Human Resources Managers

Outlook

Employment Prospects

Employers

Approximately 152,100 human resources managers are employed in the United States. Many work in the private sector, but others find opportunities at government agencies at the local, state, and national levels. Large organizations are more apt to hire large HR staffs than smaller ones. 

Starting Out

While still in high school or college, you should apply for an entry-level job as a personnel clerk or assistant or participate in an HR internship to begin gaining experience that will eventually allow you to become qualified to work as a manager. To locate opportunities, use the resources of your college’s career services office, attend career fairs, and meet with recruiters that come to your campus. 

Experienced HR professionals can find job openings by using the services of executive headhunters, utilizing association job-search sites such as http://jobs.shrm.org, and networking in-person and on social media sites such as LinkedIn.

Advancement Prospects

Experienced HR managers advance by receiving pay raises; by being promoted to executive positions such as chief executive officer; or by moving on to work at bigger organizations that have larger HR departments. Some human resources managers open their own consulting firms. Human resources consultants help clients make the most of their people-related investments (salaried, temporary, and contract workers). They advise firms on personnel policies; manage compensation and benefits programs; analyze staffing needs; recruit, hire, and train workers; develop leadership training programs; and provide advice on diversity issues, among other duties.

Tips for Entry

Read publications such as HR Magazine (https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/spring2020/Pages/default.aspx), TD (https://www.td.org/td-magazine), and Benefits Magazine (https://www.ifebp.org/Resources/magazines) to learn more about the field.

Visit the following Web sites for job listings: 

  • https://careers.worldatwork.org/jobseekers
  • https://jobs.td.org
  • https://www.ifebp.org/Resources/jobsinbenefits.

Join professional associations such as the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to access training and networking resources, industry publications, and employment opportunities.

Attend the SHRM’s annual Conference and Exhibition and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans' annual Employee Benefits Conference to network, participate in continuing education opportunities, and to interview for jobs.