoted to mid-level positions with increased responsibility and compensation. In these positions, they may supervise a team of lower-level employees or specialize in a particular field, such as training and development. Typically, they report to the HR director or another position in high management. Examples of HR roles at the middle level include:
- Personnel manager: Principal responsibilities include the recruitment, hiring, and training of new personnel. They also evaluate performance annually or following probationary periods.
- HR Specialist: They aid in the recruitment and hiring of personnel, conduct interviews, and manage orientation.
- HR Generalist: They supervise all human resources responsibilities, ranging from company policy to employee interactions.
- HR supervisor: They are primarily responsible for overseeing hiring, regulating employee interactions, managing payroll, and leading training activities.
- HR Analysts: They collect and manage company and employee data, examine pay and other statistics, conduct surveys, and present this information to their managers as their primary responsibilities.
Senior-level HR positions
Upper-management HR professionals are accountable for all departmental decision-making. Depending on the size of the organization, these professionals require between five and ten years of HR expertise. Some HR professions at the executive level require a master’s degree. Human resources executives usually report to the chief executive officer. Examples of executive HR positions include:
- HR manager: These experts supervise all HR-related responsibilities, such as hiring, training, payroll, benefits, and employee relations.
- HR director: These experts supervise all employee relations, budgeting, personnel, compliance, payroll, and benefits; they are sometimes referred to as “assistant directors.”
- Chief Human Resources Officer: Principal responsibilities of chief human resources officers include managing the department and developing hiring and training plans for the most qualified applicants.
- Vice president of Human resources: These experts supervise and direct all staffing planning, employee relations, budgeting, and other responsibilities.
Specialized Human Resources positions
There may be highly specialized mid-level human resources positions in large corporations. Examples include:
- Benefits administrator: These personnel are responsible for overseeing the health, dental, vision, disability and life insurance, retirement programs, profit-sharing, and other employee benefits.
- Staffing manager: They supervise all aspects of a company’s staffing needs, including recruitment, hiring, training, and termination.
- Recruiter: These professionals build recruiting strategy and hunt for new talent using a network of industry groups, professional contacts, social media, and more.
- Employee Relations Manager: These experts are responsible for overseeing the interactions and conflicts between coworkers, employees, and supervisors.
- Development manager: Sometimes known as “training managers,” are primarily responsible for organizing employee training programs and materials.
- Safety manager: Primary responsibilities include ensuring compliance with federal and state legislation, ensuring employee safety, and conducting safety training.