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Career Path – HR Leader

What is HR or Human Resources?

HR or Human Resources is a division of a business that is responsible for recruiting talent best suited for the requirements at a firm. Typically there is an HR team in every company. Smaller companies might not have a large team but someone will be appointed to carry out the HR tasks. The HR team is tasked with fostering a healthy work environment that promotes employee engagement and retention. They are also responsible for the overall experience and the management of the lifecycle of an employee in the firm. Before delving into the career path of an HR leader, it is important to understand the role of HR in a firm.

HR Roles and Responsibilities

  • Employee compensation and benefits
  • Handling overall and annual performance overviews in consultation with the leaders of each department
  • Ensuring healthy employee relations
  • Attracting and recruiting potential candidates who are the best fit for their role
  • Ensuring that federal, state, and local labor laws and regulations are followed
  • Taking care of the health and safety measures of every employee


HR Manager Salary

The average base salary for a human resources manager, with over 2 years of work experience, is $76,931 per year in the United States according to Indeed. With 6-9 years of experience, that figure jumps to $80,622.

In order to progress and succeed in the HR industry, a few skills are absolutely mandatory. These top HR skills are;

  • People skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Accounting knowledge
  • Succession planning
  • Talent acquisition
  • Talent management

HR Leader Career Path

In order to become an HR leader, you must follow the career path of an HR professional.

  • HR Assistant

The career path of an HR leader begins with becoming an HR assistant in this domain. The duties of an assistant basically require filling out paperwork for the new employees, layoffs, benefits and other programs. The requirement for becoming an HR assistant is to have a bachelor’s degree.

  • HR Specialist

The next step in order to move ahead in the career path of an HR leader is becoming an HR specialist. A specialist specifically performs a single HR task within the department. These include:

    • Compensation and benefits
    • Payroll or Finance
    • Recruiting
    • Layoffs
  • HR Generalist

This is followed by an HR generalist. Generalists cover a wider range of responsibilities as compared to the two previous roles. Most often, they are responsible for looking after employee training and development.

  • HR Manager

After being an HR generalist, you can progress into the role of an HR manager. This role has a considerably broader view of the organization than HR generalists, experts or assistants. HR managers are in charge of the bigger picture tasks such as policies, processes and compliance, as well as ensuring that everything that happens in the firm conforms with the applicable laws.

  • HR Director

Directors are the leaders of the department. HR directors may work with a big HR team or fill in as HR managers, depending on the size of the firm. This position necessitates a wide range of strategic abilities, business acumen, and the ability to adapt to the changing demands of a company.

  • Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO)

The top-most position in the HR division is that of a CHRO. They report to the CEO or VP, depending on the structure of the organization. This leader is in charge of all HR procedures and laws, making recommendations to top management and ensuring that the organization has the personnel needed to satisfy all business demands and goals. Their prime focus is employee development and retention. The experience required to become a CHRO varies from companies and industries but approximately a decade of experience directing HR professionals is a good starting point.

The minimum educational need is a bachelor’s degree, while some businesses prefer a master’s degree. But all businesses appreciate an executive education program like the Global HR Leaders Program from the National University of Singapore Business School. Also called NUS HRLP, this program is focused on the Future of Work and will equip you with the tools you need to excel in the global world of HR.


Is HR a good career?

Human resources is one of the best career options to explore if you are searching for growth, stability, opportunity, work satisfaction and income.

How can I further my career in HR?

One of the methods to do so is by taking up an executive education program like the Global HR Leaders Program from the National University of Singapore Business School.

What are the possible career paths in human resource management?

The possible career paths in human resource management are as follows: HR assistant, HR specialist, HR generalist, HR manager, HR director, CHRO

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