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Human resources professionals wear many hats within a company. One part of their job is acquiring talent. This involves sourcing candidates, conducting interviews, and passing on qualified candidates to decision makers. Another part of their job is setting company policies and procedures, which also includes employee discipline. All industries employ human resource professionals. Many choose to specialize in a specific industry. Human resource professionals work normal office hours.

Human resource professionals may or may not be in a supervisory position. Senior human resource professionals typically delegate basic tasks to junior human resource professionals under their management. In large organizations, they may specialize in one aspect of human resources, such as talent acquisition or creating policies and procedures. According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, human resource specialists, which includes human resource professionals, is set to rise 7 percent through 2026.

Human Resources Professional Duties and Responsibilities

Human resources professionals responsibilities range from hiring to setting policy. Our analysis of job postings revealed the following core tasks to be the most common expected of human resource professionals:

Identify Employer Needs for a Given Position

Human resource professionals work with the executives at their company to identify the exact needs for each open position. They write and post job descriptions for positions based on these identified needs.

Source and Vet Candidates

Talent acquisition is a large part of the human resource professional's responsibilities. In today's digital age, social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, are used to source and vet candidates.

Conduct Phone and In-person Interviews

One of the most important duties of human resources professionals is conducting interviews. They conduct phone or Skype interviews to whittle down the candidates to a manageable amount of in-person interviews. Then, they conduct the in-person interviews and pass the best candidates on to the decision makers.

Process and File Employee Paperwork

This is a clerical task that is usually performed by lower-level human resources professionals. This duty includes filing new hire paperwork and maintaining a disciplinary file on each employee.

Create Company Policies and Procedures

These policies include sexual harassment, racial discrimination, attendance policies, dress codes, and any other policies or procedures related to the company's operation.

Onboard New Employees

Human resource professionals have to conduct new employee orientations where they explain the company's policies and procedures. They also give new employees an office tour and help make them feel comfortable.

Human Resources Professional Skills

Today’s human resource professionals need to be tech-savvy. They use applicant tracking software to manage candidates as they move through the recruitment process. They also use social media as part of a digital recruiting strategy and Microsoft office suite to format policy and procedure documents. Strong attention to detail and a dedication to doing things by the book are qualities one must possess to succeed in this position. They are both the creators and enforcers of the rules. In addition to these qualities and areas of knowledge, the following skills are required:

  • Identifying the needs of a given position and writing a job description designed to attract candidates who meet those needs
  • Sourcing and vetting candidates using social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook
  • Conducting interviews and analyzing candidates to pass on to decision makers
  • Using knowledge of industry and government regulations to create effective policies and procedures
  • Maintaining and organizing employee files using both paper and digital filing systems

Human Resources Professional Tools of the Trade

Applicant tracking software – used to track candidates’ progress through the hiring process, from application to the offer

Social media – social media, specifically LinkedIn, is used in today’s recruiting process

Human Resources Professional Education and Training

Human resource professionals usually have a degree in human resource management or a business-related field. Coursework includes things like organizational psychology, communication studies and the principles of human resource management.

Human Resources Professional Salary

According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, human resource specialists, which includes human resource professionals, have a national median salary of $59,180. Those in the bottom 10 percent make less than $34,770, while those in the top percent make more than $101,420.

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Human Resources Professional Resources

If you think a career in human resources is for you, check out this list of resources.

Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management is the most trusted professional organization in the industry. It offers benefits to members, such as webinars, conferences, and career development tools. It also offers several certifications and is the mosttrusted certification board in the industry.

National Human Resources Association

The National Human Resources Association was founded in 1951 and has since grown to have chapters all over the country. It has evolved with the times, realizing today's HR departments need to provide value beyond acting as the company's police force. It offers several regional conferences and a national conference each year. It also offers online webinars and a career development section to help job seekers.

HR Bartender

Sharyn Lauby takes a nononsense approach to human resources. She covers all the important topics without adding spin or jargon.

HR Capitalist

The HR Capitalist is written by Human Resource Professional Kris Dunn. He covers the entire spectrum of human resource topics, such as recruiting, human resource technology, employee engagement, and compensation packages.

The Little Black Book of Human Resources Management

The techniques outlined in this book are based on the author's 20 years of experience in all types of roles within the field. It's a great read for any human resource professional.

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