Given the wide range of responsibilities for which HR managers are held accountable, they need a wide range of skills, abilities and qualifications. HR managers interact with every level within the organization, from the executive-level decision makers to department managers and production staff. Therefore, their qualifications are broad and encompassing, able to justify budget allocations as easily as they monitor workplace investigations and resolve conflict among the workforce. Education Academic credentials haven’t always been required for human resources managers.
However, as the 1980s version of personnel administration evolved into human resources management, employers seek HR managers with formal education and academic credentials. Some HR managers have two- or four-year degrees in HR management, and some senior-level managers have graduate or professional degrees, such as MBAs and law degrees. Certification The growing movement toward HR certification means higher numbers of HR managers with Senior Professional Human Resources certification from the SPHR certifying body, the Human Resources Certification Institute.
In its 2010 study of more than 1,500 HR professionals, the HRCI discovered that more employers are requiring HR certification and that more than half of employers in the United States and more than three-quarters of employers globally place a high value on HR certification. There are four HR certifications: PHR is Professional Human Resources, SPHR is Senior Professional Human Resources, GPHR is Global Professional Human Resources and PHR-CA is for certified PHRs whose work focuses on California employee law.
For some HR managers, experience has been the best teacher, and many seasoned HR managers have several years’ experience in different areas of the HR department. When an HR manager has taken advantage of these professional development and learning opportunities, he may have begun working as a coordinator and then moved up to an HR generalist or an HR specialist before transitioning into a management role. Core Competencies Overall, some of the best-qualified HR managers have a combination of education, certification and experience, as well as core competencies that enable their effective performance.
They are involved in both strategy and implementation; therefore, they have good communication skills. Some aspects of HR are best learned by doing, such as processing new hire paperwork, developing affirmative action plans and outreach methods to improve recruitment and selection processes. Additional core competencies of effective HR managers include analytical and critical thinking skills and the ability to influence others and manage change. Promotion HR managers who aspire to executive-level roles also are expected to develop skills that enable them to chart strategic path for the organization’s workforce.
This entails more frequent interaction with upper management in eventually assuming the role of the company’s chief human resources officer. The skills and qualifications for a chief human resources officer are increasingly broader, according to the “Harvard Business Review” March 2011 article titled, “The New Path to the C-Suite. ” Harvard business professor Boris Groysberg and his co-authors predict that HR leaders won’t need the HR administrative-functional-type expertise. They will come armed with legal expertise, business acumen, and operational savvy and marketing knowledge.