How Do You Become a Human Resources Specialist?

An Individual who enjoys working with others and wants a role in management where he or she can take part in recruiting and hiring employees may decide to become a human resources specialist. This person takes an active role in all areas of human resources. Human resources specialist work with management while still helping the employees with wage and benefit issues. Here is an overview of what it takes to become a human resources specialist.

Education to Become a Human Resources Specialist

To become a human resources specialist, the candidate should have at least a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business or a similar field. Human resources specialist students complete courses in industrial relations, business, human resource management, psychology, and accounting.

The programs usually also require the student to complete a supervised internship in a human resources department of a business. Depending on the company, an applicant may also be required to have some work experience in this area before they can be hired as a human resources specialist.

Because the human resource specialist spends so much time working with management and the workforce, he or she should be detail-oriented and possess good interpersonal, decision-making and communication skills. Human resources specialists may often advance their education and seek employment as human resources managers.

What About Certification

An individual does not need to be certified or licensed to become a human resources specialist. Many candidates choose voluntary certification to enhance their resumes and become more marketable to potential employers. The Society for Human Resource Management and the HR Certification Institute both offer certifications for human resources specialists.

To be eligible for certification, the individual must meet certain requirements such as work experience, degree and passing a certification exam. Obtaining certification is a good way for human resources specialists to demonstrate their competency in all areas of human resources and human resources management.

What a Human Resources Specialist Does

According to U.S. News & World Report, human resources specialists have five major specialties.

  • Training and development
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Employment, recruiting and placement
  • Employee assistance
  • Information systems

Human resource specialists play an active role in the hiring and firing of employees in a company or organization. They recruit, interview and screen potential employees as well as perform background checks and contact references. A human resource specialist also works with the employees on issues such as training, wages, benefits, vacations, and compensation.

This individual also consults with employers regarding employment needs, job postings and job requirements. They also coordinate and manage employee orientations, maintain employee records and handle employee problems. Human resources specialists may also process payroll and administer benefits. Human resources specialists may also work as human resources generalists or recruitment specialists.

Career Outlook for Human Resource Specialists

Human resources specialists are expected to see an employment growth of seven percent from 2016-2026 according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Although more human resources specialists will be hired to help companies keep up with newer employment and labor laws, many companies are outsourcing much of the HR work to save money.

U.S. News & World Report ranks human resources specialists as number 12 among best business jobs and number 54 among best 100 jobs. As of a May 2017 BLS wage report, human resources specialist’s wages ranged from $35,810 to more than $103,570 with the average annual wage being $66,220.

Related Resource: Top 10 Online Non-profit Management Degree Programs

Human resource specialists do a lot more than just hire and fire employees. They often take on the role of advocate for the employees in trying to provide them with the best possible working conditions and wages. It can be very rewarding to become a human resources specialist.