“Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t have to.” These are profound words from Sir Richard Branson, founder of The Virgin Group, that the most impactful companies try to live by. As organizations are putting more emphasis than ever on workplace culture, it’s evident that they’re trying to build on their “people strategy.” Human Resources teams are accountable for each step of the employee journey, from when they walk into the office for their interview to the moment they retire.
An HR manager is the driving force behind Human Resources’ major initiatives. If you’re interested in a leadership role in this valuable component of an organization, read on to learn more about the duties, earning potential and job outlook of HR managers and find out how you can become one.
The day-to-day of an HR manager
Most businesses understand that their employees are their greatest assets. It’s HR’s duty to make sure all staff can perform to the best of their abilities. Here are just a handful of the tasks an HR manager handles on a regular basis:
HR specialist vs. HR manager
Two of the most prominent career titles for individuals working in human resources are HR specialists and HR managers. As you can infer, managers are typically in charge of a team of specialists. Aside from serving as a leader in HR, human resources managers take on a great deal of responsibility, working directly with executives and overseeing each step of the recruiting, interviewing and hiring processes.
One quality that distinguishes HR managers from specialists is earning potential. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for HR managers was $113,300 in May 2018. The top 10% of earners made over $201,380 in that year. At this same time, the median annual earnings for HR specialists was $60,880, per the BLS. With a significant salary gap between HR specialists and managers, there’s no doubt plenty of HR professionals are trying to move their way up the ranks.
Job outlook for HR managers
Compared to all U.S. jobs, which are expected to grow 5% between 2018 and 2028, the employment of human resources managers is expected to increase 7%, a bit faster than average, according to the BLS. Precise career growth depends on a number of factors, including the success of individual businesses and the performance of different types of industries.
How to become an HR manager
If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a human resources manager, you might be wondering exactly how you can become one. First off, you can start as a human resources specialist, then work your way up the ranks through several years of service at a company. Second, you may be hired for a career as an HR manager after spending some time as an HR specialist at a different company. Finally, you can earn a master’s degree and expedite the time you’ll need to spend as a specialist before moving into a management role.
Although it’s possible to become an HR manager with just a bachelor’s degree, many organizations will only hire individuals that have earned an MBA in Human Resources. In addition to providing you with increased career opportunities, a master’s degree can enhance your understanding of major HR trends, thus making you a more well-rounded professional.