Jobs at the top in the HR department often require master’s degrees, years of experience, and more specialized knowledge – but they also come with higher salaries. If you’re in the human resources field (or are looking to enter it and climb the ranks), possess strong interpersonal skills, and want to set your sights higher, cultivating another area of expertise within the field may help. Here are 5 jobs to aspire to on your career journey.
Human Resources Manager
Of course, one of the top jobs has to be the top spot in a human resources department. This requires years of experience and most often an MBA, as well as interpersonal skills and the talent and experience to be a manager. The human resources manager oversees the hiring process of new employees from recruitment to interviews to offers; they also are involved with strategic planning and connect upper management to employees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the top-grossing industry for Human Resources Managers is Monetary Authorities and Banking Industries, with an annual mean salary of $182,800. The annual median salary for the position is $110,120.
Compensation and Benefits Manager
Also in a key managerial role, the compensation and benefits manager oversees your salary—and comes with its own nice salary too. Oftentimes this role is about reducing costs while ensuring employees receive appropriate benefits, so this type of manager evaluates new strategies like “pay-for-performance.” Hiring trends for this type of position look good, as organizations will always need this job type to assess benefits policies and design compensation packages. On the other hand, some duties of this role may increasingly be outsourced to human resources consulting firms. Even so, it is likely to remain a competitive job in the field. The annual median pay for this job is $119,120, according to BLS.
People in this position, also known as “head hunters,” are responsible for finding top talent and matching talent to organizational needs. The recruiter is the prime “people person” position in HR, and the executive recruiter fills the top positions for a company—like the CEO. This role requires the expertise to network and find the top talent for the very top of a company. It’s hard to pin down a median salary for this job—it often gets paid on retainer because it is so lucrative.
Human Resources Specialist
According to the BLS, the annual median pay for this job is $60,350. However this figure can be deceptive because “human resources specialist” is such a broad category. Let’s look at two types of specialists that are likely to be paid higher and be in high demand.
HR Analytics Specialist
By developing and implementing HR analytics, these specialists perform statistical analysis of data and create and communicate reports, identifying trends to improve the overall hiring process. In this role, you help identify areas of strength and weakness to help keep a company competitive. This position generally requires a background in statistics, but the outlook for this job depends on the changing technology for this area of specialization. Anyone with a statistical background in HR should also keep up with changing tech trends, as data analytic tools may soon become the domain of machine learning and AI—but so long as we need a person to communicate the data, this role will likely still be a vital part of HR strategy.
HR IT Specialist
This position will be in high demand as HR departments adapt to changing technology. For those in human resources who are extremely tech-savvy and also have a background in IT, this can be a lucrative and in-demand role. Expertise in the latest software will be vital. Tech can already aid recruitment, candidate engagement, targeted marketing, and management of job campaigns—experts in this position will help HR departments stay competitive and make them vital to an organization.
While the HR manager might be the big fish in a small pond, the HR strategist is in a much bigger pond. It’s tough to nail down a median salary for this position, as it varies from industry to industry, but it’s high up in the chain. This position is usually involved in very large organizations or government positions, where strategic planning for hiring requires a strategy team rather than an individual HR manager or top-level executive. The HR strategist is a problem-solver, a planner, and a communicator who coordinates people across departments and all levels of an organization, helping to design and implement long-term HR strategic plans.