Human Resource departments until recent years handled the hiring and firing of employees and managed benefit contracts. The role of human resources manager has grown in complexity and scope, with several worksite management roles appended to the job description. Today, human resource management includes a wide range of employee interaction and management.
The role of hiring has grown more complex with regulations about job postings and, with the advent of the internet, the potential responsibility of reviewing hundreds of resumes for a single position. HR departments in large companies now scan resumes for keywords, making that automated process the first step in vetting the applicants. Layoffs are also more complex. In the case of a firing for cause, the company’s legal department is going to demand documentation. In the case of group layoffs, beyond the internal turmoil are the issues of severance packages and benefits.
HR managers may get involved in the placement and recruitment process. A human resources manager may have to anticipate the company’s needs twelve to eighteen months out and dispatch recruiters to college campuses in search of potential employees. Department realignments and internal reorganizations can be a time- consuming and challenging task from a human resources standpoint, because morale (and productivity) demand that a substantial attempt be made at keeping as many people happy as possible.
Equal opportunity statutes place another set of regulatory standards on the hiring process. In-house regulations and practices must be in place to meet those requirements; developing the house rules will fall to the human resources manager.
There are some online educational programs that focus directly on human resources management. Capella University has an online master’s program in science human resources specialization. Some of the courses are revealing about the nature of the human resource manager’s job today. Here is a brief sampling:
- Social Responsibility and Managerial Ethics
- Accounting and Finance in Organizations
- Strategic Planning
- Managing Diversity and Inclusion in Organizations Recruitment
- Selection and Assessment
This is a fraction of the coursework, but it brings the nature of the job into focus. The University of Phoenix Online also has an MBA with a human resources management specialization. Like the Capella master’s program, one of the courses is in marketing. HR managers are being prepared to market their company through their job postings. Also found in both programs are courses in employee motivation and compensation. Compensation in this case refers not only to pay scales, but to internal rewards for hitting performance marks. The human resources manager is also the morale manager in many cases.
Warren National University also has both a bachelor’s degree in business and an MBA with human resource management emphasis. Among their course offerings are ‘corporate culture and organizational climate’, and ‘change management’. Both of those classes delve into the psychological issues that can have material impact on a business. Morale has a direct effect on productivity, which in turn impacts annual profits. The fact that these online educational programs dig so deeply into the intangible issues in human resources management speaks to the thoroughness and quality of their academic offerings.