Human resources is often thought of as the department that’s all about people. While obviously true, there is plenty more that goes on behind the scenes in this essential field. In today’s changing world, the HR department is moving faster than ever to ensure employee and organizational needs are met. People are always at the core, but sometimes the work includes analysis and data mining, while other times it includes data entry and reporting.
The fact is that HR takes a complete team of both generalists and specialists. Some may have taken a human resources program and spend their days completing the stereotypical tasks. Others may have more technical work that is a far cry from the image of interviews, onboarding and providing support when employees have challenges. It comes down to what is needed for the organization to move forward positively.
It’s an exciting department to be part of and the job diversity is vast. Consider these 5 growing specialized HR roles:
Employee relations manager
This is the ideal job for someone who likes to create harmony between two parties within the organization. An employee relations manager facilitates positive relationships between employees and the management team. While this is sometimes done at a group level (think union and management) this HR specialist also intervenes to improve relationships between individuals (think supervisor and employee on the same team, or co-workers having a conflict). Training, like a conflict resolution certificate, can help them identify, de-escalate and resolve. Additionally, they may also have a mediation certificate which helps in negotiating contracts and procedures and they will also have advanced knowledge in applicable labour laws.
Manager of employee experience
This role is all about creating a more enjoyable, inclusive workplace that ensures happiness and job satisfaction are on everyone’s minds. Diversity and inclusion training are essential for this job (although most HR jobs will require this kind of training) as are other elements to consider when creating programs and activities that create a positive company culture. There may be an employee committee that works with this individual while other tools like surveys and random informal interviews may contribute to organizational knowledge.
Change management specialist
As economies, markets and regions shift, organizations will also need to change. It’s no doubt that change can be harder for some than others and many organizations turn to a specialist to help employees with the preparation and outcomes. No matter what the project is – a new internal communication system, blending of departments, re-alignment of the workforce to meet new needs – people will need assistance understanding how they fit into something new. A change management specialist will likely have change management certification and will work closely with all project stakeholders to understand the situation, suggest opportunities and implement solutions to minimize negative outcomes.
Compensation and benefits manager
One of the primary elements of a job offer is the compensation package. Compensation and benefits managers assist with organizational success by ensuring these packages are competitive and able to attract (and retain) the best talent possible. This is a more detailed role that gets into the nitty-gritty of salary ranges, market standards, benefit programs and how these fit within organizational budgets, needs and structure. There are a lot of spreadsheets and data mining for this individual to tackle. A compensation and benefits manager will also work in an educator role to help managers and supervisors understand regulations around compensation as well as assessments of changes.
Remote work advisor
While not quite a commonplace job title, the remote work advisor (also known by flexible workforce advisor or other titles) is exactly what you’d assume from the job title. This individual liaises with employees, managers and team members to identify needs and opportunities for a remote work force. This may include ensuring equipment and safe work environments are in place outside of the traditional office space, but it may also look at tools for interactivity, work hours and structure of a remote employee’s role. With COVID forcing many employees to find new places and ways to work, the move to more of a remote workforce is likely to continue and a remote work advisor will be a key part of facilitating that positively.
HR is all about people, but in different roles, the amount of human interaction varies. Depending upon what you like to do, you may feel excited by one of these, or another new and growing role in HR.