Human Resources (HR) professionals administer all of the employee functions and actions within an organization. Depending on the size of the company, there could be a number of Humans Resources staff focused on different aspects of employee relations. For example, some may be focused on benefits, while others are responsible for recruiting or training. Here we will explore the Human Resources job description, educational requirements for a career in Human resources, career prospects and the skills needed to be successful in this field.

It is important to note that, because this is a fast-growing career field, competition for jobs can be strong.

Man and woman casually posing for the camera.

What Does a Human Resources Professional Do?

On any given day, Human Resources professionals may oversee a variety of tasks. As custodians for the administrative functions of an organization, Human Resources employees recruit new talent, conduct interviews, address employee concerns, manage payroll and benefits systems and negotiate salaries for employee promotions.

They also might be called upon to terminate under-performing employees, or develop an improvement plan for an employee who isn’t quite meeting the organization’s standards.

Human Resources Job Description for Resume – Responsibilities

The main tasks these professionals have to fulfil on a daily basis are outlined by the Human Resources job description:

• Recruitment of suitable candidates for open positions throughout the organization
• Onboard new recruits to ensure compliance with company policies, procedures, and expectations
• Development and maintenance of company policy and procedures manual, including updates and amendments as necessary
• Mentor senior leadership in most up-to-date performance appraisals to ensure compliance as well as identify opportunities for growth for top-performers
• Monitor key employee metrics, including absenteeism, turnover and staff morale to measure overall organizational health
• Oversee employee benefit programs, including salary structure, health plans, retirement and savings accounts
• Implement training programs as necessary and appropriate
• Facilitate leadership-staff discussions to resolve issues and address concerns
• Comply with all federal, state and local laws in hiring practice.

Human Resources Required/Essential Skills

Business Skills. Human Resources managers must understand the complexities of the company they represent, including adequate staffing needs. They must be able to interpret data and trends to make recommendations about staffing levels and other personnel-related matters.

Strong Social Skills. Because an HR job description may include recruiting, an HR manager wants to hire and maintain the best possible candidates who will be of great benefit to the organization. He or she must be comfortable talking with recruits of all experience levels.

A Human Resources Manager also must be able to have difficult conversations with employees, including in situations where an employee is being furloughed or terminated. Finally, included in an HR job description is the ability to offer counsel to employees, including leadership at the highest levels.

Time Management Skills. Human Resources managers wear many hats, and the tasks they juggle on a daily basis may vary widely. On any given day, a Human Resources manager may start their day with a breakfast meeting with staff to review company policy changes. This can be followed by meetings with leaders to review the performance of selecting employees. The lunch may be dedicated to wooing a new executive to the company. The afternoon is often full of interviews for a coveted opening and a review of a grievance filed by a terminated employee.

This means that a Human Resources manager must not only be agile, he or she must budget his or her time wisely to ensure that all company related matters are handled as appropriate.

How to Become a Human Resources Professional

Most Human Resources professionals are required to have a Bachelor’s degree in human resources management, business or human resources development.

Education and Training Requirements

While a Bachelors degree is almost certainly a requirement, many organizations may prefer that their top leaders in Human Resources also have a master’s degree. There are many different certifications available as well, such as GPHR, or Global Professional in Human Resources. This is specific to human resources professionals operating in a global environment, with a wide variety of laws, customs, and practices.

The Human Resources job description require these professionals to adopt a “continuous learner” mindset. Policies and best practices are constantly changing, and companies are being challenged to meet new and growing expectations on a number of social issues.

Work Experience

College students who intend to pursue a career in Human Resources should heavily consider an internship while they are still in school. Gaining real-world experience will allows students to learn and develop skills necessary to be successful as a Human Resources manager.

In addition, during an internship, students will have an opportunity to do meaningful, interesting works related to all aspects of the Human Resources function. Internships also are often stepping stones to full-time employment.

There are many different aspects of Human Resources job descriptions that can require additional skills and knowledge. (For example, a Compensation Analyst may not have the same skillsets as a Recruiter).

Depending on the global economy, it might be easier to get hired under one facet of the Human Resources than another. For example, during bleak economic times, large-scale companies often implement hiring freezes. As a consequence, they may not need Recruiters, but they may need Analysts who can determine appropriate early-out packages.

Work Schedules

Typically, people within the Human resources organization maintain a standard business day, but overtime is absolutely to be expected. An HR job description includes a lot of data analysis. Employees may need to stay late or arrive early to be well-prepared to speak intelligently on a given subject and make a professional recommendation. Travel may also be required.

Career Prospects

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, growth in the Human resources field is expected to be at about 9 percent through 2024, which is faster than the average for all occupations. The median pay for Human Resources professionals is $104,440.

Companies operating in all industries employ Human Resources professionals. The job security will depend on the individual company’s solvency as well as the overall state of the industry.

Often, there are short-term problems within an organization that need immediate, detailed attention. Human Resources professional who are willing to tackle new assignments, show interest in learning new skills, travel and relocate are likely to enjoy career advancement.


As you can tell from the Human Resources job description, HR can be an exciting, rewarding career. There are plenty of opportunities to learn and grow as a professional. At the same time, it is a demanding career suitable for individuals who thrive in a fast-paced environment and enjoy working closely with people at all levels of the organization.