People being the most valuable asset to any organisation, how does one get them? How do you retain them? How do you motivate them to perform efficiently? How do you reward them? How do you let them go?
The discipline of Human Resources Management answers all these and more questions about people in organisations. With today’s evolving and dynamic industries, human resources is increasingly being married to business strategy to increase values and business performance.
An essential part of HRM is the HR plan. This plan aims to analyse the strategic requirements of a business in terms of manpower, and finds a way to meet this required demand for manpower.
As a HR manager you will require the knowledge, skill, and ability to lead a team. You must be equipped to handle multiple roles such as recruiting, performance evaluation, and training and development. You will also find yourself resolving work issues and facing the challenge of creating a positive work environment that is conducive to growth. Good knowledge of workplace standards and an up-to-date knowledge of employment law are essential. HR managers work closely with the management to integrate work/life initiatives into the organisation culture and assist leaders, groups, and individuals in their efforts to change, grow and develop.
Simply put, a HR manager will be involved in the whole gamut of activities including recruitment, training, career development, compensation and benefits, employee relations, industrial relations, employment law, compliance, disciplinary and grievance issues, redundancies etc.
Generalist HR roles are more common in SMEs where the HR manager will deal with the whole range of HR activities, but in MNCs, you will often find specialists, such as in learning and development, recruitment or employee relations.
The career path for an employee specialized in the field of HR is usually HR executive, HR manager, Senior manager, General manager, HR Department head and Vice President- HR. Career opportunities and growth largely depend on your qualifications, work experience and skill sets.
Most large organisations including banks, insurance companies, hospitals, universities, manufacturing companies hire HR managers. You will find opportunities to move from generalist HR roles into specialist areas such as industrial relations, organisational development, employment law, or training and development.
What to study
To become a HR manager, the minimum educational qualification required would be a postgraduate degree in HRM. Many colleges abroad offer you areas of specialization at the postgraduate level. So you could either pursue a Master of Science in Human Resources (MSc), Master of Human Resource Management (MHRM), a Master of Human Resource and Organizational Development (MHROD) or a Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management (PGDHRM).
These postgraduate courses in HR are available both as individual master’s degrees and also combined with business such as an MBA with a concentration in HR. These courses typically include subjects like recruitment, training and development and workforce management.
Entry requirements to postgraduate courses in HRM or an MBA in HR include a good bachelor’s degree with some industry experience. Your bachelor’s degree can be in the social sciences, arts subjects, or any business subject such as finance or marketing.